Bronwyn Smith tells CBRE Forward how company culture creates success for Influitive
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
My first job ever was as a paper girl, delivering newspapers aged 11. This involved putting 10 different flyers into each paper, stacking the papers into my trolly, and then delivering the papers door to door. I was paid per paper, and it worked out to be much less than the minimum wage. But it was a fantastic experience. It taught me how to be accountable and dependable. It taught me to find a better way – after a few weeks, I developed the fastest flyer sorting system ever. And it gave me a taste for independence – the money I earned was mine to spend!
What is it about your company culture that drives success?
What drives success in the Influitive culture are 3 things. The first one is the concept of ownership, which we take really seriously. We have 4 values and one of them is care as an owner. Every single employee is an owner at Influitive and we think that’s pretty critical to our success because when you’re an owner you’re going to act differently. It means you’re going to look out for the long-term and you’re really going to care more, you’re going to be grittier and you’re going to work outside of your silo. This concept of being an owner has driven a lot of where we are today.
The second aspect of our company culture, also tied to ownership, is empowerment. We really try to empower our employees in the best way we can. Part of that is pushing decisions to the edges of the company. Why do we do that? One – if every decision is made by the CEO or myself or the senior leadership team, the quality won’t be as high. Two – it’s just more fun for people. Our team feels way more inspired and they are far more excited to be at work when they know that they are an owner. They have a lot of say in what we do and how we’re going to do it – what they say matters!
The third piece of our company culture is being transparent. Transparency at Influitive means being open, honest and direct – It’s a big part of who we are. We believe that you can’t win, and you won’t do well if you don’t get feedback during that journey.
What was the company’s journey like to get where it is?
The Influitive journey started about seven years ago, with Mark Organ, our founder and CEO. He previously had a company called Eloqua that was quite successful. It was a marketing automation company and while he was at Eloqua he imagined the concept of Influitive. He noticed that deals at Eloqua went smoother, faster and were worth more when a happy customer was involved.
With that insight, he started his next company, Influitive. We have built a successful product that delivers an engagement platform that enables companies to have personalized relationships with their customers. Allowing companies to discover nurture and mobilize their advocates to do acts of advocacy for them. Like all startups, we’re constantly changing.
When the company first started, Mark and the company believed that advocacy was more niche. We thought there may be a few hyper advocates in a company that would do all these acts of advocacy, so we focused on ten people. We’ve now realized that every customer and everyone in the company has some ability to form an act of advocacy and most want to. So we’ve gone much broader, and our platform now invites everyone in the company to be part of it. We are leveraging this concept to grow even more in the future. We see it as an opportunity to extend not just to your advocates and your customers, but also your prospects. That’s how we plan to be a billion-dollar company.
What’s next for Influitive?
What’s next for Influitive is definitely expanding our product more and more and being an all-encompassing solution that goes beyond the advocates and customers of today, to also include prospects. We are also looking at expanding into other markets – we’re spending a lot more time growing Europe. We have begun this process and already see a significant benefit to it. Our goal is to continue to expand and grow internationally.
We are looking into our enterprise and sub-enterprise strategies. We are in eight of the 10 biggest tech companies in the world, which is outstanding. Companies like IBM, Oracle, Cisco and we’re entrenching ourselves in these companies and growing. We will continue down that path and the goal is to be in all top tech companies in the world. That’s where we’re heading!