Understanding the Matterport/MSP 3D Scan Pilot

Dear MSPs,

We wanted to address your concerns about a local pilot program we announced a few weeks ago as part of our increasing efforts to drive business and profitability to our existing MSP network. Our program was designed, after extensive market research and conversations with successful MSPs, to help members of our network continue to grow their businesses, add personnel, and offer a competitive, complete service while leveraging their in-market expertise. Here are some of the key highlights to note about the program:

  • We are conducting a small, local pilot in the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with two experienced, local MSPs. The pilot is focused on aligning MSP and Matterport business models, and increasing scan business for MSPs. We are testing numerous aspects of the program. This is one of many tests we are conducting in order to expand the business opportunity for everyone.

  • We are not competing with MSPs - we are collaborating with them. Our pilot participants have different business models from one another - which is helping us understand how we can grow the market for everyone. This is not intended to displace any existing MSP services and is focused on helping you scale and create additional revenue.

  • We are targeting segments and verticals not currently served by existing options. This includes price-sensitive parts of the real estate market, and other verticals where we have seen lower penetration for scan services. We do not expect this to conflict with existing mid and upper-market MSP services, but rather act as a supplement to your existing business. We are testing ads, and are in talks with major partners in new or underserved industries where we have not seen adoption of existing Matterport or scan service formats.

  • The goal is to help MSPs focus on their strengths and grow their businesses. We have heard from several MSPs that they face operational and other challenges in growth, so this is an experiment in leveraging Matterport’s resources: to pay for demand generation, and take on time-consuming operational components of running an MSP business -- freeing up MSPs to focus on growing their businesses.

  • The profits are split between Matterport and the MSP. Matterport is covering all of the costs of the program, as well as covering all lead generation, operations, and hosting/processing fees. The profits are then split.

  • This does not draw leads or budget away from the existing MSP network. We are conducting this as a separate pilot, and allocating additional budget, which is made possible by the tighter Matterport/MSP partnership. The pilot should not impact lead flow through the existing MSP Program.

  • Matterport can’t do what our MSPs do. We are not a service business, and we know that our MSPs have built significant in-market expertise and an understanding of their client’s needs offering compelling services. This is about leveraging each other’s strengths to grow this market.

  • Nothing is set in stone. This is a very small scale pilot, among several other programs we’re running. We may or may not decide to roll it out more broadly, but if it doesn’t work for MSPs, then it doesn’t work, but we will have learned a lot.

Many of you have asked us to focus on growing the market for scan demand, and this is one way to do so. If this works, it will result in higher demand for your services, as well as profits for you as you leverage additional camera operators. It is important for us to test new ideas to identify what will bring in scan business to MSPs most profitably, while preserving your existing services. Please give us a chance to see if this can help us all expand the market.

We value your feedback and ideas. Please share your thoughts and concerns by commenting below!

Thank you,

Matterport MSP Program

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Comments

35 comments
  • Kelly ands the Matterport Directors

    If a company encourages thousands of self-employed people to invest significant sums of money into a system and then effectively sets up "pilot" that very conceivably swallows that same network to create a network of its own by undermining its own customers investment and entrepreneurial spirit, it needs to be prepared for a significant backlash and possible legal actions or, make a rapid about-face and issue some serious apologies/ gestures of good will.

    Anyone wishing to connect with me on LinkedIn can do so here: 

    http://bit.ly/LinkedInChris

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  • You don´t do a pilot test in a public website setting prices that will hurt your clients!

    Who is the brain behind this beauty?   Please tell him/her to ask his/her college the money back

    Besides, what kind of "pilot" are you talking about when there is a form to fill in with a price structure just on the left open to everybody beyond San Francisco area?

    Are you aware that there is a thing called "Internet" by which people can read posts and websites all around the world?  It is quite useful indeed!

    Wake up people.  You are going to fall very hard if you don´t fix these and other mistakes you have been making  in the last couple of years.  

    Please, contact an expert in business strategy and redefine in which business you want to be. 

     

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  • I agree with most of the post above.  As soon as you start posting pricing you are affecting other companies business.  This was in fact one area that my salesman told me Matterport did not mess with.  Was this a bait a switch?  We now own 4 cameras with 2 new Pro's arriving any day.  Why doesn't MP allow potential customers to find a service provider on their own by simply clicking a map to see the closest providers instead of MP pre-screening all of the inquiries.  Bad business MP.  I have offered several suggestions for improvements in the AEC space that could actually make MP additional revenue but these have fallen on deaf ears and instead you devalue the services that we continually have to compete against with our equipment manufacturer. 

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  • How would this work in a market where a current service provider is running with a strong client base.  Producing tours and receiving a higher rate than what you are advertising.  They decide to not opt-in to your program, because its at a lower rate than what their marketplace is going for.  They have a strong client base that pays for quality, and they have created demand among several agents/brokerages in their market.

    You proceed forward with your program.  Now, I am not and "endorsed" provider and my clients will start asking why I charge more, will I price match etc.  
    Why does Matterport feel the need to meddle in pricing services?  If this was the case, they should have set the standard and expectation from the get go.  Matterport has opened the door to sell to photographers, realtors, brokers, etc.  Anyone that wants to purchase the camera.  Since the beginning it has been our job to monetize the technology on the end user side.  Matterport handles the tech, we handle the sales of the tours.  

    Now its possible that you will be my competitor in the future? Well, not just you, you and my current competitors? Setting prices and creating ads to help them garner more business? I can join or be forced to lower my prices because you have lowered the value?  This, after you reached out to my clients that pay me for tours, to try and sell them a camera directly?  How is this leveraging to help each others strengths? You said it yourself, you are not in the service business; it sure appears that you are putting your foot in!  

    I was a very early customer of your product. My jaw has been left open on several occasions by ideas/marketing/sales tactics MP has employed the past 2 years.  These trust issues are the very reason why have taken a "wait -and-see" approach with the Pro2.  Where does it go from here?  Thats what i ask....where does it go from here.

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  • In the UK, a supplier setting a fixed price for a product or service is illegal, pure and simple; as is agreeing with other businesses what price to set (it's called a cartel). This is an incredibly short-sighted and damaging move by Matterport.

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  • So you're saying the provider charges $199 for a 3000 sq ft scan AND splits that with Matterport?! It just keeps getting worse!

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  • The setting of the prices and publishing them is an egregious error in judgement. Then to advertise this not only on their website but through social channels, when it is in direct competition of Matterport providers is icing on the cake. 

    I sincerely hope that Matterport realizes their error in judgement no matter how well-intentioned they might have been. Feel free to pilot this program without the hinderance of publishing prices that will hurt other providers trying to make a living within tight margins and the ups and downs of business.

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  • I've read it the above and I am still deeply unhappy with the way this looks. I have driven a good number of people towards Matterport in the UK and was about to upgrade to the 4k model having bought late last year. That plan is now firmly on hold as will advising any more of my 15,000 or so property professionals and public who follow me on social media to consider getting one.

     

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  • I agree with what's is above and just having purchased the new camera as well as maintaining my old camera to now find that Matterport itself is now competing against the MSP is concerning. I already had one realtor I know see the Facebook post for $199 and wondering why I charge more for 2600 SQFT house... I just lost business!!Thanks Matterport
    Now unless you Matterport want to drop the price you charge MSPs for hosting, processing fees 40% or more.
    I really question the tactics that Matterport is displaying. I was ok with Matterport trying and selling cameras to everyone as the MSPs provide the services and worry of agents having to do the work but now this looks like direct competition and like I said I already had one of my agents ask me about why i charge more... when my price is already low for 3000 sqft as it is.

    Thank you Matterport for messing up the MSP model and going against what sales said 1+!year ago when I got our first camera.

    Why now develop your MSP business instead to killing it!

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  • There are always ways to improve systems and service, I am glad that Matterport is listening but I hope the person who thought this was in any way a good idea gives themselves a firm slap. Business increases income by helping its customers increase their businesses, not by competing with them.

     

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  • @linda  There is nothing positive what so ever about you guys setting the price.  And I ask you, what is the deal with 50/50 split if you claim you are not in the MSP business.  I don't see how you can say that.  Also, where is the fairness in your choosing a city and a provider for your testing?  Regardless of the price and even though the whole idea was bad, shouldn't you have selected someone from a lottery draw to make it at least a bit fair?  

    Every Matterport MSP should be in your database.  Advertise nationwide on Facebook for MSP's. Contained in the ad would be a link to your website where someone can find an MSP by zip code.  They enter the zip code and the MSPs website links that service that area should appear (direct to their pricing page, yes we can give you that link).   Very simple and very effective.  You don't need a marketing degree to figure that this is the easiest way to promote Matterport's MSP's.

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  • 1. It is disingenuous to lead with suggesting that it was disclosed when announcing a "local pilot program we announced a few weeks ago". Especially when there is no suggestion that Matterport would take an action to suggest price fixing.

    2. Price fixing, isn't that a leap? I don't know, the FTC states "Illegal price fixing occurs whenever two or more competitors agree to take actions that have the effect of raising, lowering or stabilizing the price of any product or service without any legitimate justification". Here we have at least 2 MSP's and Matterport with an agreement to take an action which sets prices for part of the SF market, which impacts the entire SF market, and ultimately the national and global market. This impacts individual pricing decisions. Legitimate justification? Read the comments on the Facebook user group posts, no one is finding legitimate justification.

    3. The rates? At 5,000 feet, that's 6 cents/sq ft. I've appreciated the pricing surveys, under the auspice of 'guidance'...but who gleaned this as the rate to undercut all markets?

    4. Bait and switch? On top of everything, splitting profits! I appreciate anyone's efforts to build multiple revenue streams, BUT that was not the sales pitch when Matterport sold very expensive cameras with the understanding that they sold cameras and hosting/processing services, and that they would support MSP's via leads and promotional materials.

    5. Finally, I appreciate this professional community option, but there are about 10 comments on this board at the time of this writing and a couple hundred on Facebook. These articles should be cross-posted on Facebook for timely communication and discussion.

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  • @Matterport Linda,

    Please, don´t pursue Florida or, for that matter, any state or province in the world.

    What we really need is you making great marketing campaigns to create awareness in our markets.  We do not need you to bring us the food to our mouths.  We need the tools to earn our living.

    Put a map with a dot where the MPS are located and let the customers to do the search and chose which is the best in each market (price, quality, additional services, portfolio, etc).  You have to make the referral program more transparent and accesible.

    Of course, I know that you want the contact because you preffer to sell cameras instead of sending us leads, but this is unfair!


    In this sense, the best you could do would be to invest in promoting the Matterport concept and explain the value it adds to the different industries that can be addressed with this technology.

    With all due respect to my colleagues eager to get a gig at less than $50 dollars per hour, this is not how you do business.  Learn a little bit how to calculate the return on your investment and learn how to set up a price to your services for Christ sake!

    $0.06 per sq ft or less is not enough to recover your investment, pay for your time, and cover your own marketing costs and other expenses.  Do the math guys!

    We, the MPS of the world, are ready to supply the demand, but we need Matterport to help us to create that demand.  Again, not by puting customers at our door with a fixed price but by generating the interest in this technology.

    What we don´t want is Matterport competing against us, Matterport pushing camera sales to our own customers and Matterport trying to figure out a way of making additional money at our expenses.

    I hope this helps and feel free to contact me by email to discuss this issue via private message if you will.

    I really appreciate you, and the other guys at Matterport, listening and answering to our concerns.  This is very positive and I value it very much.  But we need to figure out a way of establishing real win-win relationships.

    The MSPs network is an strategic resource for Matterport.  Please don´t screw this up.

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  • Matterport needs to generate more revenue to meet projections in order to grow the business and satisfy investors. Just as each MSP is trying to do - we both have the same goals. There are a few way to accomplish this - through sales and marketing, (Market segmentation) acquisition, leveraging partnerships and managing customer/partner retention. Demand Creation is paramount and it needs to be done without jeopardizing the base. I've lived this in my 30+ year career in Technology. The strategy is works for start-ups as well as huge corporations.

    @Kelly @Linda

    The pilot program, even though it had good intentions, was poorly executed. The best way to increase scans is to continue to build the MSP program and truly support and help them grow. 

    "I worry this test is not completely understood," 

    Tell me how this was not foreseeable? If you are to do a test like this - you should open it up to the entire MSP community input prior to executing a pilot program. YOu would get tremendous input, create a sense of community. Take that feedback and do what ever the heck you want, but now everyone is aware and isn't feeling undermined by your intentions. 

    Perhaps MSP surveys would have been a good idea prior to execution or maybe it's time to create an MSP advisory committee. 

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  • When you advertise a lower price than others, even in a test area such as the enormous San Francisco Bay area, then you are competing with your customers, as I assume there are more than 3 MP providers in the Bay Area. Perhaps that's not your stated intention, but it is the result of your campaign. For the price of $199, you're not only promising a 3d Tour, but 20 some photos, which sets you up to compete with real estate photographers as well.

    These rates, which Matterport will be taking a cut from, are not sustainable, based on the time required to create the scans, set up the model and tours, create a web page, create content for Mattertags and whatever else must be accomplished.

    As an MP provider and photographer, you would put me in the uncomfortable position of explaining why my photos are superior to the jpg photos culled from your scans which I am providing.

    I have sat back and listened to others complain about some of your decisions and the promises you've not delivered on, and taken it with a grain of salt understanding that you are still a developing company. But this is a step over the red line that has me concerned and rethinking if yours is a service I want to provide in the future. It's now up to you to explain to me why I should.

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  • @Matterprot Linda, We have been a service provider for almost a year now, own 4 cameras (2 Pro's arrived today) have scanned approximately 9 million sq ft. since the first of this year, yet have only received about 4-5 MSP service inquiries (not 1 followed through with service).  Like I stated above, allow potential customers to select the "Photographer" by simply clicking the state they live in followed by the city and seeing the nearest MSP.  Be more transparent about what pre-screening goes on before we get a lead.  Definitely don't set prices and listen to your MSP's in the AEC space about how you can continue to offer services that other 360 camera manufacturers are already offering.  This pilot project has done you far more damage than any potential gain you thought it may have.  MP needs to listen to the creative end users who use the product everyday.

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  • Chris - thank you so much for sharing. Would love to hear more specifics contributing to your thoughts about the pilot. Your tangible feedback will allow us to take actionable measures. Thank you! 

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  • Work with your MSP's to target new industries... We have went after a few industries that Matterport is not currently involved in and had some small success, using the Scan as a Visual / Virtual Report of sorts. 

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  • If you need more revenue to back up your lofty revenue projections, increase the processing fees. Don't cut the legs out from the MSPs by capping market prices. 

    Want to provide more value? Provide digital advertising credits for MSPs who display a prominent Matterport logo in their ads. Create a platform that makes finding a MSP as easy as typing in a zipcode and PROMOTE THAT. 

    Want to grow your market size? Don't market directly to the real estate industry. Make friends with the people who already service them...

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  • Kelly,

    Allow me to help you point out that your marketing tactic with unique link and only accessible via your advertisements that are highly targeted to SF/Bay Area market, which is where the two MSPs participating in the test are based has specifically affected my market in the SF/Bay Area. My clients approached me with your company advertisements and have denounced contract agreements assuming my company service work is overpriced as my company wears your MSP badging. I'll be rather frank ,in addition, out of all of your referral registry, there were only two leads during the whole year which have done nothing for my business.

    Your company has shown me it's in the merit for competition today and I'm okay with that. Therefore, I'll be returning the (2) ordered Matterport Pro2 cameras units along with referring my clients to other product services because the Matterport value is too cheap for my clients that are looking for worth. Thank you for showing me that your company's vision is made for short-term growth that devalues professional work.

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  • "The ads are down as we investigate how to achieve a win win solution."
    Linda

    Dear Linda

    The win-win situation is the status quo. Matterport develop and build a top quality product and establish a name for quality whilst your customers, us, use your products to build our business delivering high-quality products and services for our clients whilst acting as a showcase for your business.

    It was a symbiotic relationship.

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  • Thank you for your input Chris. The symbiotic relationship was also getting a lot of complaints about us not driving enough scan demand, so the status quo is not the ultimate win-win either.  But we will figure it out.  Thanks!

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  • Hi Colin

    Thank you for your input.  We are already doing the latter, in the US and other countries as well.  Florida is on our list and there have been many many inquiries in your state.  If we do some testing of programs in Florida, are you interested in being involved?  We'd love to include you.  Linda

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  • @ Colin.  Thank you. Noted.  When we pursue any tests in Florida, we will reach out to you to gauge your interest.

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  • @matterportlinda @kellyhanson

    I read the entire thread and the thread on the very active Matterport User Group in Facebook. I read your rebuttals and the clarifications MP provided through you.

    So, in the end, the pilot was a catastrophic failure from the MSPs' viewpoint and their trust in MP's marketing strategy and tactics has eroded even further. 

    I am curious to understand what inflow of business MP got from the test. Would you care to publish how many leads were generated over the test period, and how many contracts were actually signed by deep-discounting the service?

    Since you appreciate input from MSPs, I will share a few remarks on the fiasco.

    On the economic sustainability of the pricing level:

    MSPs complained that your test-pricing just cut them off their own market. $200 for a 3,000 sq.ft. home works out at $.06/sq.ft. I would hope MP is not so disconnected from the market(s) that your execs believe 6 cents/sq.ft. can generate any economically sustainable business for a professional photographer. Not even in Alabama. A 3,000 sq.ft. tour takes 2.5 hours on location, at least 1 hr of travel time, and about 1 hour in post. That's 4.5 hours, minimum. $100/4.5=$22/hr give or take. In a big city, travel time would be closer to 2 hrs than to 1 hr. So about $18.2/hr.

    Your rebuttals indicate the test program was designed to find out how MP could generate more business for its MSPs. Pro photographers are 1099ers, not W2ers, so they pay for their own gear, gas, automobile and insurance.   

    Could you please provide the MSP Community with a spreadsheet of the economic model that formed the basis to test a price point of $100? I mean here, the economic model for the MSP. Not the economic model for Matterport.

    In other words, did you test your model to determine if $100 was realistically a sustainable sales price for a MSP?

    Or was it just assumed that over the medium term, Matterport could find people willing to work for $100/tour or less -- like Uber finds drivers willing to work for close to nothing? It is not a stretch of imagination to assume that MP could opt for the "Uberization" of scanning services with a view to generating part of its revenues on marketing services.

    Re: Methodology

     

    From a methodology standpoint, price elasticity can't be tested and measured by offering deep discounts. It has to be tested in small increments, up and down (both ways) from a median price in a given market. If the median price in the SF Bay market is $.15/sq.ft, your study in price elasticity should be 5% (maybe 10% at most) up and down. And progressing from there. Study results will be more accurate because your data have a basis in reality. Deep discounts distort results. Groupon never produced any measure of price elasticity in any market because their pricing practices were unsustainable and too far from the reality of business.

    Pricing elasticity cannot be measured either by adding services to the test. Adding still shots to the pricing test is setting up your testing for failure by comparing apples to oranges. You would have to test your hypothesis "all other factors being equal". The Pro2 is not on the market, most MSPs don't own it, therefore your basis of comparison is the Pro camera. Still shots with the first generation camera are so below-par compared with DSLR shots -- they are unsellable. So your test should be "3D-scan only". 

    This makes the rebuttal claim a bit less credible than we would want it to be. 

    All the more since you could have surveyed your existing MSPs and your existing realtors to find out what the price sensitivity/elasticity of each RE market actually is. No uncertain testing, just experience, real data.


    Re: Effect of advertising unrealistic pricing on the web

    By setting an unrealistic MSRP and using the web and the MP site to advertise it, you probably have misled a larger swath of the market than you care to admit into believing that the MSRP if $.06/sq.ft.  

    Some MSPs have already suffered consequences from this action as attested in this thread and on Facebook.

    For over a year now, MP has been making massive use of Facebook ads and display ads/remarketing to attack directly real-estate agencies to sell its cameras: MP execs can't be oblivious of the way propagation works over the web.

    On this account, I would have expected MP to communicate in a transparent manner, and acknowledge that it was a gross "error" to (1) advertise a price that looked like an MSRP and (2) give a way to people situated outside of the testing area to make inquiries.

    What it looks like, rightly or wrongly, is that your campaign was designed to harvest names and start creating another mailing list to be exploited by MP.

     

    Re: Transparency

    Transparency has never been the redeeming quality of MP's communication -- as witnessed by the way MP actively prevented developers to provide MP-to-GSV conversion services and MSPs to use these services (to the detriment of MSPs' businesses).  

    To this day, the long-overdue MP-to-GSV pilot program is not released on the market. Yet, many MSPs know the technical solution has already been in existence for about a year (and perfectly functional).

    MSPs could have benefited from it already by bundling MP scanning and GSV-publishing services and selling the resulting value-adding service to retailers.

    MP could have chosen to make a temporary licensing deal with the technology providers, and everyone would have been happy making money. Instead, MP crushed both the technology providers and the MSPs with legal threats, and hushed it all up with non-disclosure agreements.

    This general feeling of the threads is that examples of this sort extend to other areas of the relationship with MSPs. Trust is not automatic. It is earned continuously. From the voices in the threads, Matterport does not benefit from the trust of its community. An issue to consider rather carefully, and most likely, some core values to realign at the C-level.

     

    Re: Bringing value to MSPs

    From a personal perspective, the best innovation brought so far to the MSP is the integration of video in the tags. With this innovation, I can bring in additional value to my clients, and I can also differentiate my services further because competing technologies do not offer this just yet.

    I can shoot and integrate sales/marketing videos to help the 3D tours become "live" sales tools. Much more powerful than "just 3D tours". My services can become marketing-oriented rather than just "photography-oriented". That's were value is added.

    In the end, the only thing that really makes a difference for the Realtor or the retailer is how fast they sell their products. Considering this solid truth, MP would NOT have to embark on weird initiatives to generate leads for MSPs and expand the market if the product itself would clearly, absolutely, undeniably help clients (realtors, retailers, event venue operators, etc) sell their products/services faster.  

    When results speak for themselves, products sell. When results are inconclusive or not so clear, products sell less. Any product/service that sells like hot cakes can clearly demonstrate its results in a jiffy -- even when the salesman is clumsy.

    MP has yet to produce a single scientific study (i.e. based on scientific methodology) to show by how many days, in a series of given RE markets, MP Showcases actually reduce the time-on-market of various types of RE properties.  The papers that are published on the MP website are not scientific, and the "evidence" is fairly general or just indirectly related to 3D scans.

    Likewise, there is no study to show how a 3D tour prompts travelers to call a hotel to book a room or professional buyers to book an event venue.  

    Why not invest MP's marketing dollars into controlled studies? And publish the results widely if they are fantastic... or use the not-so-conclusive results to improve the product until 3D tours sell like hot cakes and there is little need to "educate" the market? A market is quickly educated when they see undeniable results. The buzz goes fast and the market grows fast. Witness: the Sony Walkman, the Apple iPod, etc.

    Either way, whether the studies are conclusive or the product needs to be improved to achieve its purported goal (i.e. making more money to the beneficiary of the service), that effort would be of huge value to MSPs.

    "Selling proven value" rather than "selling on price" is the way to grow the MSPs' service business and MP's own camera-selling business. MSPs are not looking forward to discounting their services to get more clients. They are looking forward to increasing their prices, delivering high quality services (that really help their clients make a faster buck) and living more interesting lives.

    MP's best bet to energize its MSP base is to give them more ways to deliver more actual, proven, undeniable, eye-popping value to their clients -- i.e. "my 3D scan service + other stuff I can do for you with my gear will sell your own stuff 3 times faster for more money."

    The rest is weird, ill-conceived solutions to pad up a bottom line.

     

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  • Thank you for the post @Kelly Hanson

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  • Hi Jorge!

    I wanted to clarify some points around the promotion of this test. I can assure you that this test's details and pricing are not posted or linkable off of Matterport.com. The landing page (containing the test details and pricing) is a unique link and only accessible via our advertisements - that are highly targeted to SF/Bay Area market, which is where the two MSPs participating in the test are based. Without the exact link, you cannot get to this page. If you are seeing otherwise, please let me know. 

    We appreciate your feedback with this test - we are listening and discussing internally.

     

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  • Thanks for the clarification Kelly.  

    Now it sounds a little better, although I think you should revise the whole idea and come up with a better solution.


    We all want Matterport to become a winer in all sense but with us, the MSPs on board.  I think we all deserve it.

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  • Chris,

    This is not a test to compete with MSPs, it is collaborative to leverage what each company can do best.  Matterport bringing lead gen, ops, covering the hosting and processing, et al.  The MSP bringing the capture expertise and training an 'apprentice" to work under them.  Businesses grow by increasing their reach and servicing more clients, through adding employees.  This test was based on those premises. I worry this test is not completely understood, and people are reacting without seeing the positive potential.  Nonetheless, we hear and appreciate the feedback and will work on some of our other ideas to grow the market.  Thanks!  L

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  • Who is the lead contact at MP for this? Would like to discuss an option for munich/germany.

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