The Story Behind Building the Best Customer Data Platform for Marketers

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A chance meeting brings together two tech leaders who will change marketing technology and data.

When Colby West and Babak Hedayati met at a conference in 2008, they were each running SaaS companies that focused on solving different problems for different markets. It didn't take long for them to realize that they could join forces to create something remarkable.

Together, as TapClicks, Babak and Colby combined strengths to create a world class reporting and analytics platform.

In this article we'll discuss the origins of TapClicks, the initial product, and the problems it has solved for thousands of agencies, and our recent evolution into a unified customer data platform (CDP) which seamlessly integrates sales teams with marketing teams at enterprise scale companies.

Interested in experiencing how TapClicks can provide seamless integration between your sales and marketing operations? Try our 14 day free trial today.  

TapClicks: Founded to Help Agencies Make Intelligent Marketing Decisions Based on Data

Colby West had his own digital marketing agency and a deep understanding of the problems small to medium sized agencies faced. His agency needed to make intelligent decisions based on data, but data was messy and unorganized. They also needed to prove the value of your marketing strategies through reporting, but at the time this was a manual, labor intensive task.

Colby clearly understood the need for analytics to drive business decisions. Previously, this meant you hired someone to manually enter the data in excel, and then create visualizations and crude graphs to represent that data. The traditional approach was sorely lacking in automation and needed an overhaul. With ClickFuel, agencies could now gather data from their marketing campaigns and more easily export reporting.

A Forward Thinking Reporting & Analytics Platform with an Untraditional Focus on Scalability

On the other coast, Babak Hedayati's focus was analytics and reporting. He was seeking to build a platform that would trump all other marketing technologies of the time creating a tool that grows as you grow for an optimal customer experience. The problem he wanted to solve, like Colby, was the immensely manual workflows required for processing their data, tracking and managing data from multiple locations, and addressing the need for hierarchical access to the data.

Before TapClicks, Manipulating Data Was Not Scalable, and Consumed Major Man Hours

Seasoned marketers may remember the days of manually importing data points from sales, advertising, multiple designated marketing areas (DMAs), different states, behavioral data, third-party data, ecommerce data, customer interactions, email marketing, and even print advertising. This could mean hours of data collection entering everything by hand into excel and creating visualizations for all the store locations and franchises.

Even if you wanted to focus on strategy, product development, sales training, or any other aspects of marketing outside of data entry, you would struggle to find time to do so. The market was ripe for marketing automation.

With TapClicks, a Marketer Could Connect Multiple Data Sources and Automate Their Analysis of Omnichannel Marketing Data Quickly

Now, all you had to do was connect the stores, identify locations, identify their DMAs, and you could manipulate those data sets in real-time with just a few clicks of the mouse. You no longer had to replicate the different views for different DMAs, states, or franchises.

This meant you became more efficient and could focus on activities that would increase revenue and profit for your customers and company. In many cases, it could even save on headcount. One marketer with TapClicks could do the job of multiple marketers who only had Excel.

A Perfect Match, Combining a Relentless Focus on Scalability with a Digital Marketing Agency's Dream Analytics and Reporting Platform

TapClicks integrations

After the successful union of ClickFuel and TapAnalytics into TapClicks, we had a powerful unified digital analytics and reporting tool. Our goal was to be the best analytics and reporting company for agencies, franchises, and media companies.

Thanks to inspiration set out by Babak and TapAnalytics, we started by focusing on the auto market. We knew that if we mastered serving that market and their many locations nationwide, that we would have a superior marketing platform. This focus worked.

Not only could small to medium sized agencies find value in using the analytics and reporting tools, but we were also an infinitely scalable tool that would grow with you. We had finally optimized scalability in a customer data platform.

With Scalability in Place, We Noticed the Processes Bogging Down Our Clients Were a Part of Something Bigger

Analytics and reporting is just a small part of operations for a marketing agency, franchise, or media company. You first have sales people who are responsible for initiating and closing the sale, which leads to the need for analytics and reporting.

Our early platform had marketers covered, but sales teams were left out, and often the two teams were operating in silos. We wanted to automate some of those processes to allow customer data to flow smoothly between sales and marketing.

Before Orders and Workflow: There Was a Gap in Communication Between Sales and Other Teams

When a new sale is closed, a salesperson needs to communicate with multiple key players in the company to initiate each team's marketing efforts. This creates a common bottleneck for kicking off new projects.

After Orders and Workflow: TapClicks Removed Any Steps Where You Could Lose Important Customer Data (or Clarity on an Idea)

TapClicks dashboard

TapClicks transformed the process of customer relationship management by integrating with Salesforce and other CRMs. Sales teams merely need to click a button in their CRM, a platform they know well and are comfortable navigating, and fill out a few fields with first-party customer data and details about a new job. The new customer data instantly is sent to the people who get the job done so they can begin the lifecycle of the project.

In short, TapOrders automates the process of notifying marketing that a lead has been closed after each new sale. Then, TapWorkflow notifies the key players and begins to get the marketing campaign created. Instant access to all the key players who need to be notified from PPC specialists, to social media managers, and designers to get the project started.

Better yet, no more spending time trying to organize a kickoff call with multiple people's schedules and translate the order for all the different marketing channels. The right people get direct access to the individual customer's information and project brief and can start work immediately. Data silos that would once slow down your team and require hands-on campaign management were now an after thought.

We chose to focus on the full data ecosystem and provide you and your clients with all the tools you need to be successful in a unified customer database. To be the best customer data platform we knew we could not settle for anything less than covering the full customer lifecycle  integrating with customer touchpoints from sales all the way through the job's workflow to reporting and back.

We Value Providing a Full-Circle Service for Marketers. That Drove Us to Where We Are Today, and Where We're Going Tomorrow.

Marketing goes far beyond just orders, workflow, SEO, competitive search, Google analytics, customer profiles, and reports and analytics. This need for a 360-degree view of the marketing cycle has led us to expand into other tools that marketers need. It's driving us into a future full of AI, machine learning, and all the tools an enterprise scale marketing operation needs.

This idea of creating a circle of automation that supports you as you grow, and using that circle to make your job as a marketer easier, is at the heart of TapClicks. We want to simplify your life by automating processes, and harnessing them under one platform. We believe you should have the ability to manage the entire customer journey with as few tools as possible.

Why should you have to leave your analytics platform every time you want to analyze customer engagement, check the progress of a marketing campaign, or dig deeper into first-party data? With TapClicks, all of your customer insights live in one place, making it an easy, holistic solution for sales and marketing.

The Future for TapClicks, a Single Unified Data Platform for Marketers

Our goal is to bring all sales and marketing support into one platform with a single customer view, make it simple to look at how well your operation is running, and provide you with endless personalization and lifetime value.

TapClicks will be bringing lead scoring, unified customer profiles, lead management, SEO, customer behavior, competitive intelligence, and much more into one platform.

As we grow, we're acquiring new platforms that move us closer to being this unified platform that supports you across all your marketing needs including your favorite martech integrations.

In the end, TapClicks is a way to reduce overhead, save money, and make your work lives better by allowing data to move effortlessly through the stages of your project lifecycles.

Interested in experiencing how TapClicks can provide seamless integration between your sales and marketing operations? Try our 14 day free trial today.