INC. 5000 BRANDED CONTENT KEEN DECISION SYSTEMS
Keen Decision Systems built a new kind of marketing measurement and planning
platform—one that helps marketers prove how their work impacts the business
enterprises that run a pilot with Keen expand
their contract—a testament to the technology,
but also Keen’s emphasis on service and
customer success. Every brand is assigned
a support team to help ensure users get as
much value from the system as possible.
BUILDING THE TEAM TO SUPPORT SCALE
Keen is investing in the infrastructure and
people to support its projected scale. It is up to
22 employees, with plans to reach 30 by year
end. Dolan says cultural fit matters as much as
tech skills. He looks for recruits who identify
with company values, which include teamwork,
empathy, and continuous improvement.
Most important, employees need to believe
in the product and company vision. “We know
our system addresses pain points and drives
di;erential value. That gives us the confidence
to compete against larger companies in the
space,” Dolan says.
Tech adoption in the marketing suite is
accelerating, which also contributes to Keen’s
fast growth pace. Dolan predicts continued
increases for the next three to five years.
In fact, he believes Keen is positioned to
become a bona fide leader in the space. It
comes down to delivering tangible value and
to understanding the market you serve.
Brand marketers are drowning in data, yet
many still struggle to demonstrate the impact
their marketing investment is having on
financial performance. This can leave the rest
of the C-suite, and perhaps even marketers
themselves, doubting the value of marketing
e;orts. Keen Decision Systems is a cloud-based, real-time analytics platform designed
to bridge that “marketing proof gap,” and to
help marketers make better decisions so they
can deliver the financial results they have
promised their organizations.
Every year since 2016, Keen has doubled
its revenue. 2019 will be no di;erent. Keen’s
creators built the system with marketers’
challenges in mind, because they have
experienced them first-hand. CEO and co-founder Greg Dolan worked as a marketing
executive for big CPG brands for more than
a decade. He notes that although he always
had access to historical measurement data, he
struggled to make data-driven decisions that
moved the needle. Dolan met Chief Product
O;cer and co-founder John Busbice in 2010.
Busbice was experiencing the same pain,
but from a di;erent perspective. As a data
scientist, he would conduct massive analyses
for marketers, then present his findings in
large decks that weren’t easily actionable.
Dolan and Busbice got together to build the
system they wished they’d had.
DRIVING DIFFERENTIAL VALUE
First, they used their own money to build the
marketing platform. Then, they “beat down the
doors of big brands to get proof of concept,”
Dolan explains. Because the system provides
measurable value, Keen has been able to grow
its customer base. Clients see, on average, a
25 percent improvement in marketing performance in year one, Dolan says.
Keen now works with more than 100 major
brands, primarily in CPG and Pharma. As
important as earning new clients is keeping
the ones they have got. Eighty percent of
MAKING MADE EASIER
Keen Decision Systems CEO Greg Dolan (left)
and Chief Product Officer John Busbice (right)
help companies reach the right customers.
WITHIN 1 YEAR
OF USING KEEN