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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.


Dan Miller of Opus Research: We're Moving Into a Golden Age of Voice

I’ve spent part of the summer catching up with a few folks that I’ve talked with for this series in years past. And although it’s been less been less than a year and a half since I last spoke with Opus Research founder Dan Miller, in the fast-moving area of conversational interfaces like chatbots and voice assistants, that’s feels more like a lifetime. Dan, whose company is gearing up for their Conversational Commerce Conference next month, coined the phrase “conversational commerce” in...


Dennis Mortensen Of X.AI: Experience w/ Intelligent Agents May Help You Get Job Over Someone W/O it

It’s been nearly three years since I had the pleasure of speaking with Dennis Mortensen, founder and CEO of — the service behind Amy and Andrew - autonomous AI assistants who schedule meetings. Since three years in tech is like 20 years in real life, and with smart/digital assistants being at the top of many hot technology lists, I wanted to get Dennis’ perspective on how things have changed since we last spoke and how he sees the intelligent agent landscape shaping up.


Monique Dorsainvil Of Facebook - NUL Partnership Helps Us Reach Goal to Train 1 Million SMBs by 2020

Back in June of this year Facebook pledged to train 1 million US business owners by 2020 and equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in today’s workplace. To help them meet that goal, this week the company announced a partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) to offer free training in social media strategy and digital marketing at 13 NUL locations in the following cities: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Houston, TX;...


John Lawson of Watching Amazon: Despite Letting Dogs Out Prime Day Was A Success for Amazon & SMBs

Amazon Prime Day 2018 started with a whimper, a dog whimper, due to the site going down causing Amazon to post pages with pictures of dogs on them while they tried to get the site back up. But even with that inauspicious start ( and an estimated $99 million of lost business), PD ’18 was still the biggest selling day in Amazon history – estimated at $4.2 billion by Wedbush Securities Inc. analyst Michael Pachter. And, according to Amazon, small and midsize businesses sold over $1 billion...


Chuck Ganapathi of Tact: Alexa Helps to Reimagine Relationship Between Sales Pros and Apps They Use

, I was glad to speak with’s founder and CEO Chuck Ganapathi to hear his thoughts on these subjects. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. To hear even more of the conversation check out the video below. You’ll notice in the video it’s just Chuck answering the questions. There was a little trouble on with my audio, but thankfully, and most importantly, Chuck looks and sounds great, so check it out!


Fred Studer of FinancialForce: In the Services Economy You Can’t Just Package Up and Sell Products

In a conversation with Fred Studer, the company’s chief marketing officer, he explains why the company feels why a services-based business model is what needed to be successful today, and why they call themselves a customer-centric ERP company.


Automating Expense and Travel Management Sheds Light on Company Spending Issues

Business of all sizes spend a lot of time keeping track of what they spend and what they take in. And many have employees who travel to meet with customers and prospects in order to drum up business. And managing all of that is a tedious, but important task; and manually keeping track of all that could be costing you money. I recently spoke with David Alexander, Vice President of Marketing and Market Development for SAP Concur, a leading provider of cloud-based integrated travel and...


Steven Carse of King of Pops: Supporting Local Community is Good for Growing a Business

At last week’s Xerocon event I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Carse, who cofounded King of Pops with his brother. And what start as a natural ingredients popsicle company with a single cart in 2010 has turned into a company employing upwards of 250 people spread across eight cities in five states. Steven shared with me how being laid off from his corporate job led to him discovering his business opportunity, the importance of being involved in the community is key to understanding...


Keri Gohman of Xero: Automation and AI Help Accountants Provide Advisory Services SMBs Desire

I caught up with Keri Gohman, President of Xero Americas, after her keynote at Xerocon 2018 yesterday right here in Atlanta. One of the themes of her presentation centered on how automation will free accountants from the time-consuming but important tasks of collecting and processing data, allowing them to focus more of their time on more valuable advisory services – services small businesses want them to provide. And artificial intelligence, coupled with automation, is providing...


Alexa’s Secret Recording Gives Google An Opening in the Battle for the Smart Home

Usually my co-host for doing the Watching Amazon video podcast is my buddy John “ColderIce” Lawson, but with him out of the country, I was lucky to have my friend Jeff Brathwaite – web guru and Google Home/Assistant expert – join me. And it was perfect timing, as last week it was reported that Google outsold Amazon smart speaker device category for the first time ever in the first quarter of 2018…something I did not think would happen anytime soon let alone last quarter. We talk about how...


Anand Thaker: Adobe - Margento Deal Reinforces Importance of MarTech to Digital Transformation

We caught up with Anand Thaker, who led the data research for this year’s landscape through his company IntelliPhi Anand shares with us some of his takeaways from this year’s landscape, including certain categories went away, and why some were added. And with the big news of the week being Adobe’s acquisition of ecommerce platform Magento, we had to ask him what that means for the whole marketing technology category. And does this mean that HubSpot should go after Shopify.


Sarika Ameerichetty of Oracle: Interest in Integrating Business Apps with Like Alexa Is Growing

Earlier this week I attended Oracle Media Day, an event the company puts on for press and independent analysts to give them a glimpse at what the company is focused on currently. And as part of the day, live demos with hot technologies like augmented reality, drones and blockchain showcased new customer experiences that are right around the corner. But the one that caught my attention the most was a demo showing how an employee can use an Amazon Echo device integrated with Oracle’s HR...


Carmelita Jeter: Winning Isn’t Always About Coming in First, Sometimes It’s About Finishing

I caught up to the 2012 Olympic gold winner in the Women’s 100 meter Carmelita Jeter at BPM’Online’s user conference, Accelerate, in Boston. And her being the fastest woman alive having run the second fastest 100 meters ever in women’s history, that’s the only way I would’ve ever caught up to her… After her conference keynote, I had the great pleasure of asking her a few questions about some of the obstacles she overcame in becoming the fastest woman alive, how the lessons of teamwork she...


Watching Amazon: Is Technology Making Us Lazy Or Is It Unleashing Our Inherent Laziness?

From time to time I include my Watching Amazon conversations with ecommerce expert John Lawson here when we touch on something that may hit home with the Small Business Trends community. And in the midst of Amazon’s recent killer quarter – being driven in part by its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division and the Echo device line with Alexa inside – people are adopting modern technology in more aspects of their personal and professional lives. But is this technology driving us to be lazy, or is...


CRM Playaz with Jeremy Epstein, The Blockchain Gangsta

The interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly. And Amazon’s announcement earlier this week of a new patent that may allow them to sell the identities of cryptocurrency users added even more fuel to the fire of interest. And this high level of interest was obvious at last week’s CRM Evolution conference, as Never Stop Marketing founder and blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein’s session - 'Blockchain and the CMO: The Next Era of Marketing' – was a real crowd...


Hype About Ginger Conlon: Digital Transformation Shouldn’t Make You Feel Late to the Party

Before founding MKTG Insight, Ginger was editor-in-chief at publications like CRM and Direct Marketing News. And with her wealth of knowledge and experience, I wanted to get a preview of what she’ll be discussing at the conference. And I asked my co-chair, Paul Greenberg, to help me ask Ginger about one of the myths surrounding digital transformation, and also an example of a company doing digital transformation the right way, from a marketing perspective.


Molly Q. Ford of Salesforce: We Do Equality Because It Feels Good, and There's a Business Value

While I was there as an industry analyst to hear more about how the Salesforce platform is progressing and how they’re providing tools to make it easier for coders and non-coders to leverage the toolset, it was great to see a diverse group of people demonstrating and teaching the ten thousand registered attendees how to build all different kinds of apps. And even the inspirational stories were diverse, with my favorite being a fireside chat between Salesforce’s Chief Equality Officer Tony...


David Parmenter of Adobe: AI Should Solve Real World Problems, Add Efficiency

A great deal of conversations about artificial intelligence (AI) focus on exciting, eye-catching aspects of the technology. But some of the most important and prevalent uses of it are the more mundane examples that are overlooked but helping millions of people everyday do routine tasks more effectively and efficiently. David Parmenter, Director of Data and Engineering for Adobe Document Cloud, shares with me how AI’s more practical applications provide a number of helpful examples of its...