What we hear from everyone is that SMBs can’t figure out what marketing solutions they should employ, how to go mobile, or measure how well they’re doing on the Web.
That realization is driving the direction of a number of new services, including an upgrade this week of Closely’s Perch product. Denver-based Perch, a 10 person startup lead by industry vet Perry Evans, continues to evaluate real time streams coming from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, FourSquare and Google+ as well as various promotions aggregated by the Yipit deals network.
But the new version extends the product focus, measuring and comparing SMB marketing and social activity via social, mobile, promotions and reviews. SMBs are also able to compare themselves to select competitors, while providing referrals to solution providers based on shortcomings seen in the SMB traffic (i.e. lack of Facebook traffic, reviews, coupons etc.). The referrals seem to represent a new revenue stream for the company.
CEO Perry Evans, in a discussion with BIA/Kelsey, says his team has positioned Closely to “provide value to businesses. We are not there to sell them things. We are just showing them areas they should pay attention to.” He also notes that the referral network is based on actual needs and goes way beyond standard affiliate models. “It is a deeper level of integration,” he says.
One thing that has been deleted from the new version is a “near me” features. Consumers don’t search for businesses base on immediate proximity, says Evans.
Evans also notes that Closely has added YellowBook founder Joe Walsh to its advisory board.