There is a huge opportunity in social technology that nobody is jumping on. I’ve lamented it before and will continue to do so. The honest truth is that whether you’re talking about social media management solutions, social listening or social analytics, no one is focused on helping small businesses.
Only in the email marketing category do you find powerful solutions modestly priced so the little guy can compete.
Yes, there are modestly priced listening platforms. Mention, Klear and even ViralHeat (which is as close to filling this gap as anyone that I know of) have solutions for under $100 per month. Yes, there are options for social management that will suffice. HootSuite can be free. TweetDeck and others are options. And sure, some analytics platforms have cheaper offerings.
But to my knowledge, no one is trying to build a powerful product or suite of products to help small businesses manage digital marketing and social marketing activities in a manner befitting a business. DIY tools with the minimal feature set you can get by on don’t cut it.
The problem is as soon as technology startups get funding, their investors force them to focus on the enterprise because, “that’s where the money is.” But 97% of businesses are small to medium ones, meaning they can’t afford $2,500 per month (or more). So you have a much larger potential market.
Yes, this is a small-town, middle-class kid bemoaning the plight of the little guy. But when someone says to me, “What solution would you recommend if I only have a couple hundred dollars to spend on tools to help me?” and the best I can muster sometimes is, “Find a cheap email provider that might also have some social management features,” or, “Piecemeal together MailChimp with HootSuite and Klear and … “ we can do better.
I’m willing to gamble small businesses would pay around $100 per month for a solution that managed social content, social advertising, provided cursory listening and email marketing and wrapped it all up into a nice reporting dashboard. Maybe you could even add on PPC management and a simple keyword tool for an up-sell. And with the technology the way it is today, I’m guessing it wouldn’t take a team of engineers to pull this thing together.
So if any of you investors out there agree, I’d be willing to talk about building something.
And if you are such a tool and you’re not exorbitantly priced and you do those things above, contact me. It would be a shame to not tell the world about you.