Wellford Dillard, CEO of CM Group: The 2019 CRM Influential Leader Awards
As CEO of Nashville-based CM Group, Wellford Dillard has been on a mission to simplify today’s convoluted marketing technology landscape, which has been especially difficult for small and midsize businesses to navigate.
A big part of his efforts included a major corporate rebranding that merged email marketing platform providers Campaign Monitor, Delivra, and Emma under one corporate identity. The three companies in the original brand portfolio had been operated by Insight Venture Partners, a New York investment firm, and were merged under the Campaign Monitor corporate identity in June 2018.
Dillard has grown the CM Group portfolio substantially in the past year with the acquisitions of Sailthru, a provider of cross-channel experience management platforms, and Liveclicker, a provider of real-time email personalization solutions for marketers, in January. It was after those deals that Campaign Monitor united its family of companies under the CM Group name.
Dillard further added to the group with the May acquisition of Vuture, a provider of cross-channel marketing platforms that offer email marketing and automation, event management, content management, payments, alumni tracking, and surveys.
These deals, which also brought CM Group into the enterprise CRM market, were made possible by the influx of $410 million in financing.
Now Dillard is pledging to make additional investments in the businesses to further accelerate their growth. “We will continue to acquire innovative technologies that will bring more breadth to our offerings,” he said.
Dillard is also driving organic change. In June, his firm relaunched the Delivra brand with a new in-application user experience, improvements to its navigation, and new functionality, including an automation dashboard.
Dillard became CEO of CM Group in September 2017 following nearly a year as chief financial officer at Emma. His 20-year career also includes stints as chief financial officer at Social Tables (acquired by CVent), Storyblocks, GetWellNetwork, OPower (acquired by Oracle), Acumen Solutions, and TMA Resources (now Personify). Prior to holding senior leadership positions in the software industry, he worked in management consulting, investment banking, and equity research.
Dillard also encourages CM Group’s team members to give back to their communities and launched the employee-driven “Giving Back Program” that sets aside corporate volunteer days. To date, employees have donated supplies to at-risk children in San Diego, donated more than 10,000 pounds of groceries to local food banks, and picked up 500 pounds of trash on local beaches.
“The CM Group vision is to be the most respected, fastest-growing family of marketing technology companies in the world,” Dillard said.