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Small Business Trends One on One Interviews

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Anita Campbell - After 15 Years Tech Still Amazes and Baffles SMBs

It’s been fifteen years this month since Anita Campbell started Small Business Trends! So, after congratulating her on such a big accomplishment, I had to ask her about her journey transforming a personal blog into one of the most influential sites in providing advice to millions of small business owners and professionals each month.


Taylor Schreiner of Adobe: Voice Already Impacts Shopping Even If Transaction Isn’t Done With Alexa

Well, after the bomb Amazon dropped yesterday announcing an arsenal of Alexa-enabled devices – from microwaves, cars devices, wall clocks, outlet plugs, subwoofers – it’s easy to see we’re a quickly moving into a voice-first world. But the reason for all these new voice-enabled devices is because we kind of like talking to them, according to a recent study from Adobe called The State of Voice Assistants. Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, shared some of the key finding...


Jon Dick of HubSpot: Cutting Email Sent Out by 50% Increased Traffic Back to Our Website

I attended HubSpot’s INBOUND conference last week, where about 24,000 marketers descended on Boston for four days. While at the conference I had a chance to spend a few minutes with Jon Dick, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, and pick his brain on a few of the hot topics currently facing marketers today


Mike Volpe of The CMO Job is a Good Grooming Ground for CEOs

After years of being a very successful CMO, last month Mike Volpe was named CEO of – a company focused on making business travel easier for the travel manager and the traveler. I caught with Mike at Lola’s headquarters in Boston to learn more about making the transition from CMO to CEO, how being a CMO helped him prepare for being a CEO, and to get his take on how leading a startup in today’s environment compares to what is was like building HubSpot up more than a decade ago.


Art Papas of Bullhorn: 65 percent of Millennials Rather Talk to Chatbots than Humans, so Let Them

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bullhorn founder and CEO Art Papas during the conference, where he shared his thoughts on why he feels all the AI talk is just that – talk, for now. He also shares why AI and voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa will play a major role in CRM in the not-too-distant future.


Jason Dorsey of 61% of Millennials View Entrepreneurship as More Stable than Employment

Last month America’s SBDC teamed up with research firm The Center for Generational Kinetics on an interesting study – America’s Voice on Small Business. You can check out infographics and download a copy of this free report here (no registration required). Jason Dorsey, co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics and leading expert on researching millennials, shared with us some of the key findings of the survey, including what’s driving millennials into entrepreneurship, and how...


Katherine Kostereva of bpm’online: 80% of Businesses Don’t Automate Processes; AI will Change That

Bpm’online CEO and Founder Katherine Kostereva shared a few thoughts with me on why she believes stats like the ones above are still happening in 2017. And why artificial intelligence will be a catalyst for more companies to begin automating important processes in their businesses in order to compete today and into the future.


Cynthia Hester of Salesforce: Sharing Your Trailblazing Story Could Earn a Free Trip to Dreamforce

I attended my first Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual user conference, in 2004 where the attendance was right around 2,500 people. Last year’s Dreamforce over 150,000 registered to attend. It’s gone past a traditional user conference to one of the biggest business events of the year. And this year the company is launching their first annual Customer Trailblazer Awards, where winners not only get to attend Dreamforce for free, but they also will have the power of Salesforce’s marketing might...


John Oechsle of Swiftpage: How Act! Transformed After 30 Years to Help Serve SMBs For 30 More

John Oechsle, CEO of Swiftpage, shares how they transformed Act! from an off the shelf software app bought in stores, to a subscription-based cloud offering customers pay to use by the month; increasing it’s subscription customers by 140% and annual recurring revenue by 131% over the past year. And how that transformation has changed the way the company interacts with customers today, and how they’ll interact with them tomorrow.


Ronan Galvin of Kickstagram: Marketing Automation Led to 282% Increase in Revenue in Eight Months

Kickstagram cofounders Ronan Galvin and Casey Mathews developed a platform to help businesses automate engagement on Instagram. But according to the duo, it wasn’t until they started using InfusionSoft’s marketing automation platform that they were able simplify a complicated and time-consuming onboarding process that improved the customer experience. And within eight months Kickstagram achieved 5,000 more leads generated, a 282% increase in revenue and a 336% increase in customers.


Pam Dierks of Dierks Farms: Automation Allowed Sons to Continue 137 Yr Old Family Tradition

Pam Dierks, VP of Dierks Farms, discussed not only how using InfusionSoft’s marketing automation platform enhanced their 137 year old farming businesses, but it created a path that allowed their sons to follow in their family’s tradition of cattle farming.


Bob Jenkins of Leadpages: Most Small Businesses Still Don’t Believe They Need Landing Pages

It’s 2017 and there are multiple surveys out there saying more than half of small businesses out there still don’t have a website. And, according to an upcoming survey from Leadpages, even many of those with websites don’t feel they need landing pages – pages optimized for converting site visitors into contacts and leads. While on the exhibition floor at InfusionSoft’s ICON 17 event this week I had a chance to speak with Bob “The Teacher” Jenkins, Manager of Education Content for...


Dan Miller of Opus Research: If Bots Takeover from Humans We Only Have Ourselves to Blame

Before most of us knew what a bot was, Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder of Opus Research, was already looking at the potential impact the nascent technology would have on customer service and engagement. Now that bots, intelligent digital assistants and other conversational interfaces are becoming daily parts of all our lives, businesses of all sizes are expected to invest close to $5 billion by 2021, according to a new report from Opus Research - Decision Makers’ Guide to Enterprise...


Rob Forman of Salesloft: Startups Succeed by Providing Simplicity, But Simplicity is Hard to Deliver

Recently I had the pleasure of moderating a panel of startup founders discussing the current state of entrepreneurship during Salesforce’s Small Business Basecamp event in Atlanta. And while the focus of the conversation was on entrepreneurship in Atlanta, the shared themes, experiences and advice offered up is great for anyone with an entrepreneurial dream regardless of where they live. The panel included: • Rob Forman, cofounder and Head of Technology of Salesloft • Miguel Lloyd, founder...


Mike Wolff of Salesforce: Solving the ecosystem of challenges facing SMBs calls for community

At the recent small business basecamp hosted by Salesforce in Atlanta, the idea of arming small businesses with a community of resources was central in helping them deal with the ecosystem of challenges they are faced with. Salesforce Sr. Vice President of SMB Sales Mike Wolff, and Jamie Domenici, Vice President of SMB Marketing, shared with me why being involved in local small business communities is important to Salesforce. They also share why bringing the tech community (and...


Ben Lazarov of Zenefits: Human Capital Management Should Improve Experiences for Employees and SMBs

Salesforce held their Small Business Basecamp event here in Atlanta attended by hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners. It was a day filled with lots of great panels, sessions and networking opportunities – all focused on helping SMBs efficiently move their businesses forward. One of the partners of the event is Zenefits, a cloud-based human resource software provider for small and midsize companies. With human capital management becoming more prominent in companies of...


Michelle Huff of Act-On: Adaptive Journeys Leverage Machine Learning to Scale Personalization

Michelle Hurd, CMO of marketing automation platform Act-On , shares with us the idea of adaptive journeys, and how technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence can help you provide a more personalized pathway to engage individual customers and prospects at scale.


Jim Allen of First Data: Turning 28% of Global eCommerce Transactions into Insights for SMBs

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time at the innovation lab of Atlanta-based First Data, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology. During the trip I had the pleasure speaking with Jim Allen, First Data’s Senior Vice President of SMB Solutions. Jim shares how First Data uses the incredible amount of transactions data they process annually to assist their six million plus customers – the vast majority of which are small businesses – in creating experiences that...


Zoher Karu of eBay: Atlanta Falcons are beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl Merch Sales

While the Patriots are favored to win game, based on data collected and analyzed by eBay DataLabs, Falcon fans are buying up merchandise at a higher rate than Patriot fans are since both teams won their respective conference championship games two weeks ago. Zoher Karu, eBay’s Chief Data Officer, joins us to share some other interesting data points they’ve discovered about what’s driving Super Bowl merchandise sales.


Sridhar Vembu of Zoho: Call from a $10 customer is as important to me as one from a $1 million one

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an analyst function for Zoho. It was a day long event where company executives laid out the future direction of their products, services and corporate strategy. And even as larger enterprises are using their apps at an accelerating rate, Zoho ceo and cofounder Sridhar Vembu says it’s as important as ever to make sure they remain focused on serving the small business market that has powered the company’s growth to this point.