Chatmeter CEO Talks Entrepreneurship and Giving Back to SDSU
Chatmeter started off as a realization that customer reviews were going to have a huge impact on decision making for consumers looking for local products and services. However, there was no way to manage this huge influx of reviews in the fragmented world of local search. Collin Holmes, Founder and CEO, set out in late 2009 to build the very first mobile local search platform aimed to help marketers, agencies, and local businesses improve their online presence and reputation.
Today, Chatmeter is a leader in that space, but it’s important to look back and see how it really developed. Collin is the first to admit that Chatmeter would never have been started without the MBA program at San Diego State University where he earned his degree.
After excelling at a semester-long thesis project for V-Enable, the company brought him on Director of Marketing and later promoted to VP of Marketing and Product Management. That company was pioneering mobile local search while people were still on flip phones! He recognized the huge fragmentation of mobile local search in which consumers use different mobile apps and business’s listing information was both outdated and inaccurate for consumers. On top of this, Holmes realized that with the growth of smartphones, reviews were going to take off and hugely impact the customer buying decision process before anyone else was thinking about it. These two issues drove Holmes to find a solution to specifically address these issues and build a company to become the leading provider of Local SEO and Reputation Analytics known as Chatmeter today. If he hadn’t worked on that thesis project and knocked it out of the park, he wouldn’t have been at V-Enable and never discovered the challenges within local search.
This past weekend, Holmes was asked to speak on a panel of fellow entrepreneurs at San Diego State University for an Executive MBA course taught by Professor Alex DeNoble. Holmes jumped at the opportunity to give back to his Alma Mater and came in with a breadth of knowledge for the class. Joining Holmes on the panel was Ryan Vanshur of The Course Key, Inc., Joel D’Eon of Tovi Health, Bryce Ebeling of LoyaltyGenerator, Inc., and David Barach of Principal Partner who is an Angel Investor in both Chatmeter and LoyaltyGenerator. The discussion was organized so that members of the panel could share their experiences, challenges they faced, and top tips for the budding entrepreneurs of the Executive MBA class.
“One of my favorite parts of my job is having the opportunity to teach others about what I have learned. Chatmeter, like any startup, had many challenges, several pivots, and plenty of life lessons. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s exciting to see such a great team we have assembled and the success of many years of hard work. Many people today hear of such great startup stories, but they forget how few and far between they really are. In addition, you often don’t hear about all the war stories and pure determination that startups require. It’s not for everyone. But when you do have that success and it becomes fun and exciting every day; it’s truly worth all the sacrifices.” – Collin Holmes, CEO and Founder, Chatmeter
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Chatmeter helps enterprise retail brands and agencies managing multiple locations increase their revenue. Since being the first Local Brand Management platform in 2009, they now analyze and improve over 1,500,000 storefronts for their reviews, rankings, and listings.
They help retailers make a distinct impact on revenue by identifying several areas in their online presence that drives customers to choose their stores over competitors. Chatmeter takes this a step further with the only integrated local visibility rank tracker so you can measure ROI using a complete local presence management platform in the world. As an exclusive Yelp Knowledge Partner, Chatmeter enables its clients to have the ability to display full-text Yelp reviews, along with existing data streams from other channels such as Google, Facebook, Bing, Tripadvisor, Yahoo and many industry-specific review sites.