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Innovators | Software

Amazon strength for small firms

David Cancel, HubSpot

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

David Cancel of HubSpot

YOU’RE A SMALL BUSINESS reaching out to customers online. How can you create loyalty the way Amazon.com does, tapping into people’s likes, favorites, and Web-browsing habits to deliver an experience customized for each online visitor?

David Cancel, chief product officer at the marketing software maker HubSpot in Cambridge, believes he has the answer. “We are trying to give small businesses the same kind of marketing technologies that companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix have,’’ he said.

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Cancel, 40, built a software “personalization engine’’ that “makes each interaction personal, like when you walk into your local corner store and are recognized every time - except now this interaction is in real time and online.’’

Since it was launched less than a year ago, Cancel’s software platform, called Performable, has become one of the hottest online marketing automation gadgets on the market, used by customers ranging from Rolling Stone magazine to data storage giant EMC Corp. in Hopkinton.

“I like making something out of nothing,’’ Cancel said. “Like many entrepreneurs, I have spent too much time worrying about the right idea. But it’s not about the idea, but about solving a critical problem.’’

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