I was fortunate to be invited to the Google growth summit in Tokyo last month, and while I love Japan and didn’t need much persuading to go, I was interested to learn more about how Google sees the future of advertising and gain some insight into what it will be like working with such an iconic brand. Given our focus on small business, I was particularly interested to see if this fast-growing category was on their radar or if it was all enterprise and agencies. I was pleasantly surprised.
There were multiple fantastic insights into the SMB or SME market opportunity (depending on what term you are familiar with), both geographically and technically. Some affirmed what we already knew, given how much research we have done to understand what the market opportunity is for decision support and smart technology for small business customers across the globe.
For a Martech product like Metigy, the validated strategy or path to global success, is to make it in your own market and then go and conquer the US market and prove your product can make it in the toughest competitive environment. So naturally we are working really hard to do that and 20% of our customer base is already in the US and we have big plans for 2020 to prove we can make it globally and we are gearing the team towards that end and planning to have an office open in the US in the new year. By 2022 there will be 30m small to medium enterprises in the US and we know they need to have our decision intelligence guiding their marketing decision making.
That said, a fantastic and insightful presentation from Todd Rowe, Global Head of Partnerships for Google, reaffirmed for us that there will be 150m SMB’s across Asia by 2022, and if you do the math then that makes Asia a 5x market opportunity compared to the US. So our emphasis on being successful in both markets and driving growth in 2020 seems only logical. What we did not fully appreciate though is that 97% of those small businesses in Asia have no ad technology in place, and you could validate that marketing technology is probably even more critical. And importantly, there just won’t be enough professional skills to help these often inexperienced marketers master digital marketing and advertising, so technology needs to meet that gap. What a great place for the world’s leading marketing decision support tool to prosper. So naturally, Metigy is very focused on riding that wave.
The other macro trends for our market were really openly discussed, and it was great to have our view of the world reaffirmed. What small business want most from their ad technology stack, and hence their providers, sit in three key categories:
- Automation – technology needs to be easy to use and provide pay and play automation from the very first onboarding experience right through to the execution of critical functions that their teams do every day. The solution they choose has to make life easier, save time and costs, and deliver direct results relative to the effort and skills available. Fortunately for Metigy, that has been part of our mission statement and burning ambition in product decision making since day 1 and is ingrained totally in our customer experience
- Smart Technology – Small business marketing teams don’t have time or resources to incorporate and integrate expensive and complicated smart technology, but who needs it more than small teams with limited resources and big ambitions. That critical issue is what drove us to create Metigy and develop world-class ML and AI and make it available to SMB’s in an affordable and scalable platform and we continue to integrate new technology and solutions that extend that principle, like our recently announced partnership with Binumi to bring powerful video creation solutions integrated in the core of the creative process in Metigy. Plus we have some other really powerful examples coming in early 2020 and our upcoming release of a really simple version of Google search and display ads designed specifically for SMB’s, is a perfect examples of our commitment.
- A focus on ROI – SMB’s have limited budgets and they need results from their marketing program. So they need to understand that every allocation is going to deliver ROI. That particular macro trend really resonated with us and our continued investment in data science with the view to deliver our unique version of prediction technology to calculate ROI and shift the decision for marketers from one of budget allocation to an investment based on data. I am glad to say our growing data team is making great progress on this important initiative and our community will see the benefits of this work when we go from Beta to full release of our Google solution in early 2020.
As we have already nailed two of these key macro trends at the core of our product experience, and the third well and truly underway, we came away from the summit not only with the affirmation that Google is a great partner for us, but that our vision and strategy was really closely aligned with the future direction of these two big markets and focusing on delivering on these requirements gives Metigy an addressable market of 180m customers on our 2020 growth agenda, and for a B2B product, that is a huge future.
I am really pleased to report to our community that we are very advanced with our plans to integrate better technology solutions faster via a series of partnerships, and you can expect more announcements like the Binumi partnership shortly. Our philosophy is to seek out world-class solutions to problems you face every day, and bring their power and embed it into Metigy so you can access the advantages in a fully integrated environment and technology stack.
In that context, our data science team is also focusing on bringing AI to bear on the decisions you make every day performing important tasks, so we can support better decision making. We could just provide access to a photo or video library, which you no doubt already have access to, or we can use AI to analyze images and videos and when you are creating an ad or content, we can surface assets that will work really well with the context of your creative and improve all your metrics. Even using contextual metadata to filter down what images you see in a search is a huge timesaver. Now that is smart and a perfect example of our smart technology promise. That is just a sample of some of the great initiatives we are working on, so it is going to be a fun ride in 2020.