Tech Into Nashville: Rob Bellenfant – TechnologyAdvice

Rob Bellenfant, Technology Advice, TechIntoNashville

There are many ways to connect those purchasing technology and the various tech vendors whose products and services are in demand. One way to do this is through content creation. Content provider TechnologyAdvice (TA) is a technology-enabled B2B media company with over 20 digital media brands.  

Founder and CEO of TA Rob Bellenfant states that his company works to connect tech buyers and sellers in two ways.

“We provide technology buyers with the latest in tech news, education, and products to help them make informed decisions,” Rob explains. 

He elaborates, noting that marketing to buyers happens by means of one-to-one phone conversations, high-quality website content, targeted ad placements, informed social media accounts, and in-depth newsletter content. TA also provides tech vendors with a range of marketing products that help them find their ideal customers. On the tech company side, Rob states, “We engage with tech buyers and content subscribers through email newsletters, educational marketing advice, a world-class marketing podcast, and personalized outreach.”

From 0 to 60 (Million Dollars)

In January 2006, Rob was attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Already an entrepreneur at that point, he had sold a business and used the money to purchase additional businesses from his college dorm room.

“My main goal in making these purchases was to pay my way through college. I had no idea it would turn into what it has become today,” Rob recalls.

Rob had a vision for a marketing company that could tap into different content channels, so as to find the right fit for a tech audience. Through his focus on educating and connecting buyers and sellers of business tech, Rob was able to tap into something greater than he ever imagined. 

Flash forward to the present. Rob’s company has grown tremendously. In 2020, TA connected over 1 million tech buyers with 500 of the world’s top technology creators.

Rob notes the organic need for something like TA, saying, “TA has raised no outside funding and has been bootstrapped for 15 years, taking us from $0 in 2005 to approximately $60M in revenue for 2021. We made two significant acquisitions in 2020 that expanded our data and digital audience footprint from one brand to over 20 brands.  We also nearly tripled our employee count in 2020, going from 50 employees to 150 employees.”

Rob Bellenfant, Technology Advice, TechIntoNashville

Finding the Right Properties… 

The expansion of TA was made possible only through the strategic acquisition of certain media news sites. In August 2021, TA acquired TechRepublic, a 20-year-old tech brand from Red Ventures. TechRepublic was an attractive acquisition. It brought a global team of dynamic technology and media professionals who augmented TA’s growing team in the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, and Australia.

“The deal grew our audience substantially, enabling our now 600+ technology clients to more intelligently engage with over 10 million technology users every month,” Rob remembers. “We are continuing to innovate in the ways we serve technology users with the best technology news, recommendations, and reviews. Perhaps the most exciting thing for me about this deal is that we now have a truly global operation with the ability to serve technology vendors and users around the world.”

Already in an intense growth phase, the move to make TechRepublic part of the TA family is one link in a chain of similar actions. TA has been priming itself to be a major player in the B2B media space for years, but now has an increased capability to meet technology buyers at every point in their singular journeys. In early 2020, TA acquired QuinStreet’s B2B media business unit. QuinStreet, just as was the case with the properties before it, added world-class talent, proprietary technology, and best-in-class content to TechnologyAdvice’s core performance marketing services.

Tech News is Very Much Alive

TA now has over 500 team members worldwide, including approximately 250 who make up its corporate side and 250 freelance workers.  Of the 500 team members, approximately 50 people are in engineering and data, another 100 of them are in tech journalism/editorial, and another 250 personnel are in technology advisement/consulting roles.

TA’s growth doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, and the company has a need for more workers. Rob observes, “Our technology team is one of the fastest growing parts of our business with the team adding software engineers, data analysts, data scientists, and product managers.  All of these roles will contribute to the ongoing evolution of our software that drives our day-to-day business, as well as bringing new products to market to deliver insights and value to our customers in real time.  We also will continue to add tech editorial and consulting roles.”

Rob is already planning some of his next moves for TA to reach “aggressive growth goals.” The company will remain focused on the integration of its newly-acquired global teams, tools, and processes to optimize the business. In 2022, TA will bring a new tech platform to market that will provide even greater insights and capabilities to customers.

“We are in a fun position because we get to build technology that helps connect buyers to other tech companies,” Rob says. “It is incredibly rewarding to help tech buyers navigate the large amount of tech vendor options available to them today. Although we are growing quickly, the problem we are solving—how to connect the buyer and seller of business tech as efficiently as possible—continues to get larger. We are excited to continue to solve this problem.”

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