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Thorough Review Of video.Market7 In StreamingMedia

January 14th, 2010 by Brian Baumley

We think it’s worth setting some time aside to take this full one in

Back in October, Tim Siglin of StreamingMedia and Braintrust Digital came out to our engineering offices in San Francisco to learn more about video.Market7 in preparation for an upcoming review. When he left to spend some time trying out the service on his own, he did more than just kick the tires – he took us apart and put us back together again! We should have expected no less after the meticulous in-person meeting.

We are pleased that this discriminating shopper seems to have overall liked what he saw. Like many video producers who try video.Market7, Tim seemed especially taken with the annotative player, which he notes, “might be the best thing to come along [last] year.”

A huge thanks to Tim and also to Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen over at StreamingMedia for taking the time to check us out. Check out the review online and in the Dec/Jan issue.

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Market7 Named To Fierce Online Video’s “Fierce 15″

December 16th, 2009 by Brian Baumley

We are in phenomenal company, among companies in our market we most admire

As 2009 winds down and “best of” lists are compiled for just about everything, we’re thrilled to see Market7 added to a highly-respected compilation of companies that are thriving in the online video field.

The annual list, which this year was pared down from over a few dozen nominations, recognizes the movers and shakers in the online video space. It also, in the words of editor Jim O’Neill, highlights those companies that “revolve around such cool technology” and “are driving online video forward by providing structure to build on or the muscle to move it.”

Head on over to Fierce Online Video to read the Market7 write-up and keep checking back as Market7′s industry value prop is further explored by Fierce in the new year.

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Appreciating Benefits Of SaaS For Our Customers And For Us

November 5th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

Using The Model For Immediate Responses To Customers, Steady Growth By Vendors

The past five weeks I’ve been taking an evening class on how to market & sell software-as-service or “SaaS” (the second “a” stands for “a” but for some reason it appeals to me more to leave that out). It’s the term for leveraging the Internet such that customers use their web browsers access software functionality hosted and maintained by vendors like us. It is the model that Market7 practices. Having worked this way for a couple of years now, the class has provided good opportunity to reflect on some of the advantages of this model, both for us and our customers, compared to my prior experience of customers physically taking on and managing technology products.

So far for us, two particular great advantages stand out:

Immediate responsiveness to customers’ needs and interests.

Market7 provides an expanding array of functionality to serve as a single resource for all of the ways people work together in the production of rich media, spanning the whole duration from conceptualization to approving final deliverables, and encompassing every mode of collaboration from strategizing about content to tactical logistics arrangements. So, at any moment, there is typically on the order of a dozen initiatives we are contemplating for introduction, mostly based on how our users and prospects tell us what they want. The SaaS model allows us to consider such initiatives flexibly, and to implement them rapidly. Instead of months or even years between releases, with the burdens of customers having to implement the changes on their own premises, we are able to deliver new functionality every few weeks (sometimes more than once within a week), and what’s new becomes seamlessly available to our customers, ready for them when they’re ready to discover it, without disrupting how they’re already using our software.

Just last night we released some new functionality after accelerating its development because two prospects had been requesting our growth in that particular area. One of those prospects has already become a customer, and we are advancing in our work with the other one to refine our future roadmap in this functional area, hoping to land them soon as well. That new functionality will be demonstrated in an upcoming blog post within the next few days. Later today we have a meeting with a long-time (by standards of a 2-year old company) customer that is eager to see some new developments in a different aspect of our offering on which we have just started some development. While that effort is in process, and a week or two from availability, we’ll be able to use a browser and the Internet to indicate the progress we’re already making towards this goal.

Granular scalability so customers can start at level comfortable to them, and vendors can leverage success towards expansion.

We endeavor to make our software as intuitive as possible, with the most basic features obviously positioned and based on familiar motifs, plus a lot of explanatory resources integrated within and provided as supplements as new users start. Combined with there not being requirements to install, configure and maintain code, it is easy for our customers and for us, when they get started with use of video.Market7 at any level of usage. Many opt to start by trying for a single project and then consider expansion with success.  We would love for them all to start big, but our track record of success in these expansion trajectories is a good one. One of the customers we’re visiting today, that actually started with a pretty substantial commitment, has scaled up to three times their original subscription level in one year of use. By usage scaling granularly, we are able to land paying customers without the arduous sales cycles of deals that must start large, our customers can economically get a feel for how well we work for them, and we can both easily grow our work together over time (with the added benefit of our being able to be immediately responsive when their usage spurs great ideas of what else we should be doing).

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Interview For Fierce Online Video Leader Series

September 2nd, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

Our Start-Up Evolutionary State

We appreciate Peter Wylie’s insightful questions about how it is to put a new start-up company through its paces in the current, challenging economic environment. Check out those questiona and our responses here (meaning, click logo below to link to the interview):

Thanks Peter & FierceOnlineVideo!

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Death of a Hard Drive

February 2nd, 2009 by Shannon Newton

Last week, I lost a lot of information when my laptop hard drive was corrupted. The unfortunate event reminded me how much I appreciate Software as a Service, specifically as it relates to Google (for my email, calendar and documents) as well as Salesforce (for my Market7 sales efforts). I still lost a considerable amount of data but for the most part, I didn’t miss a beat with our customers.

I was already a fan of the cloud (I better be since we built our software in it) but now I can say I LOVE the cloud. It’s one thing to evangelize how great the cloud is because of the flexibility, upgradeability, and blah blah blah (insert typical cloud computing benefits here). The first time you are saved by the cloud, however, you really understand how important it is.

…uh oh

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Commitment To Great Customer Service

August 19th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Poor Support Woes…

Recently, our company experienced terrible customer service from another Software as a Service (SaaS) company.

Instead, it is meant to highlight some of the key areas where SaaS is potentially weakest and where we (in accordance with our fine customers’ request) we hope to excel here at Market7.

  • After signing contract, customer cannot easily alter agreement after four months of low-usage
  • No online account management capabilities, must call customer support and wait for the assigned Account Representative to call us back
  • Despite leaving a better phone number for the Account Rep, Rep continues to call the phone number listed on the account, resulting in extended game of phone tag
  • Refusal to reassign account despite 4 weeks of Account Rep phone tag
  • Finally! Rep contact. Then 27 days go by with Rep failing to deliver promised new contract terms
  • After angry customer call and quick Rep follow up, Another four days pass, Rep still fails to deliver on promises
  • Through the entire process, customer is being charged for services they are not using

What can we at Market7 learn from this debacle? First, that customers feel vulnerable when dealing with SaaS. They are relying on someone “out there” to take care of them. They are at the mercy of outages, down-times, upgrades that result in bugs and loss of data. Because of this, it is especially important that they feel comfortable with the customer support system.

The irony is that the service is very, very good. If not for this customer service experience, I would recommend them to anyone wanting to have an online meeting in real-time. It is a shame that so much time was put into a great software experience only to lose customers because of their customer support.

Why is this different than traditional software? The vulnerability factor cannot be overlooked. SaaS companies must go OUT-OF-THEIR-WAY to take care of a simple request (like changing a service plan). Customers who get the impression they are just a number will conclude that their valuable information is at risk. “Wow, if they won’t even take the time to adjust my subscription, what will happen when I have a real problem like data loss on their servers”.

For Market7 video projects on a specific and limited time scale, producers and clients all fear that at the worst possible time (IE, 24 hours before the video is set to air) Market7 might not be there for them. As a result, it is crucial that we do three things for each and every customer:

  1. Make it easy for them to contact help
  2. Accept responsibility and encourage open communication
  3. Keep them constantly updated about progress and follow through the conclusion

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