What if every time you accepted a free tooth-picked sample of Teriyaki chicken from the vendor at the mall, there was a company silently measuring to see if that one free sample converted you into a Teriyaki loyalist, or regular customer?
AnyRoad, which helps brands see if ‘offline experiences’ lead to real sales, has raised a $9.2 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Additionally, David Ulevitch of a16z will take a board seat as part of the transaction.
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San Francisco-based AnyRoad charges a subscription fee for access to its platform which helps track metrics like percentage of users that become loyal to a brand after an “offline” experience. In other words, the company can measure how many customers buy a product after being exposed to said product through a free experience.
Think complimentary wine tastings, or luxury driving experiences. A politician could even use AnyRoad data tracking to see the return of investment at political rallies and events, Jonathan Yaffe, the co-founder and CEO AnyRoad told me.
The service can also compare conversation rates against hundreds of other brands in similar industries to help their customers get a better understanding of their competitiveness.
“There’s a huge global shift into an experience economy, and every brand that’s not going to be dead in five years is embracing experiential marketing as a form of engagement,” Yaffe told Crunchbase News.
The company compares itself to the Salesforce of the experience economy, and has 400 customers across the United States, Europe and Asia.
Ulevitch of a16z’s wrote in a blog post about his turn with the offline “experience economy” first hand with Audi. He attended an Audi Driving Experience day with no plans to buy a car, but six months later when he was in the market, he leased one. Offline experiences, he wrote, have been around a while but “are poorly managed and tracked today, without ties to any sort of relationship management system.”
“This leads to a lot of questions for brands as to the efficacy of these experiences. How do you manage communication with your customers before and after experiences? How do you tie purchasing behavior to experiences?” Ulevitch wrote.
AnyRoad’s Yaffe said that in the past, all a business could do to track offline experiences was to trust their intuition, or by “counting smiles.” While AnyRoad competes with customer experience companies like Qualtrics and Medallia, Yaffe said no other company is doing exactly what AnyRoad is doing yet.
Given that the company’s revenue has more than tripled in the past year, and its annual contract value (ACVs) have doubled as it went upmarket, it appears to be headed down the right path.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.