GainShare: transparency and accountability in performance
With a career spanning over 30 years, Bryan Walkey is the CEO of GainShare Performance Marketing. “I joined the firm full-time four years ago, but I've had an association as an advisor to the firm for over 30 years. Before joining as a partner and CEO, I had worked with Gainshare to coordinate teams and delivery in both Toronto and Chicago. The goal today is to drive seamless delivery and results across teams, tactics, and markets.”
Known as Northern Lights Direct for more than 35 years, the company recently rebranded as GainShare Performance Marketing. “We started in DRTV, and so we felt it best to change our brand name to better represent who we are today. We now do so much more than direct response TV. As a performance marketer, we coordinate the customer journey across all channels, and we wanted to ensure we showcased that scope.”
GainShare’s relationship with GoDaddy
Discussing GainShare’s partnership with GoDaddy, Walkey explains, “GoDaddy is a performance culture, and they're looking for a high return on their ad spend, and we help them accomplish that and acquire customers in the most efficient way possible. We provide strategy, media planning, buying, optimization, and analytics. We work with a number of their teams, including performance & brand video, creative and business intelligence.”
“With GoDaddy, it is truly a collaborative effort. We feel like we're part of their team. Because they're a performance-driven company, they hold us to account every day, every week, and every month. We're in contact with them multiple times a day, measuring daily and continually optimizing. At the end of the day, it is all about performance,” he adds.
What makes GainShare different from its competitors?
“As a performance marketer, we provide transparency, accountability, and we're driving return on investment, return on ad spend,” begins Walkey. “There's been a lot of moaning in the marketing community about procurement driving the price to zero. Well, we believe it’s essential to drive the cost of marketing and investments directly to the bottom line. We are excited to work with CMOs, CFOs, and Procurement equally because we're focused on business outcomes,” he continues.
“We talk about return on investment, return on ad spend, we profess transparency and accountability, all things that resonate with both procurement and finance. We deal with the marketing team on the things that are important to them. And we plan and answer procurement on the things that are important to them as well. So, it's a true business relationship.”
GainShare’s company culture
Walkey describes GainShare’s company culture as “dynamic” and acknowledges the role diversity has in the organization. “We have two offices, one in Chicago and one in Toronto, and we are so fortunate that 19 different cultures are represented here. Diversity has not necessarily been a conscious effort because it’s just who we are, who we have always been, and we are a better organization because of our diversity.”
Part of the culture of GainShare is about being grateful for what we have and for giving back to the communities where we live. Walkey details two initiatives that he believes do just that. “One of our initiatives is dealing with food insecurity in marginalized communities. And in a city like Chicago, particularly in certain neighborhoods, there is limited access to grocery stores and fresh fruit and vegetables. That's what is called a food desert. As a result, people get their food from bodegas and corner stores, which then results in exacerbating underlying health conditions to already vulnerable communities, often making them even more adversely affected by COVID 19. So we've partnered with a group called Feeding Chicago Families that supports local grocery stores in a vulnerable neighborhood, including providing fresh food baskets for families in need.
“Then, in the long term, we have focused on education initiatives supporting students from marginalized communities, either through bursaries or internships, and giving them opportunities they might not otherwise get. We feel we can have a meaningful impact in our communities.”
Coupa Launches US$50 Million Ventures Fund
Operational resilience and agility. Following the events of the last twelve months, companies have focused on these strategic areas like never before. Some, as we’ve noted, have started to wonder whether this trend will continue post-pandemic—or will we go back to the same old supply chain? Not if Coupa Software has its way.
Last week, the company launched Coupa Ventures, a global fund that will invest US$50mn in early- and growth-stage companies that target business spend inefficiencies. “Coupa Ventures enables us to invest in a future where businesses and their suppliers can harness the power of their spend to constantly adapt, transform, and innovate”, said Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa’s Chairman and CEO.
What’s Business Spend Management (BSM)?
Let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound particularly sexy—it sounds like a subsection of the finance department. But business spend management, together with ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and HCM (human capital management) make up the core operating process of any company out there. When companies spend money, sign contracts, analyse supplier costs, take inventory or budget for the future, that’s BSM. Overall, business spend management is made up of three main areas: procuring materials, managing invoice, and handling expenses. Essentially, it’s the engine of the entire operation.
Why Change It Up?
According to Coupa, the next wave of BSM is now. It wasn’t always this way: in March of 2016, advisory giant Gartner claimed that BSM was dead. At that time, the firm was partly right. Companies couldn’t handle trillions of bits of data by themselves—and they were sinking as the waves of big data swept over their heads.
But recent developments have meant that BSM isn’t fated to die just yet. “The key to optimisation is data—and not just any data”, Coupa stated. The company has supported community intelligence, in which machine learning uses anonymised data from hundreds or thousands of client companies to suggest better spend tactics. This way, companies can get better insight into their suppliers, track supply chain disruptions, and investigate procurement alternatives.
This network effect is part of what makes Coupa Ventures so exciting. Said Eric Christopher, co-founder and CEO of Zylo, “We’re excited to join an expansive ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and partners”.
First Companies in the Ventures Portfolio
- Zylo, a leading SaaS management platform that helps companies manage cloud-based applications, offers visibility into what software is being used, how much is present, and how a company can optimise its software investments.
- SourceDay, a leading supply chain performance solution, bridges the gap between a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and its supply chain network.
At SourceDay, Coupa’s investment is heralded as a chance for the company to really take off. “The investment from Coupa Ventures will...enable our joint customers to save money and leverage supplier performance as a competitive edge”, said Tom Kieley, SourceDay CEO. “We’re honoured to expand our relationship with the Coupa ecosystem”.
Looking ahead, Coupa will capitalise on community intelligence to help its partners make smarter spending decisions. “[Organisations will] place bets on which investments will quickly pay off to accelerate their growth and resilience in the post-pandemic economy”, said J.J. Freitag, senior vice president of Corporate Development at Coupa. “[And] we’re looking to back the best ideas across Europe and beyond to help businesses build back even stronger”.