From the beginning, The Knowland Group has transformed the traditional hospitality field research business by merging the power of the Internet with the sales strategy demanded in a complex and competitive marketplace. The result: sophisticated data-mining that allows micro-targeting of the most desirable and profitable prospects.
The Knowland Group™ timeline. Click on left or right arrows to move forward or backward chronologically.
Founded in 2004, The Knowland Group had its roots in software development and originally served hotels in the Washington DC area. Using their experience providing other industries with advanced software and online applications, the company’s founders recognized the hospitality industry’s need for a higher standard of market intelligence. The capital was the logical place to launch The Knowland Group as it is home to many of the nation’s finest properties and major organizations—corporate, government, military, nonprofit—with heavy event schedules.
After testing its foundational Readers platform in the summer of 2004, The Knowland Group opened for business on Labor Day. By the end of the year, the company released its inaugural version of iKnowGroups, effectively unifying field research data with lead generation and tracking tools, all delivered in an online platform. During 2005, The Knowland Group expanded to more than 20 markets serving a diverse clientele of single and multi-property clients.
2006 saw numerous milestones: 100,000 events tracked and analyzed, more than 400 clients, and service in nearly 60 markets.
In 2007, The Knowland Group introduced Insight, a breakthrough product that generates highly targeted sales leads with in-depth details on each prospect’s past meeting activity, giving sales teams the ability to profile and rank top prospects. The company also activated a 7,000 square foot call center, boasting top research and sales support professionals who update the Knowland database and execute clients’ specific requests such as scheduling sales meetings, rate shopping, preparing sales blitzes and event booking. In September 2007, The Knowland Group grew to more than 60 markets, including the United Kingdom.
In 2008, The Knowland Group recorded its 800,000th event, further strengthening the data core of all its platforms and services. The company continued its global expansion into the Middle East and Asia. In 2009, the firm nearly doubled its database to 1,500,000 recorded events.
In 2010, The Knowland Group continues its leadership with Target Net, integrating research, lead generation, and sales force management in its most intuitive and comprehensive platform to date.
In March of that year, Knowland hit another big milestone when its database reached 300,000 organizations with group booking needs. Later that spring, Knowland expanded service into Mainland Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Belgium.
In the fall of 2010, Knowland’s achievements were recognized by two prominent organizations. In September, Knowland was ranked as the second fastest growing company in the travel industry for the second year in a row by Inc. Magazine. Knowland was ranked 379th on the list of the fastest growing private companies in America due to a three year revenue growth of 790 percent. In October, Knowland was ranked on the Deloitte 2010 Technology Fast 500™ list. The list identifies the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Rankings were based on the fiscal year revenue growth from 2005-2009, during which Knowland grew 5,764 percent.
In March 2011, Knowland opened its Washington, DC office in the Chinatown neighborhood. The office serves as the hub for enterprise sales, corporate communications, product marketing and management and client training.
In the spring, Knowland expanded services to China, serving clients from Beijing to Shanghai.
In the summer, Knowland was honored by the American Business Awards as Best Overall Company of the Year and CEO Michael K. McKean won Executive of the Year.
Knowland also launched the first augmented reality app for mobile platforms in the hospitality industry, SmartPhone Leads. The app takes the user to a live camera view, populated with data of groups that have held meetings nearby. Now sales managers can use this app to pursue leads while on sales blitzes, visiting targeted cities and walking down the street!