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Keap CEO Discusses Recent Rebrand, Rising Need For CRM Among SMBs

clate maskTo kick off 2019, small business CRM provider Infusionsoft announced it would rebrand as Keap. The new name is designed to reflect the company’s core mission to help small businesses continue to grow even though the odds may be stacked against them. In an exclusive interview with Demand Gen Report, Keap CEO and Co-Founder Clate Mask opened up about the company’s rebrand and shared his perspective on the current state of CRM.

Demand Gen Report: Your company has been around since 2001. How have you seen the space evolve over that time?

Clate Mask: So much has changed. We weren’t really doing what we’re doing until 2005-2006, and 2007 is when we raised capital. That’s when we really caught a vision for becoming the Salesforce.com for small businesses. I think what’s happened is you’ve seen the industry players quickly drift upstream and serve bigger players. You see Salesforce that started small and is now serving the enterprise exceptionally well, and you see HubSpot that started small and is serving midsize businesses extremely well.

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What I see is the world of small business needs a CRM solution that’s built for them. That’s what we’ve done with Keap. We believe that we’re in the early innings of CRM adoption among small businesses. They may not even call it CRM — we call it smart client management, but that industry adoption is what we see. More specifically, small businesses require a very different level of elegance in the software that they use today. They require a different ability to serve their clients and our software is all about helping them serve their clients more effectively. They need to look better for their clients. They need to show up better for their clients. They need to be available for their clients.

I think in the last few years, the world has shifted to: “It’s got to be quick, it’s got to be now and it’s got to be mobile.” You must be super responsive, or you lose the business and the client. I think there was a day when that wasn’t necessary for small businesses, but that’s not true today. Today, they’ve got to be there for their clients and our software is about empowering them and enabling them to deliver great service for their clients because that’s really how small businesses grow — they grow by referrals and repeat business, which comes as a result of delivering great, personalized service.

DGR: What is the importance of this rebrand for current and prospective customers? How will it set a good foundation for the company moving forward?

Mask: A couple years ago, after a decade plus of growing the company, we caught a bigger vision and saw what was really possible in terms of taking this software to small businesses on a much bigger scale. This rebrand is really a result of that bigger vision to simplify growth for millions of small businesses worldwide. This brand is a simplification and sort of a codification of our purpose to help small businesses succeed. We’ve captured the grit and essence of small business success: to keep at it, keep going, keep serving and keep growing.

DGR: What is the differentiation between the old Infusionsoft brand and what the company has evolved to now?

Mask: The Infusionsoft product stands for power, platform, CRM and automation. Our customers love that, and we don’t want to distance ourselves from that in any way. We really have a powerful, industry-leading product that we are always well recognized for, so we will continue to build on and improve that product for those customers who want all that power, customization and flexibility that Infusionsoft offers. We certainly didn’t want to walk away from the brand equity that we’ve built up there, so Infusionsoft the product will live on and will continue to be known as the market-leading, powerful solution.

Keap the product is about smart client management. It still has CRM capabilities, but it’s delivered in a much simpler way for a business owner that doesn’t need all that power, flexibility and customization of our Infusionsoft product. It has the client management capabilities; it’s got the scheduling and appointments and email marketing. It’s still very much an all-in-one CRM tool, but customers usually don’t think of it as a CRM tool. We refer to it as smart client management.

DGR: I noticed you also launched a campaign called “Quiet the Doubters.” How does that tie into positioning small businesses to continue to grow?

Mask: The reason is we understand small businesses. We understand how hard it is. We know that most of the small businesses that exist aren’t the happy, smiling picture that you see. The reality is small business is tough. It’s a struggle and we understand that challenge. The reason we are launching the Quiet the Doubters campaign is most small businesses are dealing with a constant pressure of quitting or that they’re not good enough. So, we wanted to come out bold and loud and say, “we understand that and our message to the world is to keep going, keep serving, keep growing.” Keap is all about that persistence and tenacity that is required when it feels like all of the pressure in the world is bearing down on your small business.