“Think locally, act globally” is an expression we haven’t heard in some time, yet still applies today. And while there’s a big market in small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and the ad dollars they have to spend, the job to do so is usually handled by an intern, despite the fact that all of those small local ad budgets can add up to big bucks in a very short amount of time.
“Google, Facebook, Yelp, Groupon. That’s the extent of what [SMBs] know,” said Jeremy Kagan, Co-Founder of Pricing Engine, an affordable, cost-effective marketing solution for sole proprietors, small marketing teams and SMBs that are looking to launch and analyze online campaigns, while trying to save money, time and resources.
With Pricing Engine, cost-conscious SMBs can build and launch a campaign in minutes. Companies can sign up and analyze their ad buys and view benchmarks of how they compare to their competitors. Pricing Engine will also provide analysis of where the ad is, or has been, most effective and how much it’s worth to the SMB in actual response. Not only is it an easily implemented turnkey solution, when you consider what the alternatives are for many of the mom-and-pop businesses trying to build a local presence, but the company also fills a void in the advertising sector. “Our competition is Valpak or nothing,” notes Kagan. “Pricing Engine is an online marketing solution for the rest of us.”
Simply build your ad once, and you’ll have the ability to deploy it in multiple places. Write up a budget, pick your keywords, then launch on Google, Bing and Yahoo. The platform also gives you an estimated revenue benefit that you can achieve by raising your ads up to a higher level. And the company will be adding channels, display and social very shortly.
A product of Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator’s first graduating class, Pricing Engine was founded by Kagan and Yagmur Coker, marketing professionals who realized businesses, particularly smaller ones, were getting lost online. Only a few had the resources and staff to turn their analytics into insights and action to make their businesses better. The millions of other companies that didn’t take this route turned to expensive tools and consultants, which mostly added to their confusion, and costs, without delivering clear results.
“We don’t see ourselves as a vendor, but as profit center for them,” remarked Kagan.
When they first launched in beta, the company only had their freemium model, then went out to the West Coast for the second ER Accelerator Demo Day. “We started getting calls from a customer who wanted to upgrade and couldn’t find where to put in his credit card information,” said Kagan. “We told him it was down for maintenance, then built it over the weekend. He opened several accounts the next week – and is still one of our biggest customers.”
Kagan is a New Yorker, born and bred (“I was born in NYU hospital,” he said, as were his two daughters), and has no intentions of leaving any time soon – or ever. “New York is always good for ad tech and B2B companies and we’re right in the thick of it.”
They’re definitely fulfilling a need in the market. The company’s conversion rate from freemium to premium is still growing, and they were pulling in over $10,000 a month even before they came out of beta.
While their focus is clearly on local, wherever that may be, Pricing Engine is poised to take on the world.
Disclosure: Bonnie Halper is a mentor at ER Accelerator