IRVINE, CA: Data analytics company Alteryx has awarded Hill+Knowlton Strategies a seven-figure PR account.
The WPP agency will handle media relations primarily in an effort to secure coverage for their client in business and technology publications read by business leaders, according to Alteryx CMO Amy Heidersbach. H+K will also handle strategy and creative concepts as part of that effort.
Heidersbach, who was hired in July, kicked off the search for a PR partner in September.
"We weren’t set up for global scale on the PR front," Heidersbach said, adding Alteryx previously relied on a network of regional agencies.
After consulting a number of other similarly high-growth software companies for advice on who they used for agencies, Heidersbach said her team issued an RFI and RFP and 15 agencies responded.
There were three rounds. Among the first 15 agencies, only four made it to the next round and two finalists in the last round. The two agencies made their presentations in December and the contract was awarded the same month.
An Alteryx spokesperson declined to name the other finalist.
Heidersbach said she was impressed by H+K’s "big, campaignable ideas," as well as its knowledge of Alteryx and data analytics, its global presence and ability to roll out activations on a regional basis.
"Everyone on the H+K team connected intellectually and emotionally with the idea behind Alteryx’s brand promise — the thrill of solving — and the humanity of that inspired our thinking from the get-go," said Sara Gourlay, global head of technology and telecoms at H+K, in a statement. "We’re excited to bring the agency’s creative and strategic firepower to bear on Alteryx’s vision for the future of data and analytics."
About a dozen H+K staffers, including content and creative teams, will service the account. Heidersbach added Alteryx’s PR budget has grown by 60-70% year-over-year.
ICR previously supported Alteryx through its IPO in 2017, an agency spokesperson confirmed.
Heidersbach said Alteryx may conduct a brand agency review later this year. The company works with smaller agencies on creative and design.
"We aren’t there yet," Heidersbach said about looking for a brand or advertising AOR. "But we will get there later this year.
H+K will help change the conversation not only around Alteryx, but around data analytics, Heidersbach explained. Alteryx wants to escape the data analytics pigeon hole, which skews toward products and features. It wants to move into a "more meaningful conversation" by introducing new use cases that show how leveraging data can contribute to an organization’s transformation.
In doing so, that will position Alteryx in the broader business strategy conversation, Heidersbach said.
"The transformation agenda, whether that be digital or just business transformation, isn’t done yet," Heidersbach said. "In fact, we think it’s moving into a next gen, where the solutions need to show up much differently to fuel our customers’ growth."
Heidersbach added Alteryx wants to simplify the process of providing insights from data analytics to its customers.
There are 110 people in Alteryx’s marketing and community department, overseen by Heidersbach. It will grow by 25-20% by the end of the year.
Alteryx is also hiring for a VP of global brand and communications to lead its brand and corporate comms division, which manages analyst relations, influencer, media, social media, internal comms, content, creative and brand strategy. The division will have a headcount of 15-20 people by the end of the year. It’s also hiring a VP-level comms leader for APAC.
Alteryx reported its Q3 revenue was up 65% year-over-year to $103.4 million with a gross profit of $93.8 million. Driven by new client wins and strong cross-selling, the company continually records double-digit year-over-year growth during its quarterly earnings. Its Q4 and year-end earnings will be reported on Thursday.