Interview with Tech CEO Ross Andrew Paquette on the inner workings of Maropost — Canada’s fastest-growing tech company.
What would you say sets Maropost apart from its competitors in the market?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Two, maybe three years ago, our main focus was providing our clients software for email marketing, mobile social media marketing, and cloud marketing — that was what our audience wanted back then. Actually, I remember email marketing being so big that we had one $25 million revenue company making 100% of their revenue through just email marketing.
Of course, things are a little different now in the world of digital marketing. And, to make up for this shift, Maropost has had to change quite a bit.
I think that’s part of what has allowed us to stand against our competitors, actually. Because now, Maropost is all about providing a single customer view. That’s been our main focus – providing a full 360 view on the customer’s overall journey. Basically, we bring all the communication aspects. Things like purchase information, all the service and support, etc. and put it all together to give our clients a simple and incredibly accurate look at their customers.
Where in Canada is Maropost based at?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Maropost HQ is in Toronto Canada. But we also have an office in Chicago and India as well. We’ve separated a lot of our duties between the three offices, so everyone keeps busy.
For our main HQ In Toronto, we take care of HR, finance, and client success — we have a lot of our executive team stationed there, actually. As for Chicago, our team there focuses more on the sales and marketing aspect — which leaves our India office in charge of most of our software development, a lot of system administration, and a little bit of support as well.
When was Maropost officially founded?
Ross Andrew Paquette: I guess it depends on how you think of it. Personally, I would say that it has been eight years since we’ve started. But, the first two years of that was spent elsewhere — I was still working with another company back then, while slowly funding the development of Maropost with a friend of mine from college.
Tell us more about how things started…
Ross Andrew Paquette: I started working right after my first year of University — and just never stopped since. I went through at least three jobs before deciding that there were some serious inconsistencies when it came to the level of innovation I was seeing in the companies I worked with. All of them were more than comfortable with the status quo — so they just left things as is, filling their pockets while their customers suffered through lackluster support.
For a while there, I was working with a mid-sized email marketing provider. And, working closely with such a company made me realize that the infrastructure being used was incredibly outdated — which wasn’t really doing that company any favors. More importantly though, being able to get such a close look at how quickly the digital marketing space was changing back then and how slowly infrastructure providers were keeping up… I saw an opportunity to make some changes, and I took it.
My experience with that email marketing provider is part of why Maropost was so heavy on email marketing in its first couple of years. Still, as I said, I saw early on how lack of innovation can cause a company to stagnate, so we’ve done a lot of development to make sure we grew through the years — going from email-only to taking on the entire digital marketing industry at large!
Last question, how would you describe Maropost’s growth over the years?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Well, I’d say the first year of business was pretty calm. Our goal wasn’t to raise capital, so our ‘first year as a startup’ was far from what you’d normally expect. All we were focusing on back then was the business itself. Also, as I said, I was working another job those first two years, so personally, I wasn’t panicking about how I’ll be keeping the lights on. After that calm though, I’d say our growth was pretty divided. We grew revenue rapidly, incredibly rapidly some might say — but our team stayed small throughout.
For the most part, I’d say our growth is thanks to our loyal client-base — who referred others to Maropost and took us all the way up to $25 million in annual revenue in four years.