The MarketMeSuite Story, Part I: From Desktop to Platform

"The need to constantly innovate applies to product, strategy, marketing, and every other facet of your business."

“The need to constantly innovate applies to product, strategy, marketing, and every other facet of your business.”

Often when we’re introduced to a killer app, we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
But that’s not the right question to ask. A far better question is something like, “Why didn’t I take that cool little idea I had some time ago and keep working on it until I turned it into a killer app?”

The initial idea that evolved into what is now MarketMeSuite wasn’t much to look at, but today, thanks to originators Tammy Kahn Fennell and Alan Hamlyn, the social media management platform is poised to make major inroads with small businesses everywhere.

Making social media easy

The platform greatly simplifies how a small business manages its social media presence and gives it a lot of tools to do some terrific marketing without spending a lot of time and effort—attributes that are always appealing to small business owners and managers. One key component of the platform that I especially like emulates an email “in box.” That gives users a tool that they’re already familiar with and helps make MarketMeSuite more intuitive.

TIP: When you’re creating something new, finding a way to incorporate an interface users already understand solves a number of problems before they even become problems!

The journey started outside of London—more on this chapter of the story in Part II—where Tammy (a marketing professional) and Alan (a tech guru) worked together on projects. But when Tammy encouraged Alan to leverage social media to grow his web design business, Alan wasn’t immediately on-board with the idea.

Help for the unsocial

“He said, ‘I’m an engineer, that means I’m not a social person, so I’m not sure how I could use social media,” Tammy recalls laughing. She took over his social media accounts and started to manage them “the old fashioned way.”

It helped Alan build his business and as they realized how well it worked, they started to wonder if there could be a better and more convenient way to work with social accounts. They aimed to create a proof of concept and the result was DeskTweet, which enabled Twitter users to tweet straight from their desktops.

“That was the first iteration of what we built. It’s still kind of special to me because it was our first stage. It wasn’t even a product. It didn’t cost money, we just wanted to see if we blogged a little bit about it, would people start downloading it, and how can we help small businesses,” Tammy recalls a bit wistfully.

Build it and they will download

“And it worked, because people started to download it!,” she adds. They quickly included a cool feature that allowed businesses to add their business location to their tweets. Alas, since then Twitter has stopped putting locations in tweets. But at the time, it was a great little feature for businesses.

Tammy says they have always had vocal users and have welcomed their comments. They have helped them guide the development of their platform. When they really got serious about the project is when they decided that the goal should be to create a platform that would do everything Tammy had been doing for Alan “the old fashioned way.”

That led to adding Facebook and LinkedIn and eventually all the other major social media channels, in the order that made the best sense for their customers.

Made for small businesses

While there are social media management systems available, they tend to be geared toward larger companies and are used by social media specialists. They are not “small business friendly.” Avoiding that pitfall was important to Tammy and Alan.

Currently they have a system that allows users to:
*  Manage and monitor their existing social media followers and channels,
*  Easily engage in new conversations, which creates new social media followers, and
*  Find and publish great content to keep followers coming back for more.

Today, I’ve taken you through the technical development side of what Tammy and Alan did. Next time we’re going to look at how their company grew, how they drew on resources and creative talent to keep their vision moving forward.

It’s a story worth hearing.

Sponsored by AT&T