I’m trying to put my finger on exactly why I feel that localized, small business CRM is going to explode over the next year. I know it wasn’t Google’s announcement of their partnership to SalesForce.com and it’s not like contact management systems like ACT! and Goldmine really fascinate me.
Maybe it’s the idea that millions of small businesses with a newfound interest in online media (specifically email marketing), could really use a comprehensive CRM system that provides marketing automation with the same level of sophistication as some of the systems being used by national advertisers.
Just like content management solutions have long been integrated into directories, wouldn’t it be prudent to offer a marketing system to compliment the existing services?
As publishers are under increasing pressure to provide performance models, they must play a larger role in yielding higher conversions for their advertisers. This way they can manage inventory (or offset the cost of a lack of it).
I think I’m starting to get impatient about this topic. It feels like it’s been years since the capabilities have existed. Why isn’t anyone connecting these dots? Granted, they may be busy buying up Pay-Per-Call platforms and what not...but I really believe that this is a huge piece of the puzzle that could go a long way to differentiate one local search or online directory from another.
With all the advancements in this field namely Force.com's multi-tenant "platform as a service" roll out this year, it seems like this investment is a no-brainer.
I have too many thoughts on this to map it all out in a blog. I will have to take this little favourite topic of mine offline for a while and maybe spell it out to those that might listen.