There are no corporate power-suit-power-tie-power-steering types strutting their stuff at Cortexa. There’s also no bureaucracy, no pretence, and no big-business culture focused on valuing the dollar more than the human.
That’s not Cortexa, says Chun M Chung, founder and CEO. That’s not him.
Cortexa is a small business that’s strong on rooting for the little guy. The company’s focus in on leveraging sales and marketing technology for small-to-medium business owners, particularly in terms of marketing automation, digital marketing, and social media marketing.
Chung prefers working with people instead of corporations, as for him, helping SMEs realise their potential and talents is a more fulfilling endeavour. But it wasn’t always like that.
Chung started work at accounting giant KPMG, but left the lucrative job in the early 2000s to go solo, launching a series of highly-successful multi-channel digital and direct marketing campaigns for a big retail chain.
“I left KPMG because I felt that entrepreneurship is part of my core values and is worth pursuing. I knew it would be tough; it would be risky, but it was worth pursuing.”
Like so many other entrepreneurs, Chung felt the tightened noose of the GFC. However, the experience taking his own businesses through tough times led him to focus on success and failure and the importance of great systems for helping other companies succeed.
“From a professional business perspective, it stretched me to my limits,” he says. “But in the grand scheme of things, it was just a tiny blip.”
Cortexa emerged from this new outlook, and Chung drew on both his knowledge as a businessperson, and his Malaysian heritage to flesh out what exactly Cortexa is about.
Cortexa partners with leading sales and marketing technology to automate marketing from the point where a business identifies a customer, to the point where it concludes a deal, as well as everything after that, using a powerful framework called Lifecycle Marketing.
It’s a tool to help Cortexa clients improve and build on the marketing side of their businesses, he says.
“What Cortexa does is to help you leverage sales and marketing technology. It helps you get organised, grow sales, and save time. The vision we have is to create a better everyday life,” Chung says.
“Many SMEs fail to consider the costs of NOT nurturing your leads. Using a simple example, you spend thousands on an ad campaign to attract 1000 people. Out of 1000, 100 (or 10%) are interested in your products. Out of those 100, 10 of them make a purchase, which leaves you with 90 people potentially interested in your product.
‘The question is: ‘What do you do with those 90 leads?, Do you have a way to keep in touch with them? How do you stop the 90 from going to waste?
This sort of technology was previously available only to big businesses, he says, but recent advances mean the barriers between the “haves” and the “have nots” are now far narrower.
Cortexa also offers a one-day workshop that will help clients grow sales, taking attendees through the process of creating a sales and marketing strategy that integrates the on and offline worlds.
“My whole philosophy is about helping people succeed. Helping people do better,” he says.
He says growing up in Malaysia left its mark – and not just in terms of a love of curry. The exposure to a diverse range of cultures, religions, and politics in Malaysia allowed him insight into people’s differing points of views.
“It lets me stand in the customer’s shoes,” Chung says, “to know what their needs are and how to meet them.”
And that’s a philosophy that he’s happy to share with you over a delicious bowl of Sri Lankan lamb curry. If you’re also into curry, that is
Cortexa's Lifecycle Workshop is running on 1 July 2015. Tickets are available here.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).
Idealog is part of ICG. We work with clients like Woolworths New Zealand, All Good, Huffer, Liquorland, Resene, Citta Design, TVNZ, Spark and FCB on their event activations, in-store, in-office or out-of-home signage, content creation and vehicle wraps.