Yext: Payoff Marketing

October 8, 2021

Years ago my team took a look at a search system called EasyAsk (originally Linguistic Technology Corporation and eventually as a unit of Progress Software and then a stand alone company headed by Craig Bassin, founder of B2Systems.

Yes, EasyAsk is licensing a range of software, but the company seems to lead with search for eCommerce.

What’s interesting is that the firm used what I called “payoff marketing.” The idea is that use of a particular search-and-retrieval system with appropriate technical enhancements can deliver a big financial return.

Here’s a snip from the EasyAsk Web site. Note the tagline: “Cognitive eCommerce.”


The “payoff” angle is evident in “Watch revenues soar by at least 20% within 90 days.”

In some sales presentations from other vendors I have heard words that suggest increased return on investment, reduced cost of search, and increased sales. Not too many vendors have gone out on a limb at put a number in the customer’s mind.

However, Yext has taken a page from the EasyAsk marketing playbook. I read “People’s United Bank Sees 15x Annualized ROI from Site Search Integration between Yext, Virtusa, and Adobe.” Wouldn’t the word “among” be more accurate? Oh, well.

Here’s the snippet I circled:

The launch of Yext Answers assisted in about a 50% and as much as 70% reduction in unnecessary support call volume in the months following its launch compared to the months before. By integrating locations into the Yext search experience with Adobe AEM, People’s United saw an estimated 15x annualized return on investment (ROI) on the platform — a number that rose to 35x annualized ROI when including locations, FAQs, and products.

I think this is another example of payoff marketing.

I find the angle an interesting one. Search-and-retrieval systems have been seeking a model for sustainable revenue for more than 40 years. Subscriptions, license fees, and engineering support have worked. The winning method is to charge people to appear in search results and sell advertising.

What happens if the search system does not deliver a “15x annualized return”? My hunch is that companies confident enough to provide a numeric peg for search technology have the hard data to shoot down doubters.

Stephen E Arnold, October 8, 2021


Got something to say?

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta