In order for businesses to grow, especially small businesses in today’s highly competitive world, they must maintain strong customer relations.
A decade or more ago, a personal experience at a local store may have been the driving force for a customer to frequent the small shop as opposed to a big box store. Those days haven’t completely disappeared, but they are fleeting. In order to drive traffic and keep a healthy relationship with customers, small and medium size businesses are increasingly looking to digital solutions, namely customer relationship management (CRM) systems. To do this, though, is a significant challenge, as bigger companies with larger marketing budgets tend to dominate prime advertising space.
CRM has come a long way in recent years and is constantly evolving to capitalize on the age of big data to better predict consumer behavior, improve the sales and marketing experiences and, ultimately, drive sales. While CRM options range from relatively simple to extremely comprehensive, an area that still lags is the mobile space, making mCRM (mobile customer relationship management) a growth area and investment opportunity for 2016 and beyond.
“We’re going to see some true innovation in the CRM industry to not only improve traditional methods, but also deliver cutting-edge services focused on mobile that envelope multiple disciplines,” commented Chris Greyling, founder and CEO of the invitational marketing firm Uneeqo, Inc. (OTC: UNEQ), in a phone conversation. “Incorporating aspects such as the Internet of Things, predictive analytics, better security and different integration methods are going to be catalysts to make mobile CRM a go-to service to companies of all sizes in the near future.”
Greyling, whose resume includes being the former founder and CEO of EDMS, SA and a director of Supported Software, two companies acquired by QData Group and Datacentrix, respectively, brought Uneeqo public through a reverse merger with Kore Resources, Inc. late in April. Greyling is looking to carve out a position in a new market segment with his latest endeavor, Uneeqo, an upstart technology company focused on providing an integrated instant (messaging, VOIP, video) engagement platform to business marketing managers to access actively interested individuals more efficiently, combining user choice at the moment with CRM integration through a multi-vendor mobile commerce engine.
According to Greyling, one of the key differences is that Uneeqo doesn’t stalk consumers to try and sell them products like legacy applications do. Ever wonder why when you look at a web page or read an article on Facebook that all of a sudden advertisements on those subjects start appearing? That’s simply because by installing applications grants permission for user data to be collected for sale to advertising networks and media channels.
The companies spending that money want to know how efficient their efforts are and that’s where Uneeqo’s mCRM comes into play.
On that front, analysts at Gartner predict that the CRM software market to be valued at $36.5 billion globally by 2017, meaning that there is a large market opportunity at hand if Uneeqo can finalize build-out and have a successful product launch.
Data from The Chamber of Commerce shows that SMBs spent an average of $500 annually on digital and mobile marketing in 2014. In Europe, the annual spend for SMBs is roughly the same. Further, data points to the trend accelerating. The CMO Survey estimates marketers are planning on increasing their spend on social media promotion by 21% in the next five years, representing a four-fold increase from 2009 levels even though marketers report that there is very little impact to their bottom line. Throwing more money at marketing does not solve the problem of ineffectiveness. The problem is solved by more effective branding and consumer targeting, which is exactly what Uneeqo is doing and why it should attract the business of the more than 117.3 million companies across the U.S., Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.
Drilling down some, there are roughly 49.1 million SMBs in Uneeqo’s initial target markets of the U.S. and Europe. Based on 2014 averages, that’s $24.6 billion in digital and mobile marketing spending. Greyling says that Uneeqo’s focus is on the estimated 5% of the market ($1.23 billion in spend) that have a mobile presence and the balance of 95% is potential growth. Following launches into those markets, the company plans to expand into the Asia/Pacific region, where another $15 billion is spent annually by SMBs on mobile marketing.
Uneeqo is looking to grab share in the mobile ad spending market for small to medium enterprises that researchers at eMarketer estimate totaled $49.6 billion last year.
The investment community is quietly catching on to what Uneeqo is developing and the upside potential for the company in the massive industry.
Shares of UNEQ ( see the stock chart for UNEQ ) were trading around 17 cents on negligible volume when the company came public in April. Since, volume is steady, increasing to a daily average of 65,673 across the past three months, according to Yahoo Finance, while the stock price has appreciated 71% to 29 cents. With a market cap of only $33 million, there is still plenty of headroom for additional growth as the company executes on its business plan.
In order to recognize the blue-sky opportunity, it’s necessary to understand the Uneeqo model.
Still in early development, the Uneeqo platform aims to change that paradigm for consumers by allowing users to create their own digital world in one place, where all apps and browsers are consolidated. Aside from simply cleaning up the clutter on a mobile device, the benefits run much deeper for the user.
With the free app, users select from which businesses they wish to receive advertisements. It’s also safer because no personal data is collected and contacts are not accessed by the application. The user decides which contacts are added to their “circle” for sharing information through messaging that is built into the platform. Users will be able to surf the web from inside Uneeqo, keeping them protected from unwanted ads, while allowing for secure purchases from multiple vendors through one checkout.
Another novel feature in development is a “Floating Communication Button” for cross-platform uses in web and mobile browsers that allows for simple consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer communication (for the some 50 million webpages that current employ a chat option).
Ultimately, Uneeqo is a social media ecosystem for both consumers and business.
By design it is intended to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) by consolidating branding, a mCommerce engine, instant communications and more within a single mobile app. According to Greyling, the goal is to “get in front of an expanding industry by minimizing the clutter in today’s mobile advertising space and leveling the playing field so SMBs can succinctly reach and communicate with their targeted demographics.”
Many of the features are similar to popular e-commerce websites and applications today (such as eBay, Craigslist and Amazon.com) in combination with communication tools (such as Skype, text messaging and FaceTime) rolled into one. As such, users can search for products, request info and find nearest locations thanks to location-based technologies. With a click, the information can be shared with friends and associates.
For companies, there’s no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to develop their own application. Many SMBs simply cannot afford that in their budget as it is. It is vital to be apart of the “app-sphere,” though, considering that people spend on average nearly 200 minutes everyday in mobile applications, versus only about 22 minutes daily on the mobile web.
The turnkey solution provides a dashboard for managing contacts, creating marketing campaigns, tracking performance and accounting.
Much like traditional CRM technology, algorithms are used to combine customers’ choices with CRM systems in a bid to better serve the customer in a manner that doesn’t leave them feel as if they are getting bombarded with spam because advertisements are coming from businesses they chose to connect with. Companies with existing apps will be able to integrate right into Uneeqo, eliminating the need for dozens of icons on a mobile device for a user, added Greyling. The cost to companies for the targeting marketing and CRM system will range from $9.99 per month to $499 annually, depending on the number of consumer connections.
It has been theorized by some that one day users will not login to different websites, they will simply login to the web. With the type of consolidation and more personalized experience without sacrificing features people can’t live without, it seems that Uneeqo is pointed at moving things in that direction.
Interested parties can learn more by visiting the company’s website at www.uneeqo.com or by contacting the company directly at:
Chris Greyling, Founder/CEO Uneeqo, Inc.
1101 Brickell Ave.
South Tower 8 th Floor