Careers at Moz
Moz’s mission is to help people do better marketing.
In the late 1990s Gillian Muessig ran a small marketing consulting firm in Seattle, Washington. In 1999 she was joined by Rand Fishkin, a college student whose role was to build Flash+HTML websites for local businesses such as banks, retail stores, and dentists. Fishkin knew nothing about search engine optimization (SEO), making the power of his sites somewhat limited.
In 2001 Fishkin dropped out of school to work with Gillian full-time. This was partly because their company was struggling in the face of the dot-com bust and was going into debt. In 2002 he began studying SEO to help its prospects. He and Gillian also started a website for the business called SEOmoz.org. It would double as a channel to write about their challenges and post helpful tools.
In 2005 Newsweek magazine wrote an article about the dark side of SEO in which it highlighted SEOmoz as a positive example. The exposure helped drive lots of traffic to the site from curious developers and webmasters. That year the company gained a lot more sales and finally began to recover financially. By 2007 it was debt-free.
That same year SEOmoz decided it needed a recurring source of revenue, and launched the PRO membership for $29 a month. The offering provided access to marketing analytics and inbound marketing software. The company also received its first funding, with Ignition Partners & Curious Office joining to invest $1.1 million so the firm could grow its staff, build its web index, and scale its software. In 2010 it introduced two new products, Open Site Explorer and a Keyword Difficulty tool.
In 2008, SEOmoz shifted fully from consulting to software development, focusing on software that analyzes all of a client’s marketing efforts on one platform. Between 2008 and 2011, SEOmoz’s revenues grew from $1.5 million to $11.4 million. 2012 saw another successful funding effort, with $18 million generated in a round led by Foundry Group. That year SEOmoz acquired a few companies that helped enhance its capabilities: Followerwonk, a service for searching and managing Twitter biographies, and GetListed, an SEO service for small businesses. In 2013, it rebranded itself as “Moz”.
Benefits at Moz
Business model of Moz
Moz has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. Its offerings are designed for companies that want advanced analytics for their marketing activities.
Moz offers three primary value propositions: cost reduction, convenience, performance, and brand/status.
The company’s solution reduces costs by providing an all-in-one set of SEO analytics and research tools. This means that organizations do not have to purchase various solutions individually.
The company’s solution offers convenience by enabling customers to upload thousands of listings at a time. Further, it automatically flags inconsistencies, checks formatting, picks categories, and validates locations, protecting listings from spammers. Users can take advantage of its strong reporting features, which enable them to easily see data for individual or groups of locations.
The company improves performance through partnerships with leading listing aggregators and online directories. These alliances enable it to boost clients’ listings in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find them.
The company has developed a powerful brand thanks to its performance. It now has a customer base of over 35,000 and manages more than 60,000 business locations. It is also supported by what it touts as the “largest community of global online marketers on the planet”, 500,000 people.
Moz’s main channel is its software platform, through which it acquires most customers; it also actively reaches out to potential clients through its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering by having its staff attend conferences and speak at events. Furthermore, it hosts its own event called MozCon, an annual digital marketing conference held in Seattle.
Moz’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website includes a “Resources” section with beginners’ guides, webinars, and survey reports. It also features a “Help” section with answers to common questions and “how-to” guides and videos. Moreover, the site offers free tools for keyword research, link building and analysis, Twitter analytics, webpage performance, and local listing audits.
There is also a community component in the forum where users can communicate with other online marketers. In addition, there is a personal assistance element in the form of e-mail support.
Moz’s business model entails maintaining and updating its platform for its 35,000+ customers.
Moz offers two partnership programs:
Moz Perks – The company allows service and software providers to offer a discount for Moz Pro so they can grow their user base. In doing so, the providers can list their product/service in the platform for free, exposing their offering to thousands of potential customers.
Data Partners – The company allows service and software providers to use its Mozscape API or its Social Authority tool to build their own marketing tools or expand their toolset.
Moz’s partners through these two programs include Squarespace, HubSpot, Distilled, and Buffer.
Moz’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves over 35,000 customers. It also depends on its large and growing engineering staff to maintain the platform and develop new tools. Lastly, as a start-up it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $29.1 million from three investors as of January 2016.
Moz has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely research and development, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations, also fixed costs.
Moz has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges for access to its databases and corresponding services. It has five main product lines, whose prices are as follows:
Moz Pro – Allows users to increase their visibility online through SEO analytics and research tools. Pricing is as follows:
- Standard - $99 per month
- Medium - $149 per month
Moz Local – Allows users to increase their visibility in mobile and local search with more business listings. Pricing is as follows:
- Self-Service Pricing – $84 per year. Offered to companies managing 1 – 99 locations. Customers can obtain additional information (performance, visibility, and reputation insights) for $120 per year.
- Enterprise Pricing - Offered to companies managing 100 or more locations. Moz provides custom pricing and packages, so customers must contact the sales team to obtain a quote.
Moz Content – Allows users to enhance content strategy with performance tracking for their websites and those of competitors, as well as thorough content audits. Pricing is as follows:
- Strategists - $59 per month (monthly plan) or $566 per year (annual plan)
- Teams - $129 per month (monthly plan) or $1,238 per year (annual plan)
- Agencies - $199 per month (monthly plan) or $1,910 per year (annual plan)
Followerwonk – Allows users to connect with Twitter prospects and influencers, find and compare users, and identify strategies for growing their social presence. Pricing is as follows:
- Target - $29 per month
- Multitask - $79 per month
Mozscape API – Allows users to utilize Moz’s website metrics. Pricing is as follows:
- Low Volume - $500 per month
- Mid Volume - $2,000 per month
- Max Volume - $10,000 per month
info: Rand gained early experience providing website usability consulting services to small businesses. He left the University of Washington before graduating to focus on building SEOmoz. He previously served as its CEO but is now an individual contributor.
info: Sarah attended Simon Fraser University, the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, and East China University School of Law and Politics in Shanghai, China. She previously served as the Chief Operations Officer and General Counsel of Moz.
info: Glenn earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly SLO and an MBA from U.C. Berkeley. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Zetec, a software and services firm, and Hitachi Consulting (formerly Arthur Andersen).
info: Annette earned a B.A. in English and Biology from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She previously held a variety of marketing roles at AT&T Wireless, Expedia, Big Fish Games, and Microsoft.
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