December 31, 2020 by Matt Zentz
If you’ve ever had a recurring injury or some other sort of chronic, nagging pain, this is what it feels like to write this post. 2020 has been a thorn, lodged into Marketpath’s heel, with few ways to remove it.
At the beginning of 2020, in my Futurevision 2020 post, I actually wrote “I have this gut feeling that it's going to be a breakout year for Marketpath.” In a way it was, except that everyone broke out of the office and worked from home for half the year instead of breakout sales. I will avoid such comments going forward.
Like I said, 2020 has been a persistent thorn. We could walk but we couldn’t run. And so here we are, in much the same place we were almost one year ago, except with a few bright spots of encouragement and hope.
We had some golden plans in place for 2020. We accomplished nearly everything in our Q1 product updates.
We did push out some new features we hadn’t planned at the beginning of the year.
You can read more about our product updates by visiting the Marketpath CMS Recent Updates blog.
COVID-19. We’ve done a lot of work for our clients to help with COVID-19 announcements and site changes. We’ve also encouraged all of our customers to continue marketing because now was the time to continue promoting their message. If they waited until all the quarantines and restrictions eased up, it might be too late.
COVID-19 slowed us down for sure. Even with our encouragement to customers, a lot of projects and ongoing marketing initiatives were put on hold. So, we buckled down and worked on internal projects when we weren’t billable. One of those was the site migration app mentioned above.
Remote Work. Like much of the world we went remote for about 6 months. For some of us, it worked better for maintaining a family and work life balance and they continue that today. For others, home arrangements weren’t as conducive to being productive, so they came back to the quiet office.
For me, I enjoy both working from home and working in the office. There are pros and cons to each and I try to strike a proper balance. When I work from home, I avoid the extra hour plus of driving and get to see my family more. I’ve cherished those lunchtime chats with my wife and kids. But I also miss out on the comradery and working closely with our staff.
Launching Strategic Niche Market Partner. We were planning to hold off on our niche market initiatives but we had one jump into our lap in the 4th quarter. Our niche market efforts are geared toward companies that provide industry-specific services and manage many websites. This new partner gave us a reason to shift plans and begin focused sales & marketing to these providers.
New Email Marketing & Automation Platform. We started using ActiveCampaign in January for email marketing, automation, and CRM. The CRM has a lot of room to grow but works ok for a small team. The email marketing and automation, however, is top notch and well built. We have integrated it within Marketpath CMS to provide new user drip campaigns, subscription management, and other event-based automations, such as recording last login, new site creation, and agency sign up.
Strategic Digital Marketing Partners. One of my favorite initiatives was kicking off our strategic digital marketing partner directory. This isn’t fully completed or launched, but when it is, it will be a great resource for companies to search qualified agencies, see what projects they’ve worked on, and connect them.
All in all, 2020 wasn’t a complete bust. It certainly wasn’t the banner year we’d hope it would be. Just as we rolled out our sales & marketing initiatives in March and April the coronavirus took a stranglehold on the world.
But thousands of website developers and digital marketing folks have now heard of us and continue to engage at some level. Our goal is to become the obvious remedy for slow, buggy, and unreliable CMS platforms. In 2020, we’ll keep pounding the virtual pavement and getting our name out there.
Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.
Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.
Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, and supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog. He coaches various kid sports, enjoys building furniture, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is very active within his church community and several area not-for-profits.