Today Vancouver-based Wishpond announced the public release of its online marketing suite, which is targeted at retailers and brands and takes a mobile, social, local, all-in-one approach to promoting their businesses online. With Wishpond, users can manage their social promotions, contests, online ads, social discovery, engagement, ecommerce, and customer analytics from one dashboard. Since originally launching in 2010, the company has worked with more than 15,000 businesses to grow and monetize their online presence.
The company saw the need for an all-in-one approach to online marketing both through feedback from its prior user base and from observing that everyone from low-tech SMB owners to full service marketing agencies had to access multiple vendors to run contests, or measure their social traffic, or do any number of other marketing campaigns. “Retailers specifically and brands more generally have wide and varied needs. They need to run campaigns on social media, they need to advertise, maybe they need a Facebook store and a number of other things,” CEO Ali Tajsekandar said in an interview. “Right now, with the exception of Wishpond they would have to go many vendors to be able to accomplish the same goals that we are trying to accomplish for them under one umbrella.”
The company’s online marketing platform targets small retailers who want the bare minimum functionality up to digital agencies that need a customizable dashboard to service its clients. It offers the ability to run promotions and contests such as social offers, photo contests, and local promotions, integrated across social networks, and optimized for mobile and tablets. Users also have the ability to create and distribute ads on Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
It then provides a variety of social discovery and engagement tools like Instagram and Pinterest tabs and other widgets that can be integrated into a website, with all the analytics from campaigns pulled into one dashboard, which then lets businesses target campaigns based on audience segment. The pricing for the platform ranges from $29 per month for single users with full access to all the tools to $395 per month for agencies with options for white label and full-service support from its in-house team of online marketers also available.
The all-in-one approach to tackling social media marketing for SMB and enterprise is one that several companies are trying to take, but the crowded enterprise social space is going through a period of consolidation. Just last month Salesforce confirmed that it had laid off almost 100 employees from Radian6, which it acquired in addition to BuddyMedia to build out its Salesforce Marketing Cloud division. That could be an indication that the space is too busy and there are too many enterprise marketing solutions all really trying to provide the same range of promotions, campaigns and analytics tools. Wishpond’s approach could differentiate because it’s trying to be an all-in-one solution, as opposed to niche platforms like Google’s Wildfire, Payvment, and Marketwire’s Sysomos.
“It’s all in one, with all the elements that they need in one place, because when we talk to retailers or most businesses, we see that regardless of their size, this is something they don’t have expertise in. They want to go to as few places as possible and they want it to be as simple as possible, and that’s where we spend a lot of our attention. The second advantage is the fact that it’s multi-channel, and thirdly all of these pieces are pulled in together and part of the social analytics,” Tajsekandar added.
Up next for the company is an aggressive international push to expand its customer base globally, with the platform completely translated in 26 languages and able to support 196 currencies which it will be looking to launch over the next few months. The company will have to prove that its full-suite approach and plethora of features and functionalities work just as effectively if not better than other competitors who may position themselves with having a deeper understanding and more robust set of tools to accomplish a more specific piece of a business’s social and online strategy.