The small-business CRM service provider becomes Infusionsoft, dropping "CRM" from its product name along the way.
Posted Apr 18, 2008
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The company formerly known as Infusion Software has tightened up its name to become Infusionsoft, according to an announcement from earlier this week. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) product will henceforth also carry the Infusionsoft name -- specifically Infusionsoft eMarketing, replacing the previous moniker Infusion CRM. As part of the change, Infusionsoft has launched a 22-city U.S. eMarketing tour to connect with customers and prospects.
"Our new corporate identity represents a brand unification and better reflects our expanded mission--to revolutionize the way entrepreneurs grow their small businesses using automated online and offline methods and follow-up throughout the lifecycle of a customer," said Clate Mask, President and CEO of Infusionsoft, in a statement. "With the rapid growth of our customer base and channel partners, now is the right time to capitalize on Infusionsoft's momentum."
The name changes appear to be an attempt to distance the company from the CRM acronym, one that carries negative connotations for some users in the small- and medium-business (SMB) segment. "Until now, small businesses have only had CRM, or separate, incompatible tools as the only option when it comes to marketing to new and existing customers," Mask said. "Infusionsoft does a lot more than just 'manage customers and contacts.' We provide a way for the entrepreneur to grow his business by automating his marketing to prospects and customers and turning his website into a do-it-yourself lead capture and lead nurturing engine, at a price that makes sense. What it comes down to is growth--that's what small businesses really want."
The change to eMarketing also reflects a return to roots for Infusionsoft. When founder Scott Martineau launched Infusion in 2001, his intent was to create a custom software provider for small business marketers. Infusionsoft's customer base is entrepreneurial businesses with two to 75 employees, and Infusionsoft has thousands of them--between 7,000 and 8,000 accounts, according to an unconfirmed anecdote.
"I can see the rationale for taking CRM out of the product name," says Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB insights and solutions at research firm AMI-Partners. "It's one of the softer bucket terms in the industry, but it's not as confusing or negative an association as ERP. As to eMarketing, one of the chief advantages of CRM is to give smaller comp[anies a way to market themselves more effectively."
Infusionsoft's continued targeting of small businesses is a wise practice, in McCabe's eyes. "The small business market is severely underpenetrated, and Infusionsoft has been getting good traction there," she says. "Big guys like Microsoft and Salesforce.com tend to get caught up in serving larger corporations, and smaller companies like Infusionsoft, Entellium, and Maximizer can serve the unanswered need."
It remains to be seen whether those smaller CRM vendors will become the only viable solutions for SMBs, or be absorbed into larger concerns that make SMBs part of a broad go-to-market strategy. "Is there a limit to what [Infusionsoft and others] can do without being acquired?" McCabe says. "The answer is probably 'yes.'"
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