First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
AJ Brown: I’ve discovered that my dog, Booker, is a really great listener… especially when he gets a treat after listening to me rant a bit about being stuck at home. We’re both doing great overall, as are my immediate family and my employees, whom I consider family as well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded LeadsRx.
AJ Brown: In April 2015, I was consulting with a few different startup companies, all wanting me to focus on positioning and lead gen. It was tough trying to connect the dots between things like Google ads and new customers buying products, and the geek within me got curious. That’s when I decided to write the code for the initial LeadsRx product. By August, I had a prototype and was ready to put an ad on AngelList seeking a “sales hack” to help me find early customers. A short time later, LeadsRx was formed with me as CEO, co-founder, head of technology, and Jeff Keenan as co-founder and SVP of media attribution.
The boilerplate description of our company is this: LeadsRx is a marketing attribution platform used by B2B and B2C businesses as well as by marketing agencies. The system helps marketers understand how each advertising channel performs in terms of driving revenue and customer acquisition events. Teams that use LeadsRx maximize return on ad spend (ROAS) by reducing wasted ad spend, improving conversion rates, and understanding customer journeys. LeadsRx works across a wide selection of marketing channels, including online digital channels such as Google, social media, company websites, and more; offline, non-digital channels such as radio, TV, podcasts, and direct mail.
I have 45 years of experience in the software industry with an atypical yet valuable mix of code-writing and marketing experience – hence my passion for blending my own skills with Keenan’s sales experience to form LeadsRx.
How does LeadsRx innovate?
AJ Brown: At LeadsRx, we are constantly thinking of ways we can help our clients – forward-thinking marketers – define how analytics fits into the methodology of their day-to-day business practice and how they can better measure the performance of advertising based on its capabilities to drive business. From helping auto dealers better market with our one-of-a-kind technology that tracks VIN numbers related to sales; to providing true multi-touch attribution to marketing agencies that help their end clients; to offering specific attribution solutions for podcasts, OTT (over-the-top) TV/streaming media, and broadcast (TV and radio), we continue to push the envelope for following customer journeys, so marketers are getting the best bang for their marketing buck and achieve optimization of their return on ad spend (ROAS) – the most important KPI for marketers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
AJ Brown: We have some customers who have been affected, and we worked with them to manage through the pandemic and focus our product and services on finding ways to limit the adverse effects. Our goal is to not only help our customers recover but come out even better on the other side. One very positive outcome of the pandemic is that marketers seem to rely more heavily on analytics, like attribution.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
AJ Brown: We’re tightening our belt but have a newfound focus on finding more enterprise marketers we can help through our marketing attribution platform. I think our team is more committed than ever to help marketers get the most from analytics in general and from attribution specifically.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and LeadsRx in the future?
AJ Brown: I take naps. Not because I am older and wiser, but because they help me get away from hot topics, rest my mind, and get grounded. About 20 minutes is all I need to hit maximum productivity shortly after that. I’ve never seen a market take off as quickly as attribution. Analytics is finally getting its day in the sun. Throughout the pandemic, our small but talented team of 18 employees was repeatedly told by customers how valuable a service it provides, so when those customers said they couldn’t live without LeadsRx during the pandemic but needed a break on pricing for a few months, we gladly obliged. It’s about people helping people.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
AJ Brown: We just wrote up a blog post on the marketing attribution competitive landscape, and, as you will see, there are not many vendors who provide true impartial multi-touch, cross- or omni-channel attribution like we do. We are confident in our ability and at our price point to continue to be a leader in the field.
Your final thoughts?
AJ Brown: The numbers don’t lie, and LeadsRx really is executive-level software. Marketing teams use it, but the consumption of the output really is by CROs, CFOs, and CEOs who want to know – with impartial, reliable data – marketers are spending dollars effectively and, essentially, doing their job. I recall being on a product demo call with a CMO and her team from a national mortgage company. One particular slide in the presentation – the return on ad spend (ROAS) report – highlights what is being spent on marketing and the corresponding revenue coming in. She interrupted me and said, ‘AJ, that data is exactly what I need to show my CEO and my board of directors.'” And that’s the value of attribution.