Other Side of Story: MyRealPage Ubertor and Spam
This continues the “MyRealPage versus Ubertor” series.
A couple of blogs have been posted recently, by Ian Watt and Tim Ayres, that talk about MyRealPage, Ubertor, and Spam. The blogs in question are here:
Ian and Tim are staunch supporters of Ubertor and appear to be friends with each other and Stephen Jagger, Ubertor’s co-founder. I think it’s admirable to support your friends and their business; I certainly try to do that with my friends as well.
I would like to state forthright: I don’t begrudge Ian and Tim their view of MyRealPage’s messages to them. I agree that they shouldn’t have gotten them: they were marked to be skipped but slipped through the cracks as we were experimenting with different email delivery systems (incidentally, they were not included in all campaigns). BTW, Tim, you did mark yourself as an “opt-out” and it did register in our system. I have done that manually for Ian, as a courtesy.
A couple of direct remarks:
- Ian, I wonder if “that guy” in your video is me, if so, I have to tell you that I am not personally involved in our marketing campaigns, and I hope you don’t see me doing the proverbial licking of the email envelope with your address on it and snickering: the process is automated, your inclusion in the campaign was accidental and without any evil purpose.
- Tim, our “system” is not what sends out email campaigns, MyRealPage is a website and listing solution provider for real estate agents, not an email campaign software company; we use other companies’ products which, regrettably, are not always fault-proof; hence, it really can say nothing about our “system”.
- Tim, in case you are curious, we don’t go about looking for Ubertor clients’ websites by checking the “hosted by” logo; that would be a terrible waste of our resources.
Now, a few observations about these two video blogs:
- It’s interesting that a “spam” message can cause the appearance of two blog postings. I usually delete my unwanted messages, often without even looking at the content. But, of course, the blog posts are not about spam, they are about MyRealPage and their competition with Ubertor.
- Tim takes an odd stance of being offended by the fact that we can be targeting customers of a competition. I find it to be a curious position, since competitive marketing is what I see every day anywhere I look. Examples?
- Apple against Microsoft: watch their hugely successful and popular on-going video commercials of “I am a Mac, and I am a PC”
- Microsoft’s counter campaign that at one point included Microsoft people standing by entrances to Mac Stores and talking to Apple customers about benefits of Windows (pretty close analogy to Save-on-Foods fliers from Tim’s blog)
- Or here is a good one: ComFree is a “sale by owner” service that is based in Winnipeg. My cousin decided to try her luck with that. Since she set up the sign on her lawn, she has received literally dozens of promotional leaflets and phone calls from realtors trying to convert her into a client. She has actually signed up with one of them: good for her!
- Of course, it’s silly to go on… Competitive marketing is all around us. Businesses will continue to advertise and if they feel they have an edge over their competition, they will advertise to the competition’s client base. Ubertor targets our clients too (Ian, you advertised at least a few deals not too long ago that are specifically targeted to MyRealPage clients; Tim, any comments on that?)… well, we “get it”: it’s business.
But here comes a curious inconsistency in this strong reaction to MyRealPage by these two blogs:
According to Ian and Tim, Ubertor is far superior to MyRealPage in terms of the product offering. Incidentally, there is a whistling silence on my invitation to Ubertor to come out with their technical advocacy and settle the feature scores in the open: “mano-a-mano”; and not via “leader” and “innovator” rhetoric. If Ubertor is so superior and has gotten its products and customer service so right, shouldn’t our campaigns to Ubertor agents be simply laughable, as opposed to warranting separate blog postings by Ubertor advocates. I mean, really? [irony] Why would MyRealPage go after the “hard” client who has found the ultimate provider in this space and is now enjoying all the benefits of their products and services? Wouldn’t we spend our money better going after the others, who are “mercifully ignorant” of our competition and try to “cajole” them in becoming our client.[/irony]
So here is the very simple and accessible explanation for why MyRealPage continues to advetise to Ubertor’s clients: MyRealPage has a pretty good success rate with converting Ubertor clients. This, and only this, is why we continue to advertise our products and services to Ubertor clients. Of course, there is nothing surprising: take a look at the reasons to use MyRealPage, they represent a pretty powerful product offering. We have good conversion rate for email campaigns, snail mail campaigns, and the best of all, when Ray Giesbrecht, our salesperson in Vancouver, talks to Ubertor clients in person. (Is that why Ray is attacked at a personal level by fake commentators?). Retaining a customer is part of the game, it’s not over after a new client is signed up. We take retention very seriously by constantly improving customer support and products on our end.
MyRealPage will continue to build its products, customer service, and its business; and it will continue advertising and challenging the competition. I think competition is a good thing, even if you are not a customer standing to directly benefit, but are yourself on of one of the competing sides: it’s always a great motivation to make your business and products better.
And one last thing: I am happy that these blogs have been careful to avoid any direct feature mentions and comparisons, as has happened in the past. But I would carefully weigh bringing in ethics into the MyRealPage versus Ubertor arguments, because for one, MyRealPage has never crossed any acceptable business practices in its marketing or sales campaigns, such as, for example, pretending to be competitor’s customers in online comments and attacking competitor’s salespeople at a personal level.