Thumbtack is one of many lead generation portals claiming to help small businesses grow. I subscribed to Thumbtack as well as Wedding.com to help build my business and am cancelling both, in favor of other marketing avenues. To be sure, there are others (think: Angie’s List) but I find myself questioning the true value of any of these sites.
Thumbtack specifically annoys me because I feel that I am constantly competing against them to get business in my own local area. I do fairly well in local search results, but the following screen shot is an illustration of why I am so pissed:
What ticks me off about the Thumbtack listings is that when you click either, my business is NOWHERE IN SIGHT, in favor of other companies, many of which aren’t even close to being ‘near’ Costa Mesa. When I email Thumbtack to complain, I get a weak excuse as to why I haven’t ‘made it’ into those listings—whatever that means! What’s really disturbing is that my business DOES appear in Thumbtack’s search listing for the city of Arcadia! F-I-V appears in response to the search query: “wedding videographer Arcadia,” a city 50 miles away!!! A sidebar: I did set my Thumbtack profile to accept queries within a 75 mile radius, but you won’t convince me that with all the geo-targeting capabilities available to internet marketing companies these days, they can’t do a better job of driving leads closer to where a business owner is located. I have even appealed to their CEO Marco Zappacosta, and while he is respectful and pleasant enough in his responses, I think they are more concerned with their business model than they are truly helping the small business owner. For what it’s worth, I will probably just keep my Thumbtack profile on the site, but will no longer purchase “credits” to bid on jobs. In their advertising, they claim it’s “free” to sign up, so we’ll see just how that plays out.
I was in digital marketing for almost 12 years before starting my video business, so I know the drill. What I have never understood, though, is how so many of these companies willingly accept our money, while providing such lackluster service.
Search Engine Land just today posted an article entitled “Local Businesses Squeezed Out Of Organic Search By Larger Websites.” Thumbtack, you are one of those culprits. Google, you should also hang your head in shame, because you said you were going to fix this.