Providing the tech, tools and software to empower marketers to do what they do best in an increasingly digital age, marketing and ad technology is changing the game and driving results – with tech solutions now enabling everything from automated marketing campaigns to AI-powered consumer profiling.
In this edition of Tech Map Tours, we’re taking a look at some of the brilliant Leeds-based organisations manoeuvring the Adtech / Martech space, and how they’re helping to bridge the gap between brands and their customers.
We’re kicking off the tour of the Adtech / Martech line with RapidSpike, a cloud-based cybersecurity platform that helps boost website performance and client-side security.
With online eCommerce, cyber-attacks and interactions growing rapidly – driven by social changes, technology advancements and a new spike driven by COVID-19 – the need for a customer focused, more advanced, more insightful synthetic website monitoring solution is more important than ever before.
The RapidSpike platform provides clients with the ability to monitor all aspects of their online ecosystem through a singular interface, enhancing performance, reliability and security simultaneously. The platform simulates the customer experience, enabling clients to see what their customers see and to help identify critical pages in the customer journey, in order to minimise disruptions.
Since 2019, the company has achieved over 500% growth, doubled the size of the team and raised £1 million in funding. This investment from Praetura Ventures will drive the next stage of RapidSpike’s growth journey, which will see them add more blue-chip eCommerce brands to their portfolio and scale their team by recruiting more developers, before eventually taking the business global. With world domination on the cards, we’ll certainly be keeping a keen eye on RapidSpike over the next few years.
Researchbods / Strat7
Next up on the tour is Researchbods, a full service agency who blend advanced technology with human intelligence to deliver real-time consumer insight solutions to their client base.
Using ex-plor – ResearchBods’ flagship, market-leading, Insight Community platform – brands can connect and engage with millions of existing and future customers in real-time. This allows ex-plor users to build a 360 view of who their customer is, what they think, how they behave and most importantly, why. In gaining an in-depth understanding of their customer, brands are able to better understand the market they operate in, and can use this information to make intelligent, informed business decisions at pace, and build customer strategies that achieve competitive advantage.
Established in 2011, ResearchBods is thriving, having reported an impressive revenue increase of 26% in its latest annual figures and having hired 23 new team members in the same period. Their headcount – which has now soared to over 100 team members – is a testament to the strength of the sector, and to their continued success within the consumer insights space.
Take a quick detour to where AdTech / Martech meets AI and you’ll find Bidnamic, a marketing technology platform that utilises artificial intelligence to help retailers outbid competitors and unlock the full potential of Google Shopping.
Applying machine learning to profile every product SKU in a client’s catalogue, the platform predicts the optimal bid value (or “sweet spot”) of each product algorithmically, allowing a client to beat their competitors across the full product portfolio without breaking a sweat. Real-time performance analysis and high-frequency bid management also increase the efficiency of the client’s ad spend, decrease costs per acquired customer, and enable the full revenue potential of each product – resulting in both increases in revenue and growth in market share for the client.
Since its inception in 2018, Bidnamic’s ability to deliver customer revenue increases of 60% or above has allowed the company to build a dynamic customer base that stretches from one side of the retail market to the other – and prominent clients include Lounge Underwear, homeware retailer Happy Little Home, and reusable water bottle giants Chilly’s. The start-up has also received backing from a number of notable investors, including board advisors to Net-A-Porter, a Co-Founder of Booking.com, and thought leaders at Google and IBM, and was recently short-listed for the “Best Performance Marketing Technology” award at the Performance Marketing Technology Awards.
Top Screen Media
Specialising in creating solutions to enhance customer experience, convenience and accessibility, Top Screen Media allows instant interaction and gratification of attractive services delivered through the use of their cutting-edge technology – with the simple goal of improving customer engagement for their clients.
Launched in 2009 by Achille Traore, their interactive advertising networks provide reach to specific target audiences in a new and innovative way by allowing instant access to promotional displays. The fully interactive media touch screens are placed in busy, strategic venues – such as shopping malls, transport hubs and retail hubs across the UK’s major cities – providing an unrivalled opportunity to promote businesses to the masses.
The company works with huge national organisations like Leeds City Council, Ladbrokes, Alton Towers, Hotels.com and National Express to name just a few – and has even secured a contract with The World Trade Centre in Manhattan to develop their digital strategy. Top Screen Media provides a great example of the role of innovative tech in the marketing sector, and the global reach of some of the incredible companies based right here in Leeds!
Where the Adtech/Martech line meets the startup line, you’ll find Coact – a company taking the pain out of client reporting, by providing an integrated service that does the job for you. With time and resource being the two biggest limiting factors when it comes to agency output, having a platform that reduces your need for both is invaluable for marketers, and their clients. You can even calculate your potential annual time and cost saving based on the number of clients you have using the handy tool on their website.
Unlike many software providers, Coact work closely with their clients, collaborating with them as they consult, set up, manage and refine the reports on a long-term basis – making their integration into any agency seamless and straight-forward. With ambition to become a key software provider in the digital marketing sector here in the UK, Coact are already thinking about international expansion in the next few years – so watch this space!
You can check out our recent interview with their founder and MD, Steven Haynes, as part of our Tech Map series here.
Concluding our Adtech/ Martech tour is Force24 – the fast-growing marketing automation platform that allows marketers to deliver highly personalised marketing campaigns, supporting a range of high profile clients from Children in Need, Michelin and Welcome to Yorkshire to name just a few.
Back in 2010, Managing Director Adam Oldfield embarked on a journey to develop an intuitive marketing solution that would learn to engage with each and every contact. Built with the modern-day marketer in mind, the platform seeks to minimise required time and resource input, while maximising ROI – a simple but bold ambition for the 5,000 marketers they currently serve. A unique platform in a crowded market, it’s packed with powerful tools and features that enable their clients to quickly create automated marketing campaigns that look the part, and generate qualified leads.
Formed of an 80-strong team of passionate marketing experts with a range of skills including strategy, design and technical development, Force24 provides unparalleled support to their users including 24/7 access to the team – they’ll even manage and optimise your campaigns during maternity leave, holidays and handovers, so you’re never caught off guard!
Back in November 2020 they secured a £4.8m investment from YFM Equity Partners (YFM), to support further roll outs of their intuitive technology features, increase the organisation’s headcount, strengthen the team’s skill set and continue to build their global footprint. And having recently been crowned Growth Company of the Year at the Leeds Digital Festival Awards, we’re certainly excited to see what the future has in store for this Yorkshire agency.