SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

ActiveCampaign platform is used by over 50,000 companies worldwide, with Australia the second-largest market outside US

Marketing automation platform, ActiveCampaign, is set to open its first international office in Sydney in August and plans to recruit up to 50 people in customer support and market development functions within the first year.

ActiveCampaign founder and CEO, Jason VandeBoom, told CMO the first wave of international expansion will focus on a customer-facing approach. Engineering and product development will follow, and he hasn’t ruled out opening locations in other cities.  

“We’re starting with a focus on the customer facing side of things, so looking at sales, support and customer success," he said. "At some point, we want to also attract talent in the engineering, product and marketing side. As we expand and get into the market, we’ll have a better understanding of timing and what makes sense from that side.” 

The company is aggressively going after a chunk of the inbound marketing and marketing automation market. VandeBoom said the new office aims to cater to its rapidly growing customer base in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region.

“Australia is our second business market outside of the US in terms of customer numbers. For this reason, we chose Sydney to be our first international office to support our growing international customer base," he said. 

“We’re committed to bringing small businesses the marketing tools they need to grow their business and we know Sydney will bring the right talent to ActiveCampaign to help us reach and support those businesses.”

Jason VandeBoom
Jason VandeBoom

In 2016, the Chicago-based company started with 20 employees and has grown to 260 staff. With over 50 per cent of its customers residing outside of the US and thousands of customers in Australia, Sydney is an ideal location to support the entire APAC region, VandeBoom explained.

ActiveCampaign is pitching itself as ideal for small businesses, who can apply marketing automation technology that was previously only available to enterprise business. The platform lets small businesses move beyond marketing automation to connect with customers at the right time, with the right message.

ActiveCampaign’s marketing automation platform is used by more than 50,000 companies worldwide including customers in Australia, along with partners such as Bumper Leads and Brand Engine Media.

VandeBoom said the technology helps businesses grow by strengthening their relationship with customers utilising a blend of automation and human touch. The ambition is to help companies automate many behind the scenes processes and communicate with their customers across channels with personalised, intelligence-driven messages.

Asked what’s unique about the Australian market, VandeBoom said the company has found design firms and consulting firms, in particular, find value in its marketing automation platform.

“We fill a void between your email marketing platforms and platforms that are a little bit more upmarket, such as HubSpot," he claimed. "By filling the void, we focus ideally on that small business. But what we’ve found is to serve small businesses, it has to be really easy to use.

“We have to give people ideas versus expect them to create a bunch of business processes to offset their sales and marketing. By doing that, we can serve SMBs, but then also have mid-market companies that pick it up and just find value faster.”  

In the marketing automation space, VandeBoom cited a push away from the “classic all-in-one” tools, where the platforms provide everything.

“Our take on the market is, we want to be able to orchestrate events across tools - more of a stacked solution versus the all-in-one,” he said. 

According to VandeBoom, CMOs have to grapple with the constant swings back and forth in the market in terms of automation, and he claimed many try to over-automate and undertake extensive processes to find the right tools to solve their particular problems.

“People really need to remain true to finding that true balance between automation and human touch," he said. "Often times, I think you can lean a little bit too much on one or the other and then it is a disservice to their customer experience.”

Commenting on the ActiveCampaign launch, NSW Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair said it’s great to see such a significant investment being made within the first year of operations.

"ActiveCampaign joins the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Dropbox and more than 600 other multinational companies that have chosen Sydney as their Australian headquarters,” Minister Blair said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

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