Last September, on the occasion of Small Business Technology Tour 2011, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion with Alex Chang, founder of Roost.com. He spoke about the importance of analytics to businesses.
Yesterday Vertical Response announced their acquisition of Roost and I spoke with Janine Popick, president and founder of Vertical Response who explained that while email marketing is great, it’s only transactionallly relevant (my words).
But what happens during the time between email campaigns – this is where social media is quite relevant.
Janine said that Vertical Response already enables their over 100,000 customers to push out email campaigns through social networks, but with the acquisition of Roost they can enable their customers, through one dashboard, to manage email marketing and social media campaigns.
Vertical Response, like many other formally “email marketing only” companies is on the way to evolving from a provider of mainly email marketing only (although they do offer surveys and event management tools) to being a one stop shop for all the marketing needs of a small business owner.
Companies who have the trust of their customers will win. There is brand trust and then there is wallet share trust – Vertical Response has both of these and often the newer startups lack both types of customer trust points.
While Roost, Tweet Deck, Postling and other services are great, many of them (as Roost and Tweet Deck have already experienced) will be bought by companies who can integrate them into their existing offerings with larger (often paid) customer bases.
Janine also highlighted to me that Roost’s value add is that it also provides CONTENT based on vertical industries. So if you’re a law firm and just stepping into social media, other than things about you and your customers (which is a lot) what other content can you share with your followers? Well Roost gives you a head start by providing value added content to you, about your industry.
According to the press release Roost services include:
- Create, schedule and publish Facebook and Twitter campaigns from one place, in just 20 minutes per week.
- Choose what to share from free suggested content, solving the problem of “What to post?” Libraries of suggested content are based on the user’s industry, ranging from hospitality to real estate, as well as interests, such as health, entertainment or technology.
- Create a custom content calendar, for higher audience engagement.
- Get a unique score based on social engagement, to see how well campaigns are resonating with followers.
With this acquisition Vertical Response is now firmly not “just an email marketing company” but a company that will quickly move into helping its customers communicate and manage content in social media.
See Alex Chang (now heading Vertical Response’s moves into social media) presentation about analyts (at the Small Business Technology Tour) below.