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In the digital age in which we live, there’s no shortage of technologies siphoning off our data to enable better customer service. But what happens when we take our complaints, questions, and feedback away from online channels and move them offline, using the age-old telephone? Tapping into this medium can be difficult to do, but Invoca has found a way, and it’s now looking to kick its brand up a notch, bringing long-time Salesforce executive Gregg Johnson on board as its new chief executive.

A long-time veteran of Salesforce, Johnson spent the last 10 years working to develop various cloud products for the enterprise, including Chatter, Communities, and Marketing Cloud. His expertise in the enterprise, digital marketing, and product management spaces will likely be critical in the evolution of Invoca’s voice communication platform.

Founded in 2008, Invoca lets companies merge their online and offline marketing efforts. The company told VentureBeat that 90 percent of consumers move between multiple devices to accomplish their goal. What’s more, they’re but one click away from a voice conversation. The question is, how can companies leverage these consumers and use targeting services when they make that phone call?

“Today’s marketing cloud applications are left out of the conversations,” Johnson said. “Websites, search, email, display, and social all can be personalized and provide analytics on what’s working and what’s not. But when someone clicks and converts to a phone call, you go into a time warp 20 years ago where you no longer have the tracking or personalization of the customer experience.”


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The company appears to be pursuing a route that it hopes will transform it from just a single product into an invaluable part of the marketing ecosystem, similar to Twilio, and even Salesforce.

Johnson is the successor of Mark Woodward, who we’re told has stepped down to address family matters. However, in May, Invoca’s former CEO got himself in some hot water over comments made about street peddlers, which he has apologized for. With fresh blood at the helm, Invoca wants to not only be more appealing to the enterprise, but to also create an evangelical community, similar to what Johnson’s former employer Salesforce has done.

Johnson said the fact that Invoca is at the intersection of digital communications and marketing is what gets him excited about the company, as it’s something that he’s been passionate about for a while. And it’s one thing to start a business, but it’s another to run a company, one that moves to become integrated into the marketing ecosystem. That’s Johnson’s job and where he’ll apply his product know-how and his time working at a company with a “transformational leader” to help Invoca’s customers reimagine what voice really means.

Within the first 100 days, he hopes to hear more from employees and customers to better understand what makes Invoca great and to hear feedback on how to improve the service. Much of his leadership style will be taken from Salesforce’s leaders Benioff and Parker Harris.

“A phone call is really a moment of truth. You either live up to your brand promise and connect with that caller in a personalized and relevant way, or you miss your chance, losing a customer and wasting all the marketing that led to that moment,” he remarked. “Invoca is empowering marketers to bring the billions of calls that happen every year into the digital age. It’s a hugely important and unique opportunity.”

Johnson inherits a company that has raised more than $60 million in funding — $30 million of which came in March — from investors like Upfront Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, Accel Partners, and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners.

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