Interview with Bob Fabbio, Founder & CEO at eRelevance Corporation
In this interview, Bob Fabbio, Founder & CEO at eRelevance Corporation discusses how an integrated approach to engage customers through numerous digital channels is important and how conversational interfaces are an important DX catalyst to engage customers. Bob has served as a CEO, board director and venture capitalist for over 25 years, with notable experience launching, funding, growing, and managing innovative and category-creating companies. He has had a transformational impact on the software, systems technology and healthcare industries, resulting in the creation of over $1.5 billion of shareholder value at time of exit
TDE: Tell us about your product/business and your specific role.
Bob Fabbio: I am the co-founder and CEO of eRelevance. eRelevance provides a game-changing suite of tech-powered consumer engagement services to small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs) to help them grow in a cost-effective way. Our services eliminate the need for SMBs to use complex marketing software or expensive marketing consultants.
Our vision is to forever change small businesses by delivering big-company consumer engagement to small business as an affordable, turnkey service. We’re powering the growth of more than 1,300 SMBs by driving more demand from customers and prospects, lowering their advertising costs and improving lead conversion.
TDE: What is the core issue your product/technology aims to address and what sets it apart from the other players in the market?
Bob Fabbio: SMBs struggle to grow in a cost-effective way. They spend time and money email blasting their existing customers to generate more business. But, unfortunately, these efforts don’t generate enough business. So, then they spend money on advertising to try to find new customers—only to learn this is an expensive way to grow a business. And irrespective of where the leads come from—customers or new prospects—their staff lacks the time and tools to follow up on a high percentage of leads.
With our suite of services, we’ve uniquely changed the game for them in terms of their ability to grow and thrive by driving more demand from their customer and prospect databases, lowering their advertising spend, and improving lead conversion.
TDE: What’s the one industry, sector or role that your technology is most relevant to?
Bob Fabbio: We are currently focused on elective healthcare practices and mortgage brokers and lenders.
TDE: What are some of the common challenges your customers approach you with?
Bob Fabbio: Our clients typically operate with small staffs that lack the time and tools to keep up with the number of responses our consumer engagement campaigns generate. That’s why we recently launched eRelevance Connect, a follow-up service that quickly bridges the gap from customer and prospect interest to converted revenue.
It ensures our clients don’t miss out on that crucial window when someone is highly interested in scheduling an appointment. Connect uniquely engages consumers to increase conversion and minimize lost revenue.
TDE: Using technology to effect transformation usually starts with a transformation of beliefs and mindsets. How do you consult clients and help them make that important shift in mindset to move ahead on a particular project or implementation?
Bob Fabbio: We have consistently heard from small businesses that they want to grow, but because they typically lack necessary marketing tools and expertise, they often rely exclusively on email blasting and costly traditional advertising. Consequently, they’re not getting the desired results.
We’re able to demonstrate with our data that in today’s always-on digital world, it takes a much more sophisticated, integrated approach to engaging customers through multiple digital communication channels and personalized messages that matter.
Because we deliver this level of sophisticated consumer engagement as a tech-powered service and not software, we’re making digital transformation easy and accessible for small businesses.
TDE: Give us an example of a client meeting a digital transformation goal through your product?
Bob Fabbio: Across nearly all our clients, we’re seeing significant revenue increases resulting from moving from email blasting alone to fully integrated, multi-channel consumer engagement. Previously, with email alone—even with open rates of 20 percent—80 percent of the consumers targeted never saw their communications. When we incorporate digital channels like texting, a mobile app, targeted social, the results are transformational—reaching up to 95 percent of the target audience.
TDE: What present or upcoming technologies do you think have the maximum potential to accelerate enterprise digital transformation?
We see conversational interfaces for consumer engagement as an important catalyst in digital transformation.
These conversational interfaces are leveraging data-driven personalization and artificial intelligence to amp up two-way engagement and ultimately drive more revenue from marketing campaigns.
For consumers who respond to the campaigns we develop for clients that use our conversational channels, we’re seeing conversion rates that are many times higher than through traditional channels like email, for example.
TDE: What’s your go to resource – websites, newsletters, any other – that you use to stay in touch with the explosive changes happening in the digital space?
Bob Fabbio: The most compelling current information and data I’ve seen is coming from the reports of industry analysts like Forrester.
TDE: Read a good book lately on digital transformation that you’d like to recommend to us?
Bob Fabbio: I recently picked up a recommendation from Bruce Rogers at Forbes called The Digital Helix: Transforming Your Organization’s DNA to Thrive in the Digital Age.