Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.
In this episode of TriPod, Ross welcomes Blake Clark, Group Vice President of Software Advice, a platform that provides one-on-one help and personalized recommendations to guide you to your top software options. Creative business owners are usually in search of a software solution to help them automate, simplify, or scale their business. What they lack is a singular source to help point them in the right direction. Enter Software Advice.
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What You Don't Want To Miss:
Software Advice’s mission is to help small businesses grow faster by helping them embrace the right software and technology solutions. The core of their experience is to connect small businesses with an advisor who specializes in their vertical so they can have a one-on-one talk about their specific software needs. The advisor will then provide the business with a tailor-made short list of solutions that will meet those needs. Ultimately, Software Advice saves businesses a ton of time and gives them confidence that the chosen solutions will work so they can get back to the business of taking care of their business.
A Deep Level of Understanding
Think of any time in your life when you have sought out advice. Typically, you found someone (a person) that you could talk to. And more specifically, you want to speak to someone who deeply understands the problem you are trying to solve. There are too many things out there that are algorithmic or graphically represented on a comparison table.
Comparison tables serve their purpose and help get you a little further along the decision process. But there’s always that one little question that the table isn’t answering. Or that an algorithm choice isn’t answering.
This is probably why the most popular videos on YouTube are the how-to or tutorial videos. People love to get feedback, advice, or help from actual people. Honestly, there’s really nothing that can really take the place of a conversation with a person who has a deep knowledge set around the problem you’re trying to solve.
What Software Categories Had Explosive Growth in 2020?
The world changed when the pandemic hit. There is light at the end of the tunnel and there will be an economic recovery. A lot of the behavioral changes that have been made are here to stay. This is very evident in the software industry. Research has shown that over 80% of small businesses adopted new software in 2020. This is a high number for businesses that don’t usually have a large software budget.
The three fastest growing segments have been telehealth, learning management systems, and third-party delivery apps. Prior to the pandemic, these software segments were seen as burgeoning or in the early-adoption state. Now consumers expect businesses to offer these services.
Even software, such as proposal creation software or payment capture software, that cuts across categories for startups and small businesses is thriving. It might sound counter-intuitive, but a lot of businesses started during the pandemic to meet the demands from newly created behaviors.
Compass versus Map
Blake looks at his background like a compass versus a map. Maps are used to get you from a specific point A to a specific point B. Compasses provide direction. You might not have a destination point but you need a general direction.
Blake started his career in finance and enjoyed it, but he soon found his way to digital product management at a startup. What he loved most about this job was problem-solving—finding a solution that addresses the need in a meaningful way. When he got the opportunity to take the GM role at Software Advice, he jumped on it because he loved the mission of the company and what they do. For Blake, there’s something about being able to have involvement in lots of different areas, but always centered on that idea of problem-solving.
The pandemic hit small businesses in a similar way, forcing owners to problem-solve creative solutions or ways to pivot in order to stay afloat. They had to use their compass. There’s a lot in our communities that we sort of disagree on, but we can all agree that thriving local small businesses are great for our communities.
Blake Will Never Do This Again...
It’s been proven by data that the #1 thing people loathe as a customer experience is buying a car from a dealership. After a wonderful experience buying through an online business, Blake will never purchase from a dealer lot again. There is just too much information asymmetry. When a customer walks onto a car lot, despite all of the research they’ve done, it can still be a confusing and painful process. Most people leave unsure if they got a good deal or even worse, feel like they’ve just been ripped off or sold to. And that is not fun.
This is the same feeling many small businesses get when looking for new software—they get overwhelmed by all of the choices. For example: CRM software. There are 100s of choices and it can be challenging to distinguish between the different offerings. Wading through all of the information and understanding which packages have the needed features is challenging and sometimes hard to make sense of.
Blake uses this example as a litmus test for Software Advice’s advisors. What can they do to take a process that can be painful and complex, and demystify or simplify it in such a way that it’s not high pressure. This is why Software Advice offers their service for free. They simply want to make a great match for their customers.
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