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When aviator sunglasses and flared jeans were all the rage, two students with a passion for customer relationships, technology – and cars – had a chance meeting at a university in Belgium. Thierry, a technology visionary, and André, a business marketer, met by chance, admiring a mint green vintage Aston DB5 in a parking lot at the University of Mons.
"I didn’t realize James Bond was a professor here,"
André recalls Thierry saying. A friendship and a business partnership were born.
Soon, these two born entrepreneurs took it upon themselves to tackle one of modern life’s most pressing problems – how do brands create relevant dialogues with consumers that are valued and appreciated? Figuring out how to accomplish this efficiently and respectfully was the perfect challenge for their respective sensibilities. And just like that, they embarked on a mission to build a consumer-first marketing solution that enabled brands to send messages based on consumer needs.
Before long, André and Thierry had launched their first Customer Relationship Management solution and named it after their motto: Sell...intelligent(ly). The product was a smashing success, and over the next 10 years Selligent grew into an established 90-person company well known to relationship marketers in Belgium, Holland, France, and Luxembourg.
Despite their initial success, the two founders knew that their CRM solution was just the first step. The next piece of the puzzle was an integrated solution that made it easy for marketers to put consumers first. And to do that the solution would need to align marketing campaigns and programs with the needs of individuals at every moment of engagement. As fortune would have it, another pivotal meeting (completely unprompted by an exotic sports car) made it possible – this time with the founders of Optizen, who had developed an innovative marketing automation platform. The two companies joined forces and created the world's first fully integrated digital campaign management platform.
In a market where it was the norm to rely on separate tools for each process, and where marketers routinely faced complex integration challenges, data lag and significant expense, Selligent had a powerful message: one complete solution = less effort, less cost and greater impact. It was a message that resonated, and Selligent saw big growth.
Contextual Marketing is the Key to Engaging Customers in a Connected World.
By now, Selligent had expanded beyond its home markets with major client wins in Spain, Italy, Germany, and UK. European marketers loved the platform’s feature breadth, ease-of-use, low total cost of ownership and rigorous data stewardship. Eager to spread their vision of consumer-first marketing, the founders next turned their gaze across the Atlantic. In reviewing the leading relationship marketing platforms in the US, they came across an independent cross-channel marketing company called StrongView that was solving the same problems for large enterprises in the US. With a united vision for consumer-first, contextually relevant marketing, the two companies merged to bring to market an integrated orchestration and engagement solution for relationship marketers at mid-market, consumer-focused brands.
Today, Selligent offers the world's first relationship marketing platform that can deliver on the promise of consumer-first marketing. And we've achieved that with one integrated solution that marketers can easily use to engage consumers in the way consumers want to be engaged – with contextually relevant messages sent via the right channel and based on their real-time situation and needs. Not only are we making true 1-to-1 marketing possible, but we’re also making it impossible to resist.
While Selligent is proud of how we've advanced our vision for consumer-first marketing, we're not done. As the largest independent provider of marketing technology for relationship marketers, we have the luxury of being able to remain 100% focused on driving innovation. Unlike unwieldy technology conglomerates that are more focused on selling broad solutions as opposed to solving the needs of relationship marketers, our vision remains unclouded. As emerging technologies, channels, and behaviors change how consumers interact with brands, we will be there developing new solutions that enable relationship marketers to engage customers based on integrity and empathy.