As published in FORBES, April 28, 2017
By Bruce Rogers
There are plenty of tools and platforms for Marketers. In fact, Scott Brinker’s Martech site lists close to 4,000 of them. But what is missing for most small and even medium sized businesses is the resources, time and know-how to deploy anything but the most basic capabilities of these offerings. One company, the Austin, Texas-based eRelevance, is out to change that dynamic.
“We've been able to build a very sophisticated tech platform that enables a service that's bringing big box marketing sophistication to the SMB (Small and Medium-Sized Business) at a price point they can afford,” says founder, CEO and serial entrepreneur Bob Fabbio. “One of the big differentiators, instead of being slow and expensive, we're highly responsive and affordable. We built technology that can, in a fully integrated way, target audiences with seven different digital channels and very easily engage people with certain needs or desires with a relevant message.”
While the technology might be breakthrough, the big idea is people. Fabbio has figured out a way to provide a reasonably priced, highly scalable marketing service. That enables eRelevance to connect a small business person with a highly creative and experienced marketer. “In a traditional marketing service firm, creative people can support maybe up to ten clients at a time, simply because there's so many software tools they're trying to use, getting in and out of them, learning them, having to consolidate data across them, just a lot of manual effort. In our world we have our creative people support up to 100 or more customers,” says Fabbio. “And so we've changed the fundamental economics of what it means to provide a marketing service to an industry.”
Fabbio’s clients just call their eRelevance account person and order up a campaign to drive new business or upsell existing customers. The only thing the customer needs to bring to the party is a useable customer database. They pay for the service as a monthly fee subscription that allows a set number of campaigns per month. That means Fabbio is scaling a high-margin, recurring revenue business with a large demonstrated need. “They (customers) don't even need to understand it. They simply just request work of us,” says Fabbio.
Fabbio has focused eRelevance on a highly specialized part of the small business market focusing on plastic surgery, medical spas and dermatology centers. “We picked the elective guys because it was going to be easier to quantify our value. We either generated a procedure or we didn't. We started focusing on the elective healthcare space and the business started to take off like crazy.” Fabbio found he could further grow the eRelevance service by partnering with the medical device manufacturers (Fabbio refers to them as channel partners) who white label the service to drive high device utilization and therefore increased sales for both Fabbio and the device companies.