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SMB Digital 2012: Gail Goodman

By: 18 September 2012

Constant Contact CEO  and “Engagement Marketing” author Gail Goodman made a pretty direct pitch to those attending SMB Digital Marketing to partner with her company to build out a social contact management system, which she describes as the “rich social CRM that is the center of their marketing universe.”

Goodman said we are in the midst of a period of rapid innovation in the SMB space.

She made the case that SMBs need a platform to help them do a better job of turning a first sale with a customer into a second sale, and eventually, a customer referral. SMBs need this without really knowing that they do. Without question, SMBs are focused on getting new customers. The idea behind the social platform Goodman describes is that existing customers are the best source of new customers.

Goodman framed the issue in terms of “missing links” that need to be solved for this vision of the rich SMB social CRM to be realized.

The first is the notion of connecting online discovery to offline purchase. Goodman suggest that  smart phones have service to condition the consumer toward the online-offline connection.

Today the percentage of transactions that are online to offline is relatively small and is happening in narrow verticals. The challenge is to widen to more use cases.

“Imagine if we could show SMBs exactly who found them and how much that person spent?”

Missing link No. 2 is linking first purchase to second purchase. If they know when that happened, it could literally change how they perceive what they spend to get the first customer.

Too often, SMB captures no contact info, opt-in, or social connection when they get a new customer.

So how are SMBs getting this information today? Asking customers when they show up, a method that Goodman says is notoriously ineffective. SMBs do not have the time, technology or training to do that data capture at point of interaction.

“When the consumer is in front of a device to make that connection, in one click we have the power to make that connection to a small business,” Goodman said.

We can do that in way that does not negatively impact the consumer experience (by being “spammy”).

She cites Save Local, Constant Contact’s deals platform, which has conducted thousands of deals and has received zero complaints about its opt-in process.

Goodman says opt-in must be “one click simple” for consumer. We need to optimize consumer experience so it doesn’t feel spammy, and even feels like it is adding value.



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