Originally published in April 2020 on ConnXus.com (now part of Coupa Software)
Investing in a minority business can make the difference
At ConnXus, we don’t just preach the power of supplier diversity & inclusion, we live it and experience its power first hand.
In this supplier spotlight, we explore our multi-year relationship with Holony Media, a minority-owned marketing agency that helped ConnXus embark upon a digital transformation and grow our reach to record breaking heights.
Looking for a marketing partner to help accelerate growth
It was 2015 and ConnXus was onto something big. A venture capital investment from a leading tech accelerator meant it was time to scale up. That meant more staff, more innovation, and more growth. A big part of what came next would involve reaching more of the right people with the right message — suppliers, procurement professionals, potential partners and industry insiders.
“We needed the world to know what we were working on. We were developing a best-in-class platform that was valuable to suppliers and procurement professionals. We knew what we had and the opportunity that was out there. The challenge was getting the word out and making sure that we were part of the conversation,” said ConnXus COO and GM Daryl Hammett. “We had been doing our marketing in-house and knew what we were looking to accomplish, but it was time to expand our capabilities and bring in some outside expertise.”
Taking a chance on a small minority supplier
Like most procurement decisions, the search for a marketing agency began with a RFP and a diligent hunt for potential suppliers. Dozens of marketing agencies were contacted, numerous proposals received.
“We vetted numerous agencies looking for the right fit. Most of them came in with a team of people and fancy presentations. We heard a lot of sales pitches,” Hammett recalled. “Holony Media, on the other hand, only brought a single representative to our first meeting. I remember asking, ‘Is it just you?’ He said yes, that he was the owner, and proceeded to dive into a very detailed, very compelling vision for what our online marketing should look like. It felt like his team had already gotten to work.”
According to Gere Jordan, Holony Media’s founder and president, that’s exactly what happened.
“What we lack in size, we make up for with grit and commitment. Our approach is always to add as much value as possible right out of the gate, even if that means giving our entire strategy away in the first meeting,” Jordan said. “It helps us because it means we have a head start and have already put the time into understanding the client’s needs and whether we can help them. And it helps the client because they immediately see how we would approach solving their problem. In this case, we understood what ConnXus wanted to accomplish and had a very clear path forward. We knew we could generate results.”
The strategy seemed like a winning formula, and Holony’s approach won them the business.
The pay-off: Marketing results and record breaking growth
The investment in a small minority supplier paid off. Over the coming years, ConnXus and Holony Media worked hand-in-hand and grew side-by-side.
For ConnXus, the proof was in the numbers, recognition, and customer growth. Over the coming months and years, website traffic grew by over 400%. Leads and new customer inquiries grew too, up nearly 300%. Each year, the company was breaking traffic records and reaching more people than ever before.
The company’s industry profile grew as well, corresponding with their continued innovation in the supplier management and supplier diversity space and a marketing engine that kept getting the word out. The company was named a “Provider to Watch” by industry publication Spend Matters for three consecutive years. In 2019, ConnXus was No. 1927 on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. In 2020, the company was named to Spend Matters’ exclusive “50 Providers to Know” list of the procurement software industry’s best-in-class providers.
Holony saw growth, as well. In 2016, the company was awarded “Small Business of the Year” by the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce. The company has since doubled in size.
ConnXus supplier management software solutions simplify the complexities of global supply chains and allow buyers to achieve their goals of responsible and sustainable sourcing. ConnXus is a CPUC-certified minority-owned business enterprise based in Mason, Ohio with local, regional and international capabilities.
ConnXus was acquired by Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP), a leading provider of BSM solutions, in 2020.
About Holony Media
Holony Media is a minority-owned, woman-led marketing agency based in Delaware, Ohio. The company was founded in 2007 by Gere Jordan, the company’s president and chief digital marketing consultant. The company expanded their leadership team in 2018 by bringing on Kaitlin Jordan as the Director of Client Services and Delivery. The company works with small to mid-sized businesses and provides full-service digital marketing solutions, specializing in search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, marketing analytics, and email marketing services designed to increase visibility and drive sales.
For more information or to discuss how Holony Media can help transform your digital marketing initiatives, visit https://www.holony.com/get-started/.