“It seems like the agency business of the future — both large and boutique — will largely add value around integration of best-of-breed point solutions, which I don’t see many large entities like YP attempting to tackle yet,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal.
Vistaprint is expanding beyond its roots as a provider of custom printed products today, with a new suite of digital marketing tools for “micro” business owners. The company’s redesigned website building platform will include tools for social media marketing, local listings, email marketing, and business email, along with design services.
The future of SMB marketing solutions isn’t do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or even do-it-with-me. Rather, it lies in a new go-to-market model called “do nothing” that combines context, content, software, and automation into solutions that are low-cost, have next to no barriers to entry, and require little in the way of learning or doing from customers.
Speculation over the best model for providing and marketing SMB solutions — do-it-yourself (DIY), do-it-for-me (DIFM), or the middle-ground option, do-it-with-me (DIFM) — has been swirling for years. Columns from two Street Fight contributors indicate that while technology is part of the current problem, it’s undoubtedly part of the solution as well.
The question of whether or when SMBs are going to self-provision online marketing has been a topic of intense debate for at least a decade. Signs now point to the emergence of solutions simple enough to make self-service viable within three to five years. Ultimately, rather than a do-it-yourself vs. do-it-for-me dichotomy, we’re likely to see an increasingly stratified local market that looks a lot like a three-cabin airplane seating chart.
Since its founding in 2007, Mono Solutions has been giving SMBs a complete package — from website building, to helping with online visibility, to engaging with customers, to doing business online. We recently caught up with the company’s CEO, Louise Lachmann, to talk about how she sees the local industry evolving.