How exciting is the current SaaS ecosystem today?
SaaS is literally on fire – its a very exciting time, particularly in the pricing space. Pricefx was truly the first cloud native solution to enter the B2B pricing space, and at the time most in the industry were sceptical, saying there was no way pricing would move to the cloud because of the sensitivity of the data – yet here we are today, and our 100% SaaS cloud solution is doubling revenue each year for 3 years straight, and most all of the legacy providers in the space are scrambling to develop cloud services and migrate their customers to their SaaS offerings… In a certain sense its obvious, as high speed internet gets cheaper and more ubiquitous, and virtual server capacity gets cheaper and bigger, software no longer needs to be tied to on-premise installations that come loaded with expensive armies of billable service teams to run them… SaaS is totally of fire.
Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Pricefx?
I was a big ad agency guy for the first part of my career, and in my various roles at Razorfish and FCB, I was always looking at the vendors and partners from the tech side and thinking “man that’s where all the action is!” So when I got the opportunity to jump over to a product and tech company (Catalina Marketing) in 2012, I took the leap. Its been a great journey. I spent more than 2 years working at Twitter, where I got to see how a truly innovative and scaled tech organization works from the inside, and its really an eye opening experience. But it also helped me clarify that I really wanted to be in early and growth stage companies. After a stint scaling another high growth SaaS tech company (Label Insight) the opportunity at Pricefx seemed to good to pass up – high growth SaaS B2B tech, proven traction in the market, well-funded, global, and ready for some serious marketing top spin. I’m thrilled to be here today.
What is Pricefx and how does it scale the growing demand for SaaS pricing information?
Pricefx is the world’s leading pricing analysis, optimization, management and realization platform, entirely 100% cloud native since day one.
The enterprise pricing software industry has classically been dominated by expensive, heavy weight systems that required on-premise installations and legions of services teams to set-up and operate, which is an incredibly expensive feat.
Pricefx is a true SaaS solution, with quick and easy activation, and simple business terms – a monthly subscription that customers can cancel with no fuss. We’re super easy to do business with, and we’re cost-effective. We also have a very low churn rate for a SaaS company because we’re customer-centric in our core.
Our customers experience outstanding results in areas of margin improvement, profitability, promotion impact, quote management, contract negotiation, rebate management pricing rule and guidance setting, pricing optimization and simulation, and ultimately ROI on their investment in our technology solutions.
As we continue to deliver efficient value in pricing for enterprise, we’re increasingly seeing pricing and price optimization jump to the top of many large companies digital transformation initiatives – once leaders realize that pricing is literally the fastest path to profitability and growth, and how easy we make it to master this function, our deals move pretty quickly!
How do you focus at bringing SaaS and data analytics together at Pricefx? What are the core technologies driving your product?
The short answer is – SaaS is the future of data analytics.
SaaS architecture enables data to become real time and to become useful; and immediately applicable to real business conditions – our software is intentionally designed to do just that.
Our suite of technologies are designed to conquer a full life-cycle of enterprise pricing challenges, from Pricing Analytics and price optimization and simulation, to price building and management, to contract negotiation, CPQ, off-invoice conditions management, and integrations with existing systems including ERP, CRM, PLM and more.
Our flexible Cloud architecture powers embedded applications for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP, and enables an industry leading rapid implementation time and time to value. Customers tell us they have unlocked margin and profitability improvements within months of implementation and cut time to quote and time to contract for their Sales teams from weeks to minutes with our innovative SaaS solution.
Which businesses and geographies are you currently marketing to? What’s your Ideal Customer Profile?
Today, we count more than 95 enterprise B2B and B2C customers across more than 50 countries worldwide. While Pricefx can deliver results to any vertical enterprise, our customer portfolio today includes numerous global leaders in automotive, distribution, industrial manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, chemical manufacturing, building supply and materials, aftermarket supply, IT, pharmaceuticals, packaging, and more.
Tell us about your most recent Digital Marketing campaign and the audience it was targeting? How did you measure its performance?
We’ve recently been focusing on targeted brand awareness campaigns as we work to introduce ourselves to the US market. We’ve been practicing with very specific targeting and creative combinations on LinkedIn, and we’ve been supporting those efforts with click-stream and cookie targeting on Google. We’re been measuring those on website traffic and impression volume since its mainly a visibility project, but we’re also really focused on refining our understanding of targeting and reach so later when we flip to performance models we know how to address them.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
We’re a Salesforce and Pardot shop. We’ve been using Plannuh for budget management, which I really like, and we’re implementing UpContent on our new website which we’re excited about.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology for 2019-2020?
Machine learning and AI are changing the game in many industries and pricing software is one of the areas where you can see real gains from the application of this technology. We believe that to compete effectively going forward, companies need a pricing solution with the combination of AI and Machine Learning and business rules to prescribe optimal prices into deals and transactions.
What is the future of Pricing Software? How should CMOs prepare for the future?
CMOs should prepare for the future of pricing software by anticipating and strategizing around a few facets, like AI and machine learning, which we discussed earlier. Another facet is channel disruption, which is accelerating in many industries, especially for traditional B2B companies, and businesses need a solution to help them optimize and consistently apply pricing in this complex environment. Focus on customer-centric pricing, using value and market-based principles – the standard on which the future will be based. Build strategies around data driven intelligence, which depends on data from multiple sources, both internal systems like ERP and CRM and external systems for competitive data, indexes and other leading indicators that companies factor into their pricing decisions. Businesses also need to keep up with how quickly the world is changing. It’s critical to have the ability to update your prices, logic and rules based on changing market conditions. Dynamic and competitive pricing that is fast and flexible for business users to make changes without waiting and depending on IT is key to agility.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
I think there is a big growth wave headed to the automation of B2B supply chain logistics. ZenCargo raising money recently is an early indicator, this will be a huge market. Check out a company in Chicago called fraight…
I’m also really interested in the IoT hardware / software hybrids coming out right now, some cool things I’ve seen in stealth mode around home security and law enforcement…
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing leader?
Focus on ideas and artistry – doesn’t matter how smart a computer is, AI will never be able to compete with or replace the creativity and inventiveness of passionate human thought!
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
Be a user first – if I can use something or figure something out and show them how it makes work better, that’s the best way to get engagement.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
MacBook Pro, MS teams, Twitter, Google Pixel, Eero home WiFi
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Eat the frog (look it up!)
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading about enneagram recently – The Road Back to You by Suzanne Stablie, and also really enjoying Bare Minimum Parenting from James Breakwell.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Double down on your strengths, and wear life like a loose garment.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Leslie Berland @ Twitter
Thank you, Patrick! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Patrick Moorhead is a senior media, marketing, and strategy executive with 20 years of experience delivering innovation to market, focused on high growth technology and SaaS solutions marketing.
Established in 2011 in Germany, Pricefx AG is a provider of full suite price management and CPQ SaaS solutions. Our suite is based on the latest in native cloud architecture and offers flexible support for the entire price management closed loop cycle which includes pricing strategy, controlling, setting and realization.
Our solution is suitable for B2B and B2C clients and is able to serve a wide array of industries. The platform is also designed to meet the specific pricing challenges of commercial organizations of any size or geographical location.
Pricefx’s vision is to become the leading SaaS pricing solution provider by offering an easily implemented and flexible tool that is inexpensive, risk-free and fully comprehensive. Our business model is based entirely on the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers. If we do our job, they stay, and more importantly, they tell others about us.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.