Hibu Launches Digital Assistant to Automate SMB Marketing

Hibu Inc. has announced the launch of its latest product: Hibu Assistant. As its name implies, it’s meant to assist SMBs with a range of functions in Hibu’s digital marketing suite. That includes more automation in email marketing and messaging (a.k.a. conversational commerce) to save SMBs time.

For example, Assistant can automate outreach to SMB contacts. This includes things like drip campaigns and ways to strategically time communications to a given list. The latter can be segmented based on intended actions, such as turning prospects into customers or getting customers to write reviews.

These are classic cases of SMB functions that should be automated – especially for time-starved SMBs. Given their challenges, these are behaviors unlikely to happen unless automated. Yet, they’re valuable function as reviews can kick off a virtuous cycle of more business… and more reviews.

“Assistant automates some of the biggest challenges SMBs face – requesting and publishing reviews and engaging regularly with customers and prospects.” Hibu AVP Nick Hopkins said in a release. “Reviews, along with offers, are used to generate and convert leads, thus maximizing SMB overall marketing ROI.”

Feedback Loop

Going deeper on Hibu Assistant, one of its main selling points is automation. It accomplishes this by ingesting signals from a given SMB’s contacts. That includes things like where they are in the buying cycle, interaction with previous campaigns, and other data that helps inform communications.

Assistant also plugs right into Hibu’s existing digital marketing suite. That includes Hibu’s Listings and Reviews and Reputation products. These are one-stop-shop products that automate listings management across SMB websites, Google Business Profile (formerly GMB), Facebook, and Yelp.

This direct implementation gives Assistant advantages in terms of first-party integration and workflow. For Hibu, this also makes it a smoother rollout, given the existing installed base of its digital marketing suite. Assistant could also boost Hibu’s overall retention as it sweetens the deal for said suite.

“By adding Hibu Assistant to our integrated digital marketing solutions, we can now establish an ongoing marketing ‘feedback loop’ for our clients,” said Hopkins.”

Hibu U.S. Acquired by H.I.G. Capital

Striking a Balance

Panning back, Assistant is just the latest in an ongoing series of evolutionary steps for Hibu. We examined that product road map in a recent in-depth discussion with CEO Kevin Jasper on Localogy Leaders. According to Jasper, the name of the game is keeping pace with rapid innovation cycles.

As he explains, this is all about modeling out where the world will be in 5 years, then skate to where the puck is going. Assistant hits that mark in a few important ways. First, the world continues to move towards AI-driven automation. This will increasingly become an expectation among SMBs.

The second factor is aligning with a longer-standing imperative in SMB marketing: saving time. SMBs are famously time-starved, so tools that save them time through automation are well placed. So Assistant strikes a balance in emerging tech that stays aligned with the SMB marketing playbook.

If anyone has mastered that balancing act, it’s Jasper. He’s stewarded Hibu’s transformation from a legacy publishing business to a digital-first operation. This included last year’s private equity investment that made Hibu U.S. independent from the U.K.’s Hibu Group and under Jasper’s operational control.

See the full Localogy Leaders episode here.

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