The whole Needium team has been extremely busy in the last few weeks with a great opportunity to present in the startup competition of the LeWeb conference in Paris and a trip to the BIA/Kelsey conference in Santa Clara. After trialing Needium in Montreal last summer, we’ve also been busy scaling our operations to support multiple new cities (15+ and growing) and business categories (30+ and growing) in North America and Europe.
For readers that need a refresher on what Needium is all about, my company Praized Media has developed this new social lead generation service that extracts/filters implicit and explicit local needs being expressed in social media and narrows them down to those that are related to specific business categories. Things like “can you recommend a good hotel in Chicago?” or “my car just broke down”. Based on business categories, we sell a fully-managed service to local advertisers where our community managers, using the Needium dashboard, engage with these people via Twitter, on behalf of advertisers (using the advertiser’s own Twitter account) and convert them to potential leads.
You can watch our presentation/pitch at LeWeb on YouTube. All this recent activity has resulted in excellent media coverage, a subset of which you’ll find below.
- The Next Web: Needium: Helping businesses make money from Social Media
- Techvibes: Montreal start-up searches Twitter posts for local business opportunities
- The Montreal Gazette: Business finds a happy Needium on Twitter
- Interview with Peter Diedrich at LeWeb’10
- Techcrunch: The 16 Startups Competing At LeWeb ’10 (Only 1 Sort Of From The U.S.)
- Infopresse: Praized attire l’attention en France
- Direction Informatique: Praized Media se distingue à Paris
For people interested, you can always read our complete press coverage on the Needium Web site.
So, what’s next for the Needium team for 2011? Having proven that the product works really well and is delivering positive ROI to our Montreal advertisers, we’re now scaling our local sales efforts and have hired a small team of direct media sales consultants in Montreal to “prototype” the Needium sales process and develop supporting material and metrics. Our sales strategy is to expand geographically outside Montreal (North America and Europe right now) by striking reseller agreements with companies that possess a local sales force. Our work in Montreal will give us solid experience to help our channel partners as they introduce Needium to their advertisers.
We’ve started receiving opportunistic channel inquiries and, in parallel, have been approaching companies we think would have a great “sales” fit for Needium. These channels include lead generation companies, local search engine marketing (SEM) firms, interactive agencies focused on small businesses, radio, television and local newspapers. We’ve realized that a social/local/real-time product like Needium fits very well within a sales organization that deals with local advertisers, believes in the social media opportunity and deals with ad products that renew often (daily or weekly). If you’re interested in discussing Needium reselling opportunities, don’t hesitate to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All in all, the last few months of 2010 have been very exciting for us. We think 2011 will be even more exciting as we scale our sales and operations and help prove that you can deliver short-term ROI with social media!