IntellaSphere’s budget marketing cloud

Washington-based start-up IntellaSphere this week announced the launch of a low-priced, cloud-based marketing guidance center, and suite of associated tools, aimed primarily at the SMB segment.

In our overview of the social media management landscape, published on Monday, we identified a number of players offering social listening, analytics, and engagement products, at reasonable cost, to businesses not yet competing at the enterprise level. We also mentioned the big marketing clouds, each of which has, of course, a social relationship component. Now here comes IntellaSphere with what is, in effect, a streamlined, value-conscious, marketing cloud offering. We could call it a “cloudlet” if that term hadn’t already been taken.

I spoke with Bruce Worrall, Intellasphere’s CEO, who told me people should regard IntellaSphere as “disruptive,”and as a kind of “Microsoft Office for marketers. Very broadly applicable, very low-priced, very easy and inexpensive. It delivers the same power and functionality that enterprises are getting, but at a fraction of the cost.”

IntellaSphere is very much a marketing tool. It does provide a platform for publishing and sharing content across the main social channels, and also serves to monitor relevant brand conversations across the network. Distinctively, it throws some key marketing functions into the mix. The Connections Relationship Management system integrates social activity with CRM, profiling online connections as prospects and tracking their behavior. In effect, it automatically builds a prospect database.

Also, in addition to analyzing social activity, it provides automated prompts–marketing guidance–to indicate engagement opportunities, identifying key influencers and effective content. “We want to get to the point where we can be very prescriptive, down to recommending the time and day for engagement,” said Worrall, “but we’re not quite there yet.”

IntellaSphere starts at $9.95 per month for one user and five profiles. I noted that the highest priced package (for agencies) was priced at $299 per month, but only served 25 users–somewhat short of what even some medium-sized businesses might need. Worrall told me that the packages can be customized to add users and connections.

I pressed Worrall on how the company could offer a marketing suite at this kind of price. Surely they cut some corners? “The good news,” he said, “is that we built this with a lean infrastructure. We’ve spent three years building this functionality out, and considered competing for the enterprises market.” There are 28 million SMBs in the United States, he said. “The margins are still very good for us.”

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