Interview with Clate Mask, CEO and Co-Founder at Infusionsoft
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a bit about your role at Infusionsoft and how you got here? (What inspired you to co-found a martech company?)
I was working for About.com in the early 2000s and had just finished my MBA and JD at Brigham Young University. I had already made the decision in my mind to leave the company and begin a career as a lawyer, but then September 11th happened. My world, along with everyone else’s, was turned upside down. No one was hiring, and my plans changed. Looking back now, I’m grateful I didn’t pursue a law career because it led me to co-found Infusionsoft with Scott and Eric Martineau in 2002.
We started as a custom software company for small businesses. The original idea for what Infusionsoft is today didn’t come about until 2003 when one of our custom software clients called us in a panic. He accidentally sent an email offer to his entire contact list, upsetting those who earlier received and acted on a less appealing offer. This was the lightbulb moment where I realized not only him but all small businesses, need the ability to automate and segment contacts based on their specific needs and wants. Fast forward nearly 15 years, and we now have the most powerful and versatile sales and marketing automation platform for small businesses.
MTS: What makes Infusionsoft uniquely qualified to serve small businesses?
Our software was built from the ground up to solve the biggest sales and marketing challenges in small business. Infusionsoft’s purpose is to help small businesses succeed. Not mid-market businesses, not enterprise businesses. There are no other solutions on the market specifically developed with small businesses in mind that offer the breadth of capabilities that Infusionsoft does.
In a nutshell, we are totally focused on small business, offer a complete sales and marketing platform, and our automation capabilities are second to none.
MTS: What payment platforms are you integrated with?
We have our own great payment processing solution called Infusionsoft Payments that natively integrates with our sales and marketing automation capabilities. The power of Infusionsoft Payments and automation is magic for small businesses.
We also integrate with merchant accounts like PowerPay, FirstData, Moneris, WorldPay, Easy Pay Direct. We also have Payment Gateway options like Easy Pay Direct, Beanstream, Internet Secure, DPS, Network Merchants, PayPal Payflow Pro, Authorize.net, SagePay, USA ePay, eWAY, and CartConnect.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
How we connect today has, and will continue to have, far reaching effects in our opportunity to reach and enhance experiences with customers in the moment. Being accessible on any device, anywhere and anytime is changing what consumers expect from companies they do business with. Small businesses will need to meet their growing expectations to stay relevant and competitive.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
We use a variety of tools throughout our marketing organization – everything from our own software to enterprise solutions that are designed specifically for a company of our size and scope. Slack is our new big thing.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
I’m focused on making sure we have the right team in place to help us prepare for an AI-centric world. With the right talent in place, I work with them to ensure we have the best systems and processes in place in order to leverage the vast amounts of data we collect. Without the right people, systems, and processes, the data is useless. Making sense of it all to find patterns is what empowers AI solutions to help our users and their customers. It’s my team’s and my responsibility to make sure we put all the information to use to help small businesses succeed.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Health and fitness are very important to me, which is why I use MyFitnessPal’s calorie counter to keep track of everything I eat. It’s a great way to not lose sight of the calories I’m consuming and the calories I’m burning.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I’m currently reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. My recent favorite is The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick M. Lencioni. As a trained speed reader, I can easily get through two books a month. I make it a goal to read six a quarter.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was from my father when he told me to choose faith over fear.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I focus on the positive.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
MTS: Thank you Clate! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
I love building small businesses. I went to law school and business school, but I couldn’t get excited about going to work for a big consulting or law firm. Small business growth is what I love. I get to do that every day at Infusionsoft… helping OUR business grow by helping tens of thousands of entrepreneurs grow their businesses using our marketing and sales software.
At Infusionsoft, we understand that growing a small business is hard. That’s why, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, we are solving the biggest growth challenges for small businesses—so they don’t have to make so many sacrifices on their path to success.
We believe in the passion and dreams of entrepreneurs. We believe they are job creators, problem solvers, innovators and the backbone of the economy. Small businesses are what make communities special and unique.
We don’t solve problems for our small business customers by being just another software company. We help small businesses succeed with:
- Trusted and proven small business expertise
- An award-winning sales and marketing automation platform
- The largest ecosystem of small business partners, apps, and technologies
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.