WOMbeat! Profiled by Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF)

October 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

tbtf logo - smallIf you are not a member of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) and are not on their email mailing list, you may have missed their latest newsletter profiling WOMbeat!   
WOMbeat! has been a proud member of TBTF since 2007.  TBTF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making Tampa Bay a place where technology-based business and innovation thrives.  TBTF has also been a great supporter of WOMbeat!, and we appreciate all the great advice and mentoring that their members have provided us.  
Here is the copy from the TBTF Newsletter (dated October 6, 2008):

Executive Profile

Marc Mandt and Linda Olson, Owners

Tell us about WOMbeat!

WOMbeat! is a fast, easy-to-use online service that helps you find great local businesses recommended by the people you trust the most – your friends.

What differentiates WOMbeat! from directories or other product and service review web sites and blogs?

At WOMbeat!, our primary focus is on “trust,” and there is nothing more trustworthy than information from people you actually know. Other sites might provide volumes of local business listings with reviews written by strangers, but nothing beats a recommendation from a friend.

We also focus on “privacy” and “control.” We collect only three things from you at sign up:  name, email and zip code. You create and manage your circle of friends, thus you determine who has access to your contact information and your list of favorites, not us. We purposely did not put a “find-a-friend” feature on the site so that our users can maintain the highest level of privacy and control.

Finally, we also focus on “ease of use.” Other sites require people to write or read reviews. WOMbeat! allows you to create recommendations in just a few clicks – no writing required. Additionally, because you can zero-in on just those businesses your friends recommend, there is no sorting through irrelevant listings to get the information you want.

Is there a fee to become a member?

Unlike some websites today where members have to pay a monthly fee in order to see reviews written by strangers, WOMbeat! is 100% free to use for finding or sharing great local businesses with people you actually trust – your friends. Of course, we think free is always better for obvious reasons, but it also means that we can collect a greater amount of credible user-generated content about local businesses because our members do not cancel their membership.

What was tyour motivation for launching WOMbeat!?

The idea behind WOMbeat! came from personal experience. When people need a plumber or car mechanic, they always ask a friend, “Who do you know?” It is only when they cannot find a trusted recommendation from someone they know that they visit an online directory or review website.

However, traditional means of word-of-mouth in the offline world (water cooler, telephone) are still inefficient, and the recommendations are generally not stored for the future benefit of others.

WOMbeat! solves all these problems by moving the word-of-mouth conversation into an online format where the recommendations are stored as the user’s favorites for the benefit of everyone in that user’s personal network. In addition, with our next release coming soon, WOMbeat! can help users get very targeted coupons or promotional announcements from those businesses they love the most without these users having to give away their personal contact information and without cluttering up their email inbox with spam.

How does your site function without advertising?

WOMbeat! has shied away from traditional banners and other online advertising for several reasons. Mainly, we want to assure our users that business owners cannot pay us to bias search results in their favor like they can on other websites. Plus, banners and other types of online advertising can be distracting for our users and generally are too expensive or not that effective for the local businesses anyway.

What WOMbeat! does do, however, is provide business owners with the unique ability to leverage the most powerful form of advertising, word of mouth, to help them drive repeat business, reward their biggest evangelists and attract quality new business from the friends of their biggest fans. With our next release coming soon, WOMbeat! provides business owners with their own personalized dashboard to track activity about their business listing and send laser-focused coupons and promotional announcements to different audiences on the site. Plus, we also provide business owners with access to incredible consumer research data about their business not available anywhere else.

Where is WOMbeat available?

WOMbeat! is available across the state of Florida today. 




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