I host a conversation series over at SmallBizTrends.com called One on One. I’ve been doing it for about a year. The series is sponsored by RIM, and allows us to gather some really great insights from some of the best and brightest folks driving small business and entrepreneurism today.
The conversations are typically published on Fridays right before lunchtime here on the east coast. Just think of them as informal chats with people who have been there, done that, still doing that….and because of their experiences have great insights to share with those of us who want to do, well….that. People like Nimble’s Jon Ferrara, Hearsay Social’s Clara Shih, Zuora’s Tien Tzuo, Google’s Rajen Sheth, Social Media Today’s Robin Carey, and a host of others.
The latest One on One posted a few days ago features the Phil Fernandez, CEO of revenue performance management vendor Marketo. Marketo built its reputation as a leader in the marketing automation space, and recently announced a service geared specifically for SMBs, with Spark by Marketo.
With companies like Marketo InfusionSoft, HubSpot, Pardot and others focusing applications and services to help SMBs optimize their marketing efforts, it was great to hear Phil talk about how automation can impact customer retention. In fact he encourages their customers not to think about marketing automation as just a customer acquisition tool, but as a way to cost effectively stay in touch with their customer base over time to build deep customer relationships.
You can check out the edited transcript of the conversation over at show page on SmallBizTrends by clicking here. And you can check out the full conversation down below:
With more marketing automation vendors focusing on the SMB space, 2012 should be a big year for adopting more sophisticated, integrated marketing initiatives. I haven’t seen Spark as of yet, but plan to get a briefing/demo in the near future. But after talking to Phil, and knowing Marketo’s reputation in the space, I’d be surprised if Spark doesn’t become a player at the small business level.