Olivier: Social media, marketing will drive ARI growth

Publish Date: 
Dec 18, 2013
By Vince Guerrieri

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Social media and online marketing services will be key to the future growth of ARI Network Services, the company’s president and CEO said.

ARI, a provider of web and software services, is continuing to refocus its efforts after acquiring Duo Web Solutions. During a Dec. 16 call to announce quarterly financial reports , ARI President and CEO Roy Olivier (see image, right) talked at length about the acquisition, which was announced Nov. 5 and were not reflected in figures for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended Oct. 31.

Olivier said the web platform business of ARI is between $16 million and $17 million annually, with web marketing services accounting for just $1 million. (The company was recently approved for trading on the Nasdaq exchange, he added.)

“I think that ratio should be one-to-one,” Olivier said. “If we have a $16-$17 million web platform business, we should also have $16-$17 million in digital marketing.”

To that end, Heather Blessington, the owner of Duo, is now ARI’s chief marketing officer. “Her first assignment is to re-engineer our digital media strategy,” Olivier said.

Olivier noted that the industries they serve – including powersports dealers and original equipment manufacturers – are seeing shopping patterns migrate online.

“I think the business will continue to transition to where digital marketing will play a much more important role in driving customers to websites,” he said.

Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, totaled $8.2 million, up from $5.9 million year-over-year. Olivier attributed increased revenue to the acquisition of 50 Below Sales and Marketing in November 2012.

Of the $8.2 million in revenue, recurring revenues were $7.7 million, or 94.8 percent, an increase from 82.8 percent for the first quarter of 2013. Olivier said recurring revenues are a priority for the company.

“The cost for retaining existing customers is much less than the cost to acquire new customers,” he said, noting that the customer acquisition cost ratio – the number of months it takes to recoup investment in a new customer – averages 23.