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Extu Leads IRR Industry on Mid-Market Focus

With no more than about 80 incentive, recognition, and loyalty companies in the United States, most focused on the largest companies, Extu is expanding its original focus on the mid-market channel engagement business with a complete and growing suite of self-service technologies.

A New Suite of Services for Small to Mid-Size Businesses
Combining Rewards With Content and Marketing

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Nichole GunnExtu is the new name for a channel engagement company founded by Steve Damerow in 1994. From its start, it focused on channel engagement strategies for the mid-market, explains Nichole Gunn, Global Chief Marketing Officer, who worked with Damerow for many years before he sold the company. “It was Steve's vision to create a game-changing channel, marketing and technology platform, and we always focused on mid-market companies because our competitors tended to forget about them.”
After Incentive Solutions was sold five years ago to Capstreet, a Houston-based lower middle market private equity firm, and subsequently acquired another channel engagement firm OneAffiniti and rebranded as Extu, the company appears to be doubling down on Damerow’s original vision. It has created a low-cost robust self-service platform enabling almost any organization to manage a channel engagement platform starting at $399 per month.

A New Suite of Services for Small to Mid-sizes Businesses

Last year, Extu announced the launch of GoTu Grow, “a highly affordable, quick-to-launch and easy-to- manage channel marketing automation solution designed to power the growth of small and midmarket companies. By providing relevant content and enticing rewards, GoTu Grow elevates the channel experience and empowers partners to create their own omnichannel campaigns to attract and retain customers.”
Extu unveiled its GoTu product lines last year, marking what it says is a significant milestone in channel marketing solutions for small and mid-sized enterprises. GoTu Grow is positioned as a cost-effective, rapidly deployable channel marketing automation tool, crafted to fuel growth and enhance the channel experience, according to the company. It enables partners to effortlessly launch omnichannel campaigns, attracting and retaining customers with ease, the company states. In addition, the GoTu Rewards offering “provides a straightforward, ready-to-use incentive platform. Designed with simplicity and affordability at its core, the GoTu products are built to empower mid-market and SMB’s fostering growth through accessible content and compelling rewards.”
William LupoWilliam Lupo, Extu’s Chief Revenue Officer, explains, “This offering brings a full marketing program to SMBs (small- to medium-size businesses) and mid-market companies that have limited resources and data. Its ease of use takes the stress out of a marketing program while the price ensures a high ROI. It’s an ideal solution for partners that want to stay top of mind with their customers and prospects by offering industry-based, topical thought-leadership content.”

Combining Rewards With Content and Marketing

The company says that “at only $399 per month, a GoTu Grow subscription is a fraction of the usual cost of running a marketing program with robust content, a CRM (customer relationship management) and consistent campaigns. With no contracts required, this solution offers a low commitment yet highly rewarding option for SMBs. This marketing program is a great way for companies to stay top of mind and grow market share without breaking the bank.” Extu says it offers a full suite of rewards, including group travel, to address any type of non-cash reward solution.
In the recent interview, Gunn says the company has a road map for additional features already making it easy, she says, for almost any size company to create a complete channel engagement program not only for themselves but for their own distribution partners. “That’s the beauty of it. Historically, everyone in our industry targets the manufacturer, which is important, but their partners are coming to them and saying ‘how can you help me’ with promotional materials, information, rewards, and other tools?  It’s an opportunity to extend our reach as well by supporting both the manufacturer and their distribution partners, and the distribution partners of those as well.”
A big change, Gunn notes, is the willingness of companies to do more on their own. “We were founded as a white glove service in which we did everything for our clients. Now, more of them ask, ‘can we just do this ourselves?’” Incentive companies, she believes, will need to evolve beyond just the focus on rewards because “content is king and has been for years. Now, our job is to make it easy for companies to manage their content across multiple medium and devices, automate it where possible, and tie it back to their incentives...Our clients have been willing to pay for custom designed systems for years and for the white glove services we provided. But today, more of them want to log in and use the templates we provide so they can control more of their messaging on their own.”

Because the company focuses on channel engagement, "pay for performance has always been part of our model. Because sales are involved, companies can more clearly measure the lift our programs create for them." 
For More Information
Nichole Gunn
Chief Marketing Officer

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