ITA Spotlight: ActiveCampaign
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Adam Johnson, VP of Sales, ActiveCampaign, www.activecampaign.com, @activecampaign, @aajohns22
Is it a stretch to say ActiveCampaign makes dreams come true? Maybe a bit. But we genuinely care about providing small businesses the tools to market better. Unlike others in the industry that leverage small business tools as a proving ground, we develop tools specifically for SMBs. We want them to be able to market and sell like big companies without the significant investment.
In 25 words or less, what is ActiveCampaign all about?
There’s no chest pounding, grow-at-any-cost “start-up” mentality here. We put the product and customer first, and grow as a result of what we do, not say.
What problem do you solve and how do you address it better than the competition?
Our users can execute more sophisticated marketing strategies without making enterprise level investments in licensing and human resources. We are the most valuable marketing and sales automation platform on the market because we allow SMB’s to quickly strike the perfect balance between automation and human touch in pursuit of better customer experience.
Our product provides users with actionable steps they can take to grow their business. We’re able to offer small- and medium-sized businesses data and insights that help them make the right decision, all at an affordable price.
How did you get started?
ActiveCampaign got its start when Jason, our CEO, and founder, was still in college. He went to art school, but his background in coding and design meant he could consult as a side project. He found he was spending an inordinate amount of time on repeatable tasks, so he developed tools to automate them.
Those tools became ActiveCampaign in 2003. Initially eight business solutions, we have since pared them down to one—ActiveCampaign in its current state.
How has your company culture evolved as ActiveCampaign has grown?
As our team has grown, we’ve certainly benefited from adding diverse perspectives. We’ve also been very conscious about not growing too fast. That means not sacrificing our hiring standards, even if we have to forgo some revenue growth. We’re still a scrappy team, and a product-first company incredibly focused on providing a killer experience for our users.
What are your primary goals for ActiveCampaign?
We are much more than just a marketing automation company. We’re continually looking for ways to improve our product to help our users optimize their customers’ experience from identification to retention. This constant advancement means developing a product that can automate the tedious tasks while still allowing users the opportunity to apply a personal touch so that they can cultivate meaningful relationships with their prospects and customers.
Where do you see ActiveCampaign in two years? Five? Ten?
All of these time horizons will bring exciting and fun challenges along with them. We’re growing quickly, so the key will be staying vigilant about maintaining our culture, mainly as we open up international offices. This proliferation isn’t an environment like a Fortune 500 company where you’re dealing with more modest growth. We will be growing fast, so we need to make sure that we’re doing so responsibly.
What’s the No. 1 thing on your to-do list?
Our sales team has been growing like crazy recently, and that’s only going to continue. Among my top priorities is making sure we’re bringing in the right people and making sure they have all the tools needed to succeed once they arrive. At the rate we’re scaling, this is going to be key not just for my team, but the organization as a whole. In addition to hiring, continued development of the people we bring aboard is going to remain a focus for all of us.
In your opinion, what are some of the pros and cons of being an Illinois business?
The midwest sensibility is a wonderful thing, and it’s part of what makes ActiveCampaign what it is today. I don’t think you get that same approach in most other top markets. That’s something that’s unique to Illinois, and more specifically, Chicago.
What are the most significant challenges you face as you scale your business?
We’ve always been a product-focused company, but as we continue to scale, we’ve had to widen our focus. We’re hiring tons of people in sales, support, and success, and it’s crucial that every hire not only contributes to the bottom line but, more importantly, creating an excellent experience for our customers.
This one is all you. Anything else you want to tell us?
There is so much innovation happening in the World today along with many fresh new ideas and companies popping up. Amidst all of those things, I believe a small subset have the opportunity to become something truly special. I think that ActiveCampaign is on the path to being unique, it’s why I joined, and it’s what keeps me coming back. If you want to be a part of it, and I think you should want to, we are hiring!