Our first podcast of 2019 features a conversation with Jillian Als and Matt Matergia, two of the key players at Mono Solutions, about the constantly changing small business website design and fulfillment business. They spoke to us back in December from Mono’s Copenhagen headquarter.

The purpose of having them on Above the Cloud was to talk about how the website business is adapting to the era of full-marketing stacks and SaaS and diminished website traffic and Facebook and Google My Business and a growing DIY culture and so on and so on.

Some of the ground we covered included:

  • Do small businesses still believe a website is a necessary element of their digital presence?
  • Are millennial and younger business owners less likely to see value in websites?
  • Do websites really need to be sold? Or will small businesses increasingly choose to bypass the sales reps and just go DIY?

“We are seeing the role of the website evolving. It’s different than it was five or ten years ago and even from two years ago,” Jillian said.

She argues the website remains essential to SMBs for (at least) two reasons. The first is that the website serves as an authoritative source of data. The other is to serve as an opportunity to control a business’s branding.

And for resellers, websites remain a sticky product that provides a bulwark against churn, and a good base product to begin building out the full marketing stack for SMBs (campaigns, CRM, scheduling, etc.)

Copenhagen-based Mono builds websites for high volume resellers like digital agencies, directory publishers and others. As with most companies selling software-based products to SMBs, Mono understands it needs to widen its aperture and look for new channel partners. Telecoms, SaaS companies and other channels with abundant SMB relationships are all on the table for Mono.

To that end, Matt attended a Channel Partners event last year to kick the tires on the MSP (managed services provider) channel, a potentially new path for SMB software companies eager for new channels. Matt’s observations on that experience and the suitability of MSPs for selling their products will be interesting to anyone facing the same challenges in finding new resellers. Mono does not sell directly to SMBs.

Matt’s big takeaway from his experience at the MSP gathering is that digital marketing services providers may struggle to get much mindshare from MSPs that are used to working with big IT budgets at companies at the upper end of the SMB market.

“With the IT guys, they are going after companies with maybe 500 employees that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per month,” Matt said. “How do you make marketing services attractive to these reps?”

It’s a tough nut to crack, but identifying and evaluating new, and perhaps unconventional, channel opportunities is a key task for Mono. This is also a key area of focus in 2019 for the Tech Adoption Index program.

You can listen to the full podcast with Jillian and Matt here.

We encourage you to read the Local Search Association White Paper commissioned by Mono and published in November. The report reveals how different firmographics view different services models. Many of the themes touched on in the podcast are addressed in this report.