Interview with John Thomas, CEO and Founder, Zact.

Marketing Darwinism: John, tell us about Zact.  We love it when founders tell their stories.

John:  Thanks Paul.  Zact was born of a simple idea- that Expense and Payment Management – core to the success of any organization- should not be an area of constant frustration and deficit.  We built Zact with three things in mind- 1. The Integrity of the process whereby accounting reconciliation is inherent; 2. Driving harmony between the employees and the Accounting and Finance Department; 3. Helping customers spend their time and capital on growth and not on the error-prone minutiae that often hampers them.  When I look at what our small team has accomplished in record time, I’m really very proud.

Marketing Darwinism: So Zact is an Expense Management system?

John: That and much more.  Zact is a true platform for Expense and Payment Management.  Our innovative business-design win is manifested in a product called “The One Employee Card” which allows for Managed Autonomy- spending within guardrails and easy reconciliation.  It is also very much about democratization- all employees are part of the growth story for the organization.  But we didn’t stop there; instead with our App, our backend, and our native Cloud-based reconciliation, we emerge not as a point-solution but as a platform.

Marketing Darwinism: Would you classify yourself as a Fintech company?

John: Absolutely.  Fintech, and the sub-category PaymentTech, is a burgeoning area that we are thrilled to be in and associated with.

Marketing Darwinism: So, as a Marketing professional, I have to ask you about the Expensify CEO’s email to his customers and community asking them to vote for Biden.  What are your thoughts?

John: Each entrepreneur does what he or she sees fit for his or her business. Interestingly, this particular email brought attention to a space – payments and expense reporting – that is often relegated to the arena of “necessary but not sexy”.  I hope this email draws customers’ attention to innovations that are happening in this space to drive financial and operational efficiencies while enhancing reporting integrity – three attributes fundamental to the Zact narrative.

Marketing Darwinism: As a startup CEO, how do you think about Marketing?  Do you plan to invest further in the space?

John: I believe in Marketing.  Ultimately, Zact is all about current and potential customers; we feel, very humbly, that the more we scale, the more we’ll drive real satisfaction to our customers and real value to all elements of the ecosystem.  We also believe that a core driver of that process of scale and speed is marketing.  It is an area that we plan to invest in heavily going forward.

Marketing Darwinism: Any parting thoughts for MD’s readers?

John: Indeed, we hope that our solution(s) are highly relevant and fundamentally useful to all of our customers and ultimately their employees, partners, and customers too.  The journey so far has been exhilarating.  We know that each road has potholes but are determined to keep the faith, to drive hard, and to always focus on our core mission.  Anything less would be an abdication.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.