Archive for May, 2009

Yahoo! Great Customer Service

May 21st, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

It’s funny how growth exposes both opportunities and issues. The client base for our Enquisite Auditor product, formerly known as PPC Assurance, has been growing steadily recently. Last week, we ran into a wall with Yahoo! Nothing broke in our system, we just hit certain limits. The challenge was, these limits would affect customer services for the Auditor product, if they were left unattended.

I emailed a contact of mine, Chris McNeal at Yahoo!, and even though the issue wasn’t directly in his area, he jumped onto it to assist in resolving the issue. By the end of the same business day, the problem was solved. No fuss, no bureaucracy, just great customer support.

It’s become less and less common to get such quick, solid support from larger organizations. I’m sure that Carol Bartz’s leadership will emphasize strong support, but let’s face it, it’s people like Chris and other great people at Yahoo who actually make it happen.

Enquisite Campaign Launches Today

May 19th, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

I’m truly thrilled today we’re announcing the launch of Enquisite™ Campaign, the application we expect to accelerate the performance and ultimately the investment in organic search. Some have called Campaign a “game-changer,” and we certainly hope it lives up to this potential. This has been a long time coming, and hard to keep under wraps. It’s not just a pleasure to announce the product, but also to be able to share a bit of history about the genesis of Enquisite. Campaign represents the first of the truly new and innovative products I set out to build when I started the company.

Back in September 2004, I was sitting around a campfire late one evening, thinking about challenges that Metamend, my Search Marketing Company, was facing with relation to growth, and a challenging business model. The business was operating nicely enough - growing and providing great value to its customers. But, there were inherent issues in reporting, and more importantly, what I saw as issues with a restrictive business model around search engine optimization (SEO) that operated in an abnormal manner. I wasn’t just sitting around the fire idly wondering how we could earn more from clients, but rather, how could serve clients better so they could realize the full potential of our talent and efforts. We had demonstrated many, many times we could blow the roof off SEO campaigns, but the existing business model limited the amount of time or effort we invested. Clients liked the predictability of a fixed-rate model, but that model actually short-changed the results we knew we could deliver if we didn’t have these limitations. I continued to think about a business model that better aligned performance and didn’t limit our ability to provide value to clients.

Now, this wasn’t some isolated period of reflection. I had been thinking about the business model at length for an extended period, as had many others, I’m sure. Over the years, random businesses and individuals had approached me from time to time suggesting varying performance-based models, but the models were usually intricate and convoluted. Some proposals came from serious, established businesses, but the ability for everyone to measure traffic and value delivered fairly just wasn’t there. Other proposals came from start-ups who weren’t quite sure they had a real business, but wanted me to gamble that there was a market for “blue plastic yard penguins, just like pink flamingoes!” Real example. I passed.