Hey! I'm Caleb - Learning every day!

Hey everyone!

My name is Caleb! I stumbled across this community earlier this week and I have never been happier to be amongst discussions that can really make me think as I build out my own solution.

For the past three months, I have been building an Inbound Marketing SaaS inspired by the work that I do at the marketing agency I work for. My goal was to chase down the idea of Inbound Marketing and help small to midsize companies understand their customers/users, generate leads and focus on growth driven design in their digital marketing strategy. Initially, the idea sounded great and I was so pumped to tackle this. As I have read from several others - it just didn’t work out the way I thought it would. It also didn’t help that I fell into the trap of “If you enjoy development, then a SaaS will be brutal”. I also thought way too big way too early.

Earlier this week, I decided to make a pivot in my plan and focus on areas of my original concept that I feel draw the most value, especially in my everyday work. I originally planned on building this AiO tool (it’s okay to laugh), but it just can’t be done without delivering something completely unfinished and definitely not on par with other solutions out there. One area that is lacking (at least in my eyes) is the area of marketing reports and analytics. I want to help those same companies understand their audience and gauge their marketing efforts and share those same reports from an agency perspective.

It’s a fairly fresh idea, but I have already started re-tooling my platform to be more report/analytics focused and flesh out the idea more this weekend. Most of my larger codebase was centered around integration of third party tools and displaying data in a way that makes sense.

Lots of rambling - Really happy to be here in this community! I can’t wait to be able to showcase my own beta… Maybe soon!

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Welcome, Caleb. I’m curious, do you have some examples of competitors in this field along with the shortcomings of their existing products?

Clearly getting inbound leads and understanding which ones are converting, and why, is hugely valuable to business small and large, so I imagine there must already be solutions out there for this. My assumption is that I am simply uninformed, so I’d love to understand what options already exist.

Hey Aeden,

Sure! Here are a few tools that I found during my research. For the most part, the biggest downfall for all of the tools were how they reported out on information that was coming in. The tools were geared more to being just tools to assist in capturing and storing the leads, but not much beyond that.

Hubspot - the key Inbound Marketing player. They do just about everything a company needs, but in a much more confusing way. The biggest pro is flexibility in areas that matter (like landing pages or blog layouts), but you need to really understand the framework to make a positive difference. They really heavily on support and partnered agency support.

Spokal - Upcoming Hubspot competitor. They are focusing more on the creation element of inbound. The biggest selling point for them is an editorial calendar and a library of content to push to social and blog platforms. Heavy reliance on Wordpress is a downfall.

Leadboxer - This is one of the closest tools to insights on leads that I have found. They rely on proprietary algorithms to generate lead scores and insights on leads and push them through a sales cycle through direct CRM integration. They have fairly small plans, in terms of lead monitoring size.

Full Circle Insights - Marketing insights and lead monitoring are the key features here. It’s primarily built around Salesforce, but is used to help marketers match insights with sales report.

Those are a few tools. Marketing SaaS solutions, as a whole, is pretty busy. There are more single feature solutions over AiO solutions and I see the AiO being the bigger push, especially for small to midsize.

Why? Last I heard, wordpress still has the best SEO w/ genesis + yoast. Is there a better solution for good technical SEO?

What is AiO?

Consider: don’t build any software for your reports just yet. Try to sell it first to at least 1 person (your employer?), do it manually, then build software for it later.

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I agree! It’s not a big downfall, but there are just enough companies out there who do not use Wordpress (whether that be Drupal or a hosted Wordpress instance that can’t use plugins). For example, half of the companies we work with for inbound in our agency don’t use Wordpress, so we have to look for other alternatives.

AiO - All in One. Hubspot is probably the best example for that in this space. They do some email marketing, some social management, some blogging, some CMS work and some landing page work. You don’t have to use a specialized SaaS unless you need more development in either of those areas. It’s a curse and a blessing.

Would you mind expanding just a little more on this?