Zeta Global is a data-driven marketing technology company. It helps brands get more customers, keep them for longer, and grow their value. Founder and CEO David Steinberg has 1,200 employees. His co-founder, John Sculley, is once an Apple chief. His company doesn’t get the attention of many younger, smaller startups. This is even when he renamed his company. He still does not care.
Steinberg claims that the company does not win because of being a household name. The company wins because of their technology. And of course, their people who have a better solution for their growing customers. Competing with IBM, Salesforce, and Adobe means fighting against the big brand. Steinberg says their company keeps on winning because of their more efficient operation.
Zeta Global used to be Zeta Interactive. Steinberg selected that name after seven years being an XL Marketing. It only lasted for almost three years. Zeta Global failed to resonate with the public. But it is one of many software businesses in the U.S. generating large amounts of cash under the radar. Zeta obtained Acxiom Impact for an amount of more than $50 million. That was after spending more than $80 million on eBay Enterprise. Steinberg announced that he’s looking for more companies to buy.
A major part of Zeta’s success lies in its integration with the acquisitions made. Steinberg hosts town halls with staff to try to be more transparent about the process. Steinberg claims that out of the 1,200 employees, 100 are data scientists. And that 500 are engineers. Zeta is investing in machine learning to replace human workers.
The Zeta name
XL Marketing focused on email marketing. That is about a third of Zeta’s business today. About half of the company is from its CRM. Steinberg renamed the company Zeta Global. He says that they wanted to call it Zeta from the beginning. But they were unable to get the URL.
Zeta needs to go public to resonate more with the market. Steinberg claims that Zeta has the metrics. But he does not want to give up the flexibility for long-term thinking. It is one of the advantages that comes with remaining private. He says that their existing investor base has been so supportive of them that there is no need of going public. Not yet. Not now.