Prioritizing growth, influencer marketing firm CreatorIQ taps a software exec to be its next CEO

Influencer marketing company CreatorIQ has hired marketing software and web analytics executive Chris Harrington to be its new CEO as the organization pushes for the next phase of growth, Digiday has learned.

Harrington most recently served as chief revenue officer at property management software company Entrata, focusing on customer side operations. Previously, he was CEO of InsideSales, which developed sales processes for clients like Dell and American Express.

Harrington replaces interim CEO Jon Namnath, who held the role for the past six months after CreatorIQ founder Igor Vaks stepped down to focus on family at the end of 2023. Namnath, who cofounded creator intelligence platform Tribe Dynamics (acquired by CreatorIQ in 2021), remains on the company’s board.

“[Vaks] comes from Experian, so the foundation of this business … is an incredible enterprise infrastructure that has all of the things that these enterprise customers are looking for — scale, brand protection, overall data protection,” Harrington said.

This move comes as more influencer agencies and platforms increasingly focus on the talent/creator as well as technology investment sides of influencer marketing. As a company managing creator discovery and its platform development, Harrington contends that CreatorIQ “straddles both sides” of the industry.

“The creators are, in essence, everything that we represent,” Harrington said. “There’s a bit of a dichotomy there, because one is very … heavy service focus, versus software focus — and we kind of blend both of those.”

CreatorIQ’s core business centers on its influencer marketing platform that combines both campaign management and technology services to provide metrics and creator discovery. The company focuses on enterprise-level infrastructure, data compliance and leveraging AI and analytics to inform influencer marketing campaigns for thousands of brands, including Logitech, Sephora, Ulta, Gymshark and Unilever.

Now, CreatorIQ aims to grow more revenue and mature its influencer business. Harrington has previous experience taking analytics firm Omniture (acquired by Adobe for $1.8 billion) from $3.5 million in revenue to some $500 million during his seven years there, which will be a welcome addition in his new role. He was also a part of cloud platform Domo’s growth from $7 million revenue to $150 million over four years as its president and board member.

This year, CreatorIQ integrated with Snap’s creator API to scale creator discovery and activation on the social platform. In 2023, CreatorIQ began developing new metrics to help advertisers measure the return on creator campaigns against traditional digital marketing.

Especially given the AI boom, data will become the center of CreatorIQ’s services, Harrington explained. “I would argue that data is the currency we’re going to trade on for the rest of our professional lives, and that data is now feeding AI in a way that no one could have possibly imagined,” he said.

CreatorIQ is not alone in experimenting with AI investments. Influencer marketing company Open Influence also incorporates AI to improve various efficiencies, analytics and ROI generation for clients, said Maria Rodriguez, its senior director of marketing and communications. The agency has been using AI throughout its operations since 2017, testing it for analytics and predictions, creator matching, and content analysis.

“As the industry grows, it’s become clear that achieving the necessary scale and efficiency is impossible with human effort alone,” Rodriguez said. “That’s where AI comes in.”

For CreatorIQ, Harrington plans to continue developing the platform’s capabilities, investing in leadership and training and clarifying the messaging of Tribe Dynamics as the platforms continue to merge. He also said he wants to aggressively push revenue and expand its partner ecosystem (CreatorIQ has agency customers including Movers+Shakers and Dentsu).

Scott Friedman, CEO of cosmetic brand Rare Beauty, which is a client of CreatorIQ, added, “It’s impossible to build a strong brand in the beauty space today without a robust creator strategy.”

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