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Touchpoint Helped To Meet Demand for Kiwi Software

Technology New Zealand to Help Touchpoint Meet Global Demand for Kiwi Software

Marketing technology company Touchpoint has received a $168,000 co-investment from Technology New Zealand to internationalise its software suite as part of its export drive.

Marketers worldwide need to solve the same problems. And, thanks to its existing base of marketing partners and clients, many of whom are subsidiaries of transnational companies, Touchpoint already has a network of contacts in place.

However before Touchpoint’s offers its software to companies outside New Zealand, it must be modified to support the scalability and sophisticated custom requirements of overseas markets.

The end result will be export sales of smart Kiwi technology and employment growth for Touchpoint and its partners. The Technology New Zealand co-investment will support the new technical capability required to achieve the global standard software.

“We’re already aware of international demand for our products,” says Touchpoint Director Steve Shearman.

“However, to meet it we need to invest in research and development to solve some of the key issues around providing a highly customisable product under extreme scalability conditions. In the New Zealand market of four million, the largest campaign our product’s been deployed for has involved realtime interaction with around 400,000 consumers, around 10 percent of New Zealand’s population. Taking the same campaign to the UK for instance would require we provide the same capabilities to around 6-8 million consumers. To meet the same technical and performance level requires research into new approaches that we could not fund - nor would we need - for our New Zealand clients.” The grant was made through Technology New Zealand's Technology for Business Growth (TBG) scheme. Technology New Zealand Investment Manager Simone Schenirer says TBGs target technological risk takers and commercially sound enterprises which are willing to push the boundaries of innovation for the greater economic benefit of New Zealand.

"Touchpoint provides sophisticated, flexible and user friendly technology that delivers real benefits to its diverse clients. The technology always delivers value for money while clearly identifying the results of marketing campaigns but also enables clients to develop, update and manipulate meaningful information about their campaign and real client base."

“The assessment process for Technology New Zealand co-investment is very rigorous,“ says Simone.

“In order to be awarded a co-investment a company needs to demonstrate that its research project is well-planned and reasonably costed and is a technical stretch for the company. It also needs to demonstrate that the project will be a good investment for the New Zealand taxpayer and will deliver strong ROI in both turnover and spill-over effects such as employment.”

Touchpoint’s R&D programme will provide the base technology and framework to scale up to meet international performance requirements within 18 months. Touchpoint will use the resulting international standard technology platform to deliver new generation products to export markets.

Touchpoint’s web-based software is a full suite of tools that allows companies to communicate directly with their customers via any combination of email, the web, call centre, fax and SMS text messaging. It includes database, campaign management and automation tools, publishing, communications and sales promotion modules, complete with e-commerce functionality.

The software was developed to meet a gap in the marketing environment. In 2000 Touchpoint’s founders Steve Shearman and Frank van der Velden realised that no software was available worldwide that allowed marketers to plan, execute and manage multi-channel campaigns. Recognising the global opportunity they began developing their award winning technology in New Zealand where they have since proven it in a number of unique and innovative campaigns for telcos, publishers, pharmaceutical and FMCG companies.

These companies and their marketing agencies use Touchpoint software to define and implement marketing campaigns, manage databases, create, test and deliver messages and communications, capture responses, track results, adjust campaigns and automate fulfilment.

“Our third year in business has been our third year of 100 per cent growth. And we now employ 10 people,” says Steve.

“With this funding, which represents a third of anticipated project costs, we expect to increase our rate of software development and take advantage of the export growth opportunities before us today.” Companies using Touchpoint software include Fujifilm, GlaxoSmithKline, HP, IDG, McDonalds, New Zealand Herald, Vodafone, Philips, Profile Publishing, Smirnoff, TVNZ and Yellow Pages. Touchpoint partners with advertising and direct agencies including WowRappCollins, Tango Communications, Robbins Brandt Richter, Publicis Rainger, Nebula and Brave New World.

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