ShowUhow Expands Online Video Technology, Targeting CRM

9/18/12Follow @bvbigelow

At booth 35 on the floor of the Dreamforce 2012 conference in downtown San Francisco this morning, ShowUhow founder and CEO Kim Folsom was demonstrating technology that represents a new initiative and a strategic shift for the San Diego startup.

Folsom founded ShowUhow in 2007 to create and host online video user manuals and instruction guides for operating and assembling everything from Toys ‘R’ Us toddler furniture to consumer electronics from Radio Shack.

Today, ShowUhow is unveiling a new online video platform for sales campaigns, saying it offers a better way for business customers to generate new sales leads and to manage their customer relationships. The San Diego company is offering its “Reel Qualified Video Campaign Platform Connector” through the AppExchange marketplace for Salesforce.com, which is sponsoring the four-day cloud computing conference at the Moscone Conference Center.

Startup CEO Kim Folsom

Kim Folsom

The technology is a video-based lead capture and qualification system, and represents a new foray by ShowUhow into the market for small and medium businesses, Folsom told me recently.

These days, Folsom says, “Any business is looking to generate new customers and business.” ShowUhow says it makes it easier by hosting a 60-second “magnet” video that allows a business to tell its story to prospective customers in a one-on-one context. ShowUhow helps its customers create the video and provides an analytic dashboard to help them track the number of people who watch the video, opt in for more information, watch related videos, and fill out an online contact form that sales teams can use to follow up.

“Video is very hot in terms of being able to drive business and engage people,” Folsom says. “We’re well-positioned because our expertise in this area can help drive business for small to medium business customers.”

The new Web-based service is not that much of a leap from ShowUhow’s initial focus on improving customer satisfaction and retention through its online technology platform for hosting manufacturers’ “how to” and “do-it-yourself” videos. It enables the company to target both consumers and business customers. Folsom says she has no plans to give up the consumer side, saying the company has deployed more than 1,800 video product manuals and assembly guides that have been viewed by nearly 5 million users.

“We’re leveraging our expertise and technology for using video in a wider market,” she says. The company now has 20 employees and about 50 certified contract workers. Folsom says ShowUhow has raised a little more capital from individual investors since mid-2010, when the startup raised $3 million in a Series A round from Syncom Venture Partners of Silver Springs, MD. But with the new strategic initiative underway, she says she intends to raise another $3 million in a Series B round in coming months.

All that will have to wait, however, until after ShowUhow finishes its run at the Dreamforce Expo.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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