Podcast by Brent Leary and Small Business Trends
Podcast by Brent Leary and Small Business Trends
Susan Marshall of Torchlite: Demand for Salesforce freelancers has increased during pandemic
The economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused businesses of all sizes to layoff valuable employees. And many of those businesses still need to get things done in order to survive the current state of affairs. Especially things related to maintaining relationships with current customers, on top of finding ways to bring on new ones. Which is why I was really interested in talking with Susan Marshall, founder and CEO of freelance marketplace Torchlite. Torchlite specializes in placing CRM professionals certified in Salesforce products and services. Salesforce is also Torchlite’s biggest investor.
During our LinkedIn Live conversation, Susan talks about how Torchlite differs from general freelancer marketplaces, what’s driving the growth of their marketplace, how the Torchlite model works from both freelancer and hiring business sides, how SMBs are tapping into the community of “flexperts”, and why they are so selective of who becomes a Torchlite freelancer.
Melissa Bradley of Ureeka: African American women starting businesses 6X more than white male peers
Due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the protests that originally broke out in response to the killing of George Floyd captured on video, corporations have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to social justice causes, as well as to help struggling small businesses. Companies like Google, Facebook and Salesforce have committed grants and funds to increase entrepreneurial opportunities to people who traditionally have been shut out of billions of dollars represented by the top venture capital firms – Women, Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. And the company that Facebook and Salesforce chose to facilitate their SMB grant programs was Ureeka, a startup founded by Melissa Bradley, David Jakubowski and Rob Gatto, that provides mentorship and guidance through their platform to help their community membership of entrepreneurs’ get answers to their most pressing questions.
I recently had a LinkedIn Live conversation with Ureeka cofounder Melissa Bradley to learn more about Ureeka’s mission to help underrepresented entrepreneurs succeed, and her own recent experiences raising $8.6M in VC money. Below is an edited transcript from a portion of our conversation. Click on the embedded SoundCloud player to hear the full conversation.
Kelly Jones of CVS: We’ve teamed up with Salesforce to make going back to work easier
As we head into the Labor Day holiday weekend, many companies are focused on having their employees return to the workplace to accelerate efforts to get business back on track. To help companies safely bring employees back, Salesforce and CVS Health are teaming up to integrate Salesforce's Work.com workplace management platform, which allows for wellness monitoring and manual contract tracing, with CVS' Return Ready offering, which offers tracking and insights on COVID-19 testing.
To learn more about the partnership and how it can make it easier for companies to bring employees back in ways that keep them safe while still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I recently spoke with Bill Patterson - Salesforce EVP/GM of CRM Applications, and Kelly Jones - Division Head, National Accounts Business Unit at CVS Health.
Robin Bordoli of NextRoll: B2B buyers spend 83% of time in buying journey not engaging vendors
As impressive as the 44.5% increase sounds, it pales in comparison to seeing it in graphical form. And, as Marketplace Pulse points out, that’s the fastest increase in over two decades, pushing e-commerce share of total retail to 16.1%. And for even more drama, if you take out auto sales and bar/restaurant revenue, online sales accounted for 22% of overall retail sales. More than one out of every five dollars…now that is some serious drama.
Such rapid and dramatic changes in consumer behavior, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is causing companies to react just as dramatically in order to stay connected with their customers. Which means the way they market and advertise is constantly changing, whether your selling to individual consumers or other businesses.
To dig into how these seismic changes are impacting ad and marketing technology usage by companies of all sizes, I recently held a LinkedIn Live conversation with Robin Bordoli, CEO NextRoll, a provider of data platform and account based marketing (ABM)and D2C (direct to consumer) technology. Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation. Click on the embedded SoundCloud player to hear the full conversation.
Patrick Knight of Adobe: 57% of parents feel closer to coworkers now despite working from home
This week Adobe released a US-based study of one thousand currently employed people who usually work in an office setting to see how they are working during the COVID-19 pandemic. To dig in more to the study I had an opportunity to speak with Patrick Knight, Sr. Deliverability Consultant at Adobe, to get more takeaways and insights from the study.
CRM Playaz on TikTok: Respect for Customer Data Trumps Huge Engagement Numbers
Last week Microsoft made it known publicly that it was interested in acquiring a stake in TikTok, a wildly popular video sharing platform that has been in the news a lot lately. But the Microsoft news seemed to set off a bunch of reports that other companies were also interested, including Apple and Twitter.
In fact so many TikTok acquisition stories started cropping up my CRM Playaz co-host Paul Greenberg and I started exploring whether we should put a bid together… OK I was just kidding on that one. And yes, I didn’t need to say I was just kidding for you to know I was just kidding. But with all the TikTok acquisition talk going on, the Wall Street Journal published a report this week that found TikTok “skirted a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices”.
Given this news and the obvious repercussions it has for data privacy, what does this say about the dedication to customer experience if any company decides to buy TikTok knowing all of this? It’s an internal conversation big companies are having. With 800 million active daily users TikTok is creating a level of stickiness and engagement most companies crave, but are the black hat tactics with user data allegedly being performed worth the potential legal issues? And more importantly is it worth losing the trust you’ve built up with your customer base?