This morning, a member of our marketing team popped her head into my office. She asked a few questions about the news of Act-On’s $42M round (congrats to them, by the way) and I shared my thoughts on them, and the market at large. As she walked out of the room she jokingly asked “Are we the only profitable marketing automation company?”. I laughed as she left, but then started thinking that maybe yes, we might just be the only one.

A majority of our competitors are private, as we are, so their financials are not publicly available. But I can guess that the ones that have raised significant outside money, which is pretty much all of them, have been spending the money on working capital; sales, marketing, operations, development, etc. Good sound moves for an industry seeing massive growth. The “you have to spend money to make money” adage works in that paradigm. And most are in the “spend money” phase more than the “make money” phase to ensure their place when reporters, analysts and prospects look at and talk about vendors in the space. Again very sound.

As many know, we to date have not chosen to go that route. We have been around for a number of years, cut our teeth on “big data”, and decided to grow organically through our amazing worldwide agency channel. We’re profitable, and every dollar we make goes back into the company. It’s a great way to grow. It’s hard and it has it’s challenges but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So again, kudos to Act-On. And Marketo. And Eloqua. And Pardot. They have blazed a great trail in marketing automation. We are all winners in this market.

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