During a panel at Street Fight Summit last week, GoDaddy’s Rene Reinsberg, Facebook’s SMB director Jonathan Czaja, and Vendasta CEO Brendan King discussed strategies and tactics to cut through the clutter and build trust with their customers.
Facebook, which moved cautiously into the small business market early on, has ramped up its efforts in 2014. Czaja reiterated that the social network remained “squarely committed” to the small business market. “We’re just sprinting to get there as quickly as possible,” he added.
Over the summer, the social network launched a nationwide tour, called Facebook Fit, hitting five major cities in the U.S. to let SMBs know about its advertising options — especially its custom and lookalike audience options. Recently, the company has rolled out a handful of new ad targeting tools aimed at the small business market.
“Our goal at Facebook is to make ad products that people can understand, the value of those ad products and really understand the ROI of those ad products,” Czaja said. “These products are evolving. We’re trying to hone in on the targeting capabilities, and we think recency of being in the area is a signal that this message was nearby, and maybe you should talk to them.”
Whereas Facebook sells through channels, GoDaddy has built an extensive sales and customer service organization. In the run up to a potential IPO, the Arizona-based company has worked to expand its business beyond websites into the broader SMB technology market. “We have been sending a lot of emails – let’s be honest — but I think it’s part of a bigger effort by the company right now going into personalization,” Reinsberg said.
VendAsta’s King talked about the process of selling through channel partners, and teaching those partners how to properly sell the right services to SMBs. “We take the presence data, the reputation data, and the social data, and we try to see what the customer is actually interested in,” said King. “And lots of times it’s not ‘You’ve got this wrong information and you need to fix this.’ Often it’s ‘You’re doing okay on reviews, and your social product.’ But businesses are smart and want to do things that will improve their ROI. The media companies that we partner with often want to become [these SMBs’] agency of record, and become an extension of their marketing department. So, really, we use that information to give our partners the opportunity to get in there and become that agency of record.”