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Brand awareness and lead generation plays an essential role in the acquisition of ‘tech tall poppy’ Pivot Software by ELMO

Mergers are an exciting event for most businesses, and the acquisition of Christchurch cloud-based HR software provider Pivot Software by Australian company ELMO Software Limited (ASK: ELO) in 2018 was no exception.

Image00001Pivot's promise to its customers - to empower businesses with pay and performance software - is based on a deep knowledge of HR, which is behind the intuitive software products that are easily configurable. They call it "the genius of simplicity" and it's a big part of what attracted ELMO to them.

Founded in 2002, ELMO also offer a cloud-based HR and payroll solution. The acquisition of Pivot Software was seen as a way to expand their growth in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, as well as increasing their expertise in the HR software solutions market.

To that end, Pivot's not the only acquisition ELMO has made recently. In November 2017, they bought Sky Payroll, another SaaS payroll software company, for $1.8million.

Brand awareness ‘fundamental’ to the merger

Pivot’s brand, and awareness of it, played an essential role in the acquisition. “The role that marketing played - getting our brand out there, and making the market aware of who we are as a specialist provider of REM solutions - was absolutely fundamental,” says Philippa Youngman, Pivot Software CEO.

Eighteen months prior to the merger, Pivot made an acquisition of its own – software provider Remesys. Buying out a competitor strengthened Pivot’s brand, because they were now the only specialist provider in this particular niche of the market. “This is such a specialised area,” Philippa explains. “Because we had a good brand, when it came to the acquisition by ELMO, they didn't need to spend time focusing on the technology and whether it could do what it says it could, or what the customer experience was, because the brand, the message, and the market told them that already.”

Marketing strategy an essential element

Pivot Software’s marketing strategy was developed annually with Concentrate as their marketing partner, a relationship that began in 2006.

Concentrate acted as an outsourced marketing partner until the function was taken over by ELMO’s corporate team post acquisition. Services included everything from research and strategy, through to executing lead generation programmes. Pivot was a pioneer in adopting marketing automation technology with their purchase of HubSpot in 2014.

Concentrate led work around boosting brand awareness, as well as working out the marketing initiatives to grow their sales pipeline, optimising and increasing the volume of traffic that was flowing through the website. “The strategy we worked out with Concentrate was essential,” Philippa explains. “The success of it fed into the financial results, which really added value to our brand and made us that much more attractive to ELMO.”

What this means for Pivot customers

Pivot essentially stays where it is in Christchurch, the merger having no impact on its existing customers. They continue to provide SaaS software solutions that enable businesses to improve their HR processes, but they'll have the additional expertise and support of ELMO in Sydney. As one of the fastest-growing HR tech companies in Australia, ELMO is now in a position to not only benefit Pivot, but to realise the potential of bringing together their combined expertise as they continue to develop a fully integrated, cloud-based HR software suite.

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