In this edition of The Executive Corner, we speak with Adam Johnson, VP Sales – ActiveCampaign.
The Executive Corner is a series with B2SMB marketers and sales leaders.
How did you come to your position at ActiveCampaign?
I got introduced to the CEO, Jason VandeBoom and spent several months getting to know him, the team and the product. I fell in love with the idea of being able to really meaningfully help small businesses better communicate with their customers and become more successful.
A lot of people think they can get away with automating everything, using only automations to ‘serve’ SMB customers.
What do you find most interesting about your role? What is most challenging?
They are actually the same answer. There is so much work to do! Seriously though, we
are moving so fast and we have such a big opportunity that every day is a new
challenge and it’s constant prioritization to figure out the next best thing to improve on our team; it’s a blast!
How important is the SMB market for ActiveCampaign?
It’s everything to us; it’s where we started, it’s where we are and it’s where we are
going. We have no designs on being an Enterprise focused company. With over
50,000 customers around the world, we absolutely love helping small businesses grow
and thrive. We will serve larger customers when it makes sense, of course, but our
product is designed for SMBs.
How is your approach to marketing to SMBs different than it would be marketing to consumers or to enterprise companies?
They are all different, but there is probably more similarity to marketing to consumers. Owners and leaders of small businesses are consumers, and in a lot of cases, they eat, sleep and breathe their business. Marketing to enterprise is all about what logos you have and who someone’s competition is using. Instead, marketing to SMBs is about how you can provide value and help business improve operations to create better cashflow or save them time so they can spend it on other things.
What is one of your biggest wins in the SMB space over the past 6 months?
We’ve added thousands of customers over that time frame, and we are excited to have them all! On the product side, we’ve launched a ton of new features to help SMBs, ranging from Abandoned Cart Automations to Machine Learning that can help SMBs predict which of their deals have the best chance to close. Our product team is on fire right now, I’d say that’s a big win for our customers.
What are 2-3 SMB insights have you learned that were game changing for you?
A lot of people think they can get away with automating everything, using only automations to ‘serve’ SMB customers. What I’ve learned is that SMBs want to work with companies that will service them as they do some of their bigger clients. They deserve guidance and service as much as an enterprise marketer; part of what we do is help small businesses deliver top notch service to their clients without working 24/7.
There are some really amazing people out there, doing some really amazing things. I love hearing about the passion people have for what they do. I have a ton of respect and admiration for all who are following their heart and doing what they love.
What is one thing you would like to do better in marketing or selling to the SMB market?
I would really love for us to get better at helping SMBs understand how our tools can really affect their business in a positive way. Sometimes we get tangled up in features and buzzwords and I’m on a mission to make clear connections between the services we offer and the positive impact they can have on a small business.