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Episode 22 –
Achieving Exponential Growth by Staying Customer-Centric with Tony Newcome of ActiveCampaign

RESOURCE CENTER   ❯   Identity Revolution Podcast 12-2-21

Episode Summary

Providing excellent customer experience and meeting clients’ needs is the number one priority for every reputable company aiming to grow. But what’s the formula for seamless customer experience?

First, you need to be where your customers are and determine your KPIs. This is the only way to provide high-quality messaging and distribute it through adequate channels.

In this episode of Identity Revolution, Infutor’s host Cory Davis welcomes Tony Newcome, the CTO of ActiveCampaign. Together they discuss the past, present, and future of ActiveCampaign, what distinguishes them from competitors, the importance of building meaningful relationships with customers, and the future of the MarTech/AdTech space overall.


Tony Newcome
  • Name: Tony Newcome
  • What he does: Tony is the CTO of ActiveCampaign
  • Company: ActiveCampaign
  • Noteworthy: Before joining ActiveCampaign, Tony was part of the Salesforce team, and prior to that, he spent around five years at ExactTarget.
  • Where to find Julian: LinkedIn

Key Insights

  • Show up for your customers. ActiveCampaign has over 150,000 customers and operates in 170 countries worldwide. However, like many other companies, ActiveCampaign also faces the challenge of providing that “wow” effect, creating the perfect message, and distributing it at the right time through adequate channels. After all, their goal is to meet customers’ needs. “I’m pretty excited about our team’s growth through our offices in Australia, our presence in Brazil, and our hub in Ireland. You’re seeing us open these offices and expand our team, but that’s because our customers are already everywhere, and we need to show up for them where they are.”
  • Know your customer. Your overall business growth depends on approaching your customer base and how familiar you are with your ideal customer profile. Unfortunately, many companies don’t experience success because they don’t know their KPIs and how to approach them. “If you think of the number of businesses out there that could deliver a better customer experience, if only they could understand their customers better, they could create a complete picture of who their customers are, segment them, message them, integrate the tools, and notify the sales team.”
  • Change is inevitable in MarTech/AdTech Space. According to Tony, we are already witnessing how some changes are shaping the space ActiveCampaign operates in. But he also believes some things will stay the same, despite the ongoing shifts. So that idea that we need to reach them at the right time, with the right message, something that is relevant to them? I don’t think that changes. I think that’s going to continue to be a demand, it might shift from [channel to channel]], but that’s going to be continuous.”

Episode Highlights

What does it take to be successful in hypergrowth?

“In a growth journey, there are many times where you’re going to run into obstacles where something isn’t scaling, or working correctly, or customers aren’t finding success. And generally, I try to lean into those situations. Why?

Because most people don’t. I think that it’s an X factor, though. If you want to be a leader, you have to not be afraid to lead through the bad times and the good times. Stick to the facts.

You don’t need anything other than how it’s working, what the customer needs, what the outcome was, and focusing on customer success. And as long as you keep the success of the customer in mind and are willing to do what it takes to make them successful, you’re going to be fine.”

ActiveCampaign: a company on a mission to create an ideal customer experience

“At the time [around 2017/18], we had a really strong product offering. We were largely an email automation platform with some CRM capability. We recognized the need to focus on customer experience, and it has always been our mission to create an ideal customer experience.

I think that’s where we started talking about CXA: Customer Experience Automation. And that was one of the earliest conversations I had with Jason. He saw a new category of software that needed to emerge to allow businesses to connect, automate, and personalize the touchpoints across all their channels. But then, blend the human touch with the automated touch so that the customer is at the heart of and is the focus of everything you, as a brand, are doing.

And in order to do that, you cannot only solve one part of the customer experience; you’ve got to tie it all together. So we believe we’re the only platform designed to deliver ideal customer experiences, and we do that through automation and integration of your tools.”

How to Build a Sustainable Platform — That’s Our Number One Priority

“We believe in optionality. We’re not focused on any outcome. I can tell you with complete confidence and transparency that we spend zero time talking about that. We spend all of our time focused on how we can build a sustainable platform, the best platform, and how we can reach a million customers? How can we reach 10 million customers after that?”

Tony’s Take on MarTech and AdTech Space

“I think there’s a lot we haven’t figured out as an industry. There have been a lot of macro shifts. If you look and think back to the early days, people were pretty excited to just send emails at scale.

We’ve recently learned, with Apple privacy and some of those things, that consumers are getting more of their privacy rights back, which I think is a tremendous change for the better.

So, I think we’re going to only continue to see more privacy, more legislation like GDPR and CCPA, saying, ‘No, as a person, I own myself, I own my data.’

[…] The explosion of social media has been game-changing as well. I think the way in which we as humans interact has changed. […] We’ve seen a shift where interactions are happening almost entirely digitally. In lots of ways, my children are more connected with their friends than I ever was, and yet they see them less often than I ever saw mine.”

Top quotes:

[03:49] “We’re a global leader in customer experience automation at this point, and it’s pretty exciting to be here.”

[20:52] “I believe pretty firmly that the places where I do business and that I want to receive messaging from, I’ll be very happy to give them my data. I’ll be very happy to let them understand who I am to deliver a better experience to me. That’s a win-win for everyone.”

[24:11] “The requirement of working from home or the requirement of being at home a lot more is actually a gift because I’ve been able to spend time with my family and my kids.”

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