The local media industry is abuzz with Facebook’s recent local search announcement, and its unique ability to exploit the knowledge in their social graph. It feels like a good moment to go a step deeper into the product intent behind Perch, our new SMB mobile app.
Underlying Perch is a very powerful new business graph that we’ve begun to refer to as the SMB Marketplace Graph! As Perch is used, the application is capturing the network relationships between a local business and their business neighbors, their competitors and their influencers. In doing so, we’re capturing what and who is fundamentally important to each individual business.
The SMB Marketplace Graph
This composite sketch that Perch creates for each business will become increasingly critical as marketing becomes more and more diverse, more mobile and more real time. It can be used to tailor campaigns and products that best respond to what the business owner/manager considers relevant and important.
What does Perch capture for the SMB?
1. Competitor Marketing Actions. Simply, whenever one of the businesses you watch posts to their social networks, runs a promotion, or announces an event, it will be instantly available.
2. Consumer Reviews and Postings About Businesses. Consumer commenting, reviews and photo sharing are now critical decision signals to consumers as they shop and compare businesses. Staying aware of this pulse for your competitors and neighbors is one of the core utilities of Perch.
3. Best Practices Activities. Businesses often have a few peers that they hold in high regard – a cafe in Denver admires a upscale coffee roaster in SOHO, an organic cleaner in Boise looks to the best peer shop in Berkley, and so one. By following these businesses, the business owner can stay in touch with the social marketing, promotion and consumer pulse of the businesses, giving them a continual flow of marketing ideas.
4. Marketplace Activity Monitoring. Marketplace activity is a multidimensional category that we’ll be experimenting with a LOT in Perch. There are always nearby businesses or places that drive the pace of foot traffic to an area – a highly popular restaurant, an event facility, a sports arena, a health club that holds classes. These represent signals that help a business owner with tactical decision support, and trigger opportunities for marketing actions. Perch aims to deliver these signals and help you be better armed to staff properly and exploit new “everyday demand” opportunities.
The Watchlist – Making the Marketplace Personal for SMB’s
Central to the design of Perch is the personal Watchlist – a collecting container for your personal priority stream. Businesses add to and prune their Watchlist continually to make it more relevant and valuable as an everyday tool.
Perch is a tool for businesses to create their personal picture of signals and activities that should inform and trigger marketing actions. The product is capturing a very unique contextual picture of how the business owner looks at their market.
On top of this graph, marketing can be more effective, more relevant and move us closer to the nirvana of yield management that ever before.