The early Dot Com promise was that the web puts small and large businesses on a level playing field. But as the platform has matured, that promise has turned out to be somewhat hollow, not least in the area of online marketing. Small businesses, let alone ‘mom and pup’ shops, often don’t have the online marketing know-how, budget or time to compete with the big brands. One business’ pain-point, however, is another’s opportunity.
Enter Maverick from AppForma, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that wants to become the “WordPress for digital marketing”. The platform claims to enable SMBs to achieve “ad-agency quality” marketing at a fraction of the cost by taking care of the planning, creation and execution of multi-channel marketing campaigns.
In the same way as WordPress comes with a host of pre-selectable themes underpinned by an easy-to-use CMS, Maverick offers off-the-shelf 12-month marketing campaigns based on industry sector, which it says can be executed with just one-click. It’s the automated element to its marketing platform, thus negating the need to be an online marketing expert, that draws the WordPress comparison. Or, to quote the company verbatim, “[Maverick] brings the same easy functionality to the world of SMB marketing that WordPress brought to online publishing”.
Akin to an online marketing ‘wizard’, Maverick walks the users through the steps involved in creating and executing campaigns, including running the production, optimization, and follow up of each online campaign. After signing up and selecting from a list of business types/industry sector, users are given a year of personalized marketing campaigns which are populated in the web app’s calendar of activities. In turn, Maverick suggests which campaign to run, as well as creating all the needed images/copy etc., though the user can drill down and customise campaigns, too. In total, there are over 50 off-the-shelf campaigns spread across the 12 months, such as sweepstakes, photo contests, polls and coupons, with each “mico-campaign” based on a call-for-action designed to covert traffic into leads or users becoming fans of the brand.
Campaigns leverage one or more of the following: social posts, email communications, or Facebook ads, as well as a “customer retention and loyalty program”, underpinned by Maverick’s marketing engine. The loyalty aspect might include things like pushing an offer to a customer on their birthday or based on points earned through their purchasing/social activity. Naturally, Maverick also encompasses an analytics dashboard so that SMBs can keep track of ROI.
After a 30-day trial, Maverick pricing starts at $100 per-month and there are multiple pricing tiers available based on scope. Its closest competitor is probably heavily-backed InfusionSoft, which offers sales and marketing software for SMBs. Interestingly, Maverick is funded by a group of unnamed angel investors via the equity-based crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, which matches accredited investors with Israeli startups.