I’m not a car guy. I don’t read about them, talk about them, or pay much attention to the market. Back in 2012 I was invited to an Audi Driving Experience where trained instructors spent a few hours teaching me how to drive an Audi at high speeds on a frozen lake. It was awesome. I learned about the importance of different types of driving suspension. I learned about how Audi focuses on performance and luxury. It was a fantastic experience, a ton of fun, and I learned a lot. Fast forward six months later, and I was in the market for a car. Having never previously considered an Audi, I went to the Audi dealership and leased a brand new Audi. I’ve been an Audi guy ever since. And yet, how would Audi know that my driving experience six months earlier actually led to a purchase?
What happened to me with Audi wasn’t a one-off, either. In fact, almost all car manufacturers now operate these offline driving experiences in an effort to differentiate from competitors and build brand loyalty so that, when the time is right, consumers like me think of them first.
It’s not just car companies developing experiential programs, either. Art supply stores now offer painting classes that drive the sales of art supplies. Makeup counters at department stores offer free makeovers that convert into product sales. More and more retail and product companies are turning to experiences to introduce products to customers and create brand awareness and stickiness when traditional advertising isn’t enough. An experience economy is developing that is transforming retail and customer engagement. But the software tools to manage these experiences and connect to sales and marketing systems are nonexistent or anemic.
We expect more and more retailers and product companies will turn to experiences to introduce customers to a brand and products. But these offline experiences, often run by field or marketing teams, are poorly managed and tracked today, without ties to any sort of relationship management system. This leads to a lot of questions for brands as to the efficacy of these experiences. How do you manage communication with your customers before and after experiences? How do you tie purchasing behavior to experiences? And most importantly, how do you know if your experiences are working? In the digital world, we have a whole host of CRM and marketing automation products to manage all stages of the customer lifecycle and sales funnel. In the offline world, we have nothing close to that.
That’s why I was thrilled when I caught up with Jonathan Yaffe, founder of AnyRoad, and discovered he was solving for this exact problem. Jonathan and his brother Daniel have spent their entire careers understanding the experience economy and working with large and small brands to better connect with their customers. Having fully navigated the idea maze over many years, the Yaffe brothers iterated to place where AnyRoad is today and have developed the premier Experience Relationship Management platform.
With more than 400 customers around the world, including some of the globe’s largest brands, AnyRoad is not only helping companies offer world-class experiences to their customers, but also helping them better manage and engage with their customers in an enduring way. In short, AnyRoad is CRM for the offline world.
We couldn’t be more excited to be leading their Series A financing and to work with the Yaffe brothers and their incredible team as they build the software stack powering the experience economy.