I set out to write about how excited I am to join SharpSpring as their CMO. I am! Also, I intended to discuss how their incredibly powerful marketing automation platform is ideal for agencies and small businesses that need to manage leads and drive growth. I will get to that in just a bit.
First, I need to acknowledge what else is on my mind… and most everyone’s mind: the state of the world.
We have three active, concurrent tragedies including the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting historic contraction of the global economy, and the civil unrest, protests, and riots after the senseless killing of George Floyd here in my hometown of Minneapolis. I am following this closely. Personally, I need to listen more, learn more, and do more. And I’m glad SharpSpring has committed to stand with the Black community, as so eloquently pointed out by our CEO Rick Carlson.
For businesses, the pandemic has been a significant challenge at best, and at worst, the final straw. Even those in industries not directly affected by the economic fallout as severely as those in the travel and hospitality industry or retail are being forced to find new ways to lessen the economic impact—including pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs.
Meanwhile, some companies are growing—particularly in tech—as office workers move to the new normal, or maybe rather, the new normal working from home. Businesses like the video conferencing juggernaut, Zoom, have seen their market capitalization explode to new heights as they became the direct beneficiaries of the need for connectedness, as well as more practical matters related to running meetings, and engaging employees and customers.
SharpSpring is another tech leader positioned well to help businesses succeed in the new normal. In short, I’ve joined SharpSpring because I believe in them. I believe in their leaders, their products, and their commitment to customer and employee success.
The company has carved out a unique niche—that only they occupy. SharpSpring is the stand-alone leader in marketing automation for digital marketing agencies, providing more than 2,000 partner agencies with brandable accounts and sub-accounts, advanced management dashboards, billing resources, marketing automation tools across email, mobile, display, and social… and of course, the lowest cost of ownership—often a fraction of the cost of competitors.
Agencies are under real pressure to succeed in today’s economy. Digital marketing agencies are doing much better than traditional marketing agencies, but they still struggle with maintaining consistent business. Today’s average client relationship lasts just two years, versus an average of five years in 1997.
So why would a digital marketing agency want a marketing automation platform like SharpSpring? Two words: recurring revenue. Agencies are relying on project work for the lion’s share of revenue. Adding SaaS tools and recurring revenue to their client relationships, they’re able to create a new, recurring revenue stream while increasing the longevity of their client relationships.
Especially for digital marketing agencies. Now, more than ever, they’re expected to show how the money their clients are spending is turning into business (leads, opportunities and sales). Most are struggling with a messy and expanded set of point-systems to manage all of their marketing channels from email, to landing pages, automation, social, forms, CRM, chatbots, sales automation, analytics, meeting management, and more. That’s where SharpSpring comes in—one platform for agencies to manage all of these channels for their customers at an affordable price.
There will be agencies that win, and those that lose in the new economy. Winning agencies will be able to monetize the value they provide to their clients and prove the results. They’ll consolidate end-customer data with analytics and automate campaigns across channels.
That’s why I’m excited to be here. There’s no better platform for agencies and small businesses to create a recurring revenue stream while driving more measurable leads and closed deals.
Here’s to the future, SharpSpring!