Two of the SMB-related sessions at LSA dealt with mobile commerce (booking, payments) and CRM tools for SMBs. In both cases the panel’s consensus was that these capabilities are available are important (to consumers) but most SMBs are still not in a position to adopt them.
Signpost is betting that’s not true and that its “automated CRM for business-to-consumer businesses” will be both effective and simple enough to more deeply penetrate the market (though the firm as moved up market from its early days).
Investors just extended a $20+ million equity financing round to Signpost, which indicates traction. The company has raised $36.6 million to date, since pivoting from the daily deals category, where it launched in 2010.
Signpost is part Yext, part Constant Contact, part Square. It seeks to be a total, automated SMB (and multi-location) marketing solution from presence to reputation to email. The platform incorporates calls and transaction data as part its overall analytics, re-targeting and CRM approach.
Here’s the pitch:
Signpost makes CRM accessible to B2C businesses. To date, these businesses have not been able to take advantage of CRM solutions like Salesforce and Oracle the way B2B companies do, because they don’t have enough customer data and don’t have in-house sales teams. Money is left on the table when potential new customers call businesses but don’t actually visit or when businesses don’t engage existing customers to drive reviews, referrals and loyalty. Signpost solves these problems with its fully-automated CRM that marries email, phone, credit card transactions and social data to deliver the right message at the right time.
I haven’t spoken to the company in some time but will next week to get an update. From my perception, the three core areas are presence management, email/remarketing and online reputation development.
I’m quite skepticalwhether the company can truly deliver against all the promises of “marketing automation” that it makes. I haven’t heard the company refer to itself as “Marketo for local businesses” but that’s how it’s positioning itself.
Signpost’s “differentiator” is its comprehensiveness, rather than any particular feature or capability. Any individual segment in the chart above is quite competitive, with mail and digital presence being arguably the most competitive categories.
There seems to be no paid component (search, display or social) in the Signpost mix, however. I suspect that over time that may change (especially re social).
Let me know if you have hand any direct experience with the company or its products and how they performed relative to the claims made or other competitors. After I speak to the company next week I’ll either generate a new post or update this one accordingly.
The interview below with Signpost CEO Stuart Wall was conducted last year. In the interview he says the company has about 80 (telephone) salespeople.