Drive to Simplify SMB Experience Behind Location3 Platform

Last week at the LOCALOGY ENGAGE event near Washington DC much of the discussion centered around building marketing and back office SaaS products for small businesses that are simpler and more transparent in order to improve engagement, which is a great bulwark against churn.

We learned from the new Modern Commerce Monitor™ (which is replacing the Tech Adoption Index) that 62% of SMBs fail to use the full capabilities of the software they engage with, and many of them cite complexity as a reason why they are not more fully engaged.

We had a chat earlier this week with Location3 Media founder Andrew Beckman. His company seems to have taken some of these messages to heart with the newest version of its LOCALACT platform.

Location3 is an agency serving franchise-based businesses. Some of the franchise brands Location3 works with include Anytime Fitness, Edible Arrangements, and JAN-PRO.

The LOCALACT platform is used by local franchisees to manage local marketing campaigns as well as by the franchise brands. The platform combines listings and reviews management, paid search, SEO, and content, along with analytics.

Beckman told us the new 3.0 platform is focused on improving the user experience. Though Location3 is focused on franchise businesses, franchise owners are small business owners in every sense. And the majority of businesses on the Location3 platform are franchisees with one or two locations.

Beckman acknowledged that Location3 has struggled with getting local franchise owners to enroll on the platform.

“Enrollment has been a challenge,” Beckman said. “It used to take 10 steps to start a campaign. We have done a lot of usability testing and have cleaned that up. With 3.0 we have a more seamless process to start and learn about campaigns.”

They have also ramped up customer support as well as educational content (videos, etc.) to make the process easier and more transparent.

Beckman said there still isn’t a substitute for human service for busy small business owners, few of whom are marketing or technology experts.

“We want to automate as much of this as possible,” Beckman said. “But at the end of the day, folks want to be able to talk to a human being.”

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