We sat down recently with Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social®, to discuss why he started the MaaS company, the value its platform offers to both small businesses and large enterprises and how it leverages Yext’s technology to make it easy for their customers to build a strong digital presence and improve the effectiveness of their local campaigns.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, Surefire Social and your role there. What are the company’s current goals and focuses? Where do you see Surefire headed?
I’m the Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, which is the first and only complete marketing operating system built exclusively for hyper-local digital marketing. Our Marketing as a Service (MaaS) solution provides custom SaaS marketing technologies combined with digital marketing services designed to help both small businesses and multi-location national brands improve their localised digital marketing initiatives.
Local business visibility today depends on implementing a coordinated campaign across many channels and platforms within channels (website, mobile, social, local directories, reputation, SEM). SMBs find it overwhelming and frustrating to assimilate all the changing platforms, integrate them and implement a coordinated cross platform campaign. Brands with large franchise, dealer or contractor networks have the more complex problem of coordinating national to local campaigning. Surefire Social provides the technology stack and services to make it easy and cost-effective to monitor, measure and publish from one platform.
I am proud to say that today Surefire Social has grown into an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company and we’ve helped over 2,400 contractors in the home improvement vertical succeed in digital marketing.
2. What kinds of services do you offer? How do you offer services — in bundles? In tiers? In packages?
The concept of Marketing as a Service (MaaS) enables us to work along with our clients to execute lead generation strategies. Our technology-enabled services include developing a comprehensive web presence with user and conversion friendly websites, Search Engine Optimised (SEO), Social Media Marketing and Advertising, Content Marketing, Local Listings, Pay Per Click (PPC)/ Google Adwords, GeoJuice (our geo-local mobile app) Reviews Monitoring and Reputation Management.
Packages are customised for small business, local marketing consultants and agencies that can leverage our platform to grow their business. We also support many large brands with custom solutions for their business: national-to-local marketing.
3. How does Yext fit into Surefire’s product/service offering? How does it help your clients do their jobs better?
Surefire Social’s core local marketing philosophy revolves around a business’s web presence being more than just a website. We also believe social is engaging with your customers across all channels where engagement is necessary. We built an openstack technology-based Digital Marketing Control Centre, SurePulse, that integrates seamlessly with Yext. The Yext partnership allows us to offer our customers an easy way to get their business listed across important local directory sites and make changes to their business information from one centralised dashboard. Local listings are such an integral part of the web ecosystem and accurate information is a critical component in making sure that searching customers can find your business.
We have extensively used the Yext API to integrate directory data/analytics, publishing and reputation monitoring into our SurePulse platform. This provides our clients with one view of their entire digital footprint with the ability to activate campaigns across platforms and channels. Many clients forget that managing directory listings (and the audiences) is an important part of your local marketing, so having all this data and real-time updating capabilities together in one place keeps this value we deliver top of mind.
4. What does Yext make it possible to do that you wouldn’t have time for otherwise?
The Yext Platform enables Surefire to have direct APIs into 58 major directories… that is HUGE. Because of this, our coaches can directly manage multiple listings on behalf of our clients in near real-time. When we launch our SurePulse Digital Marketing Control Centre early next year to local marketing consultants and agencies, they too will be able to deliver the same value of integrated data, analytics, monitoring and publishing to all these directories AND all the other digital channels in one place. We could not offer that without Yext!
5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with Yext? Why?
The Yext support we get is at least an 11! Seriously, we have enjoyed a great relationship with Yext and we are really growing our business together. They are business partners, not just a technology vendor. We have a great team of people that support us at Yext and we are certain that Yext will continue to score an 11 in our opinion.
6. What are the top mobile apps you use on a day-to-day basis? Which one is the most "fun"?
- Vivino – an app that allows you to take a picture of any wine label and it gives you reviews, ranking and pricing. A must-have for any wine enthusiast!
Chris Marentis is Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing marketing technology and services company. Our Marketing as a Service (MaaS) solution is designed specifically for hyper-local marketing for both small businesses and multi-location national brands. Marentis is a prolific entrepreneur, keynote speaker and regular contributor to leading marketing publications including Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, iMedia, Social Media Today and many others.