MarTech

Adam Oldfield is a rare breed among CEOs.

He’s the founder of Leeds-based Force24, the UK’s fastest-growing marketing automation platform.

The company employ 100 people and plan to double in size.

The father-of-four is currently spearheading the business through major investment having previously raised £4.8m from YFM Equity Partners in 2020.

Force24 is looking to grow revenue from £5m to £7m in the current year but Oldfield told TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable that eventually someone else will be in charge.

“I’m not the most important person in my business,” he says. “I’m 100% connected to the vision and I believe in what we’re doing. Personally, I’d like to be on the bus for the rest of my working career. That’s not a question.

“I also recognise that my particular skillset and character traits top out at a certain size business where I’ve got to step out and replace myself. For example I’ve never taken a business through an IPO so have no experience of that.

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“The only metric of note that I can put on that is a revenue target. I think I top out at around £15m-£20m.”

Oldfield, 42, says it’s important that founders and CEOs always put the interests of the business first.

“I’m passionate about the product and I’m passionate about the value that we create for customers,” he says.

“Setting the vision, mission and strategy is what I’m all about. In the future the primary focus of a CEO may be different.

“I’m excited by the growth potential of Force24 and completely committed to the business but when we reach a certain size I’ll know if the company would be better suited with a new CEO.”

Oldfield founded Force24 in 2010 and now supports more than 600 clients.

Its adaptable technology responds to audiences’ needs so will consume data from CRMs and website browsing history and connect it with marketing activity.

The CEO said he pivoted the business a few years after starting Force24 away from big spending enterprise clients to the volume market.

“Back in 2010 I thought I invented market automation but it turned out some big players in America called Microsoft and Salesforce  were already doing something similar,” he jokes.

“However it’s a competitive market and company marketing budgets are under constant pressure.

“The £4.8m investment we took in 2020 has enabled us to further enhance our product so we can continue to help UK marketers as much as we can.

“Growth is very important to us but growth at all costs is not what we’re aiming for. It has to be targeted growth and sustainable.”