Answered

Matterport Business Model - Flawed?

Matterport, what is your long-term strategy? Sell as many cameras to as many people as possible, realtors, service providers, brokerages etc? I'm not sure this is smart; nor does it help me as a service provider.

I already have to struggle with the customization limits to what I can do with a tour, the lack of editing and modifying which keeps your product so proprietary, and us (the service providers) practically at the mercy of your terms & conditions...now why should I continue to use Matterport and pay the monthly subscription and space fees when Matterport would be just as happy selling their camera directly to my prospective clients so they can "do it themselves?"

I've read many threads and opinions and responses to MSP's concerns about branding to both service providers and realtors alike. I tend to side against Matterport in this instance, no matter how cleverly worded a Matterport representative's response may be (mostly round-about replies if you ask me).

I don't even know where to start, but I'd like to keep this message concise; discussing my major point: marketing to both service providers and the end client WON'T WORK and will ultimately leave a bunch of people with Matterport cameras, hardly using them, and nobody will be making any money. Matterport NEEDS an option to remove branding from the tour showcase. I have already lost several LARGE automotive clients who would have otherwise loved to have a 3D model + virtual tour created for their dealerships, and individual cars, but declined because they don't need MORE branding and cross-selling. Having a 3D model + virtual tour of a dealership (especially going into the individual cars with the camera) is a fantastic feature, and more dealerships will adopt this form of media (with or without the Matterport platform), but why would they want to host a tour on their website that advertises for anything besides the products they have direct affiliation with - the vehicles and services that they sell? Why would they want their competition to know what tools they're using to create their immersive content that keeps them one step ahead of the competition? I don't blame my leads for declining, but I blame Matterport for not giving me (the service provider) an option to remove the Matterport branding. Depending on the size of a dealership, and how well I deliver the benefits that an immersive virtual tour can bring for their marketing and sales, I can score jobs ranging from $1000-$4000, and more (mind you, more time is required to create the tours, but it's well worth it. Much better than the real-estate market with $200-$300 jobs taking the majority of our time.

A real-estate listing is a one-time deal. Once it's sold, the home won't be sold for another 13 years (average). Not much room for recurring income. Car dealerships are an MSP's golden egg. They are constantly selling turning over products, and have many more uses for add-ons like Mattertag-Post links. An MSP can actually charge a monthly fee to update the links a set number of times per month. There's room to negotiate a small commission per vehicle sold if the tour brings customers into the dealership after virtually "sitting inside that new Lexus" on the website before coming in for the real-life test drive. If an MSP offers 360 video as an additional service, imagine how easily they can sell an interior tour of a car, with a 360 video test drive embedded in a Mattertag Link within the car. I know how easy it is because I've done it. The irony however, is that while I've used the easy-to-wow factor of a Matteport 3D model/virtual tour to attract my automotive clients, after learning more about the platform, they're more interested in JUST my 360 videos, OR in me using alternative methods of virtual tour creation, in which I control the branding (which I can easily do, I have 360 cameras, DSLRs with panoramic heads, the appropriate software etc.)

So then why do I like Matterport for my automotive client based target market? Because it has the potential for delivering a good end product, in a relatively short amount of time. Unfortunately, this is proving to not be enough for the automotive world. It seems that I'm being forced to find an alternative way to generate a 3D model and combine it with 360 photo-spheres myself. There are easy-enough-to-learn photogrammetry solutions, and merging the 2 worlds (3D model with 360 spheres) can be done with some IT/software savvy.

So Matterport please tell me, why should I continue my attempts to leverage your service and pay the monthly fees when the push-back is indicating that this might not be the most ideal solution for my new target market after all?

@Matterport_Linda Can you please shed some light on this?

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Comments

31 comments
  • Hi @borismaganic. Thank you for spending the time on this thoughtful email. We appreciate your input. Let me digest it, and get back to you. Linda

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  • @Matterport-Linda @Matterport_Linda

    please consider/digest it because I'm SO close to being able to use the Matterport system for these dealerships. I don't want to have to resort to alternative methods to create virtual tours because it's very time effective to use Matterport. If we can discuss this in a private message, I'll shed my client's main concerns in greater detail. If I could make my services deliverable using the Matterport system, both Matterport and myself will hugely benefit. My client is the governing body of every single new car dealership in BC, Canada. Client also has contacts in the local hotel and luxury yachting industry who are ready to purchase my virtual tour and 360 services. My client is willing to buy me multiple (up to 5 cameras if necessary for scale). I have hit the jackpot here, and I'd like to use the Matterport as well if there was just a bit more mutual cooperation. I just need two things from you: 1. To be able to remove Matterport branding from the showcase, and 2. To be assured that Matterport won't try to directly sell cameras and cloud plans to my client's clients.

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  • Thank you @borismaganic for your input. It does help to understand the specific use cases so I appreciate you taking the time. And, yes, I would like to have a conversation with you to hear more about this - I will send you a private message, but before I do, I wanted to give you a more thoughtful response....

    I’m going to address your questions separately:

    Regarding our long-term business model: Our goal is to drive the adoption of Matterport into applicable markets, as best and as fast as we can. We realize there are a few strategies to accomplish this and based upon our analysis of the applicable verticals, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to serve customers through both direct camera sales AND a service provider network. For every real estate agent who purchases a camera, there can be multiple agents who prefer to hire a service partner such as yourself. We don’t focus on just selling cameras -- we focus on helping prospective customers get Matterport Spaces for their properties. As you can see, we promote both solutions when a prospect clicks "Buy" in our website header (and we purposely placed the 'find an MSP' option closer from a mouse navigation perspective), we promote both solutions in our webinars, and we promote both solutions in other parts of our website, side by side. We believe that as we continue to spread the word, demand will continue to grow and people will "get Matterport" however is appropriate for their specific needs.

    Regarding Showcase branding: We have spent a lot of time weighing both sides. As part of our efforts to “drive the adoption of Matterport”, we find that having some branding present actually drives additional business including scan service leads. We’ve tested our branding with customers, and have also made adjustments, to ensure that it meets guidelines needed in our target verticals. Clearly there are other needs, as you present, where the brand gets in the way and I would like to hear more about this - it is not at all our intent to get in your way of winning business. We are always evaluating the market needs, as you can imagine, for branding as well as other features, to help us drive our product roadmap.

    I will reach out to you and let's take the conversation offline, so that I can understand your specific situation. Again, thank you for giving us the time to better understand the market.

    Linda

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  • @Matterport_Linda

    I would like to know the outcome of your conversation as well as I am facing some of those same issues. Thanks!

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  • @Matterport_Linda @borismaganic @Todd Thurston

    We just bought the camera and we are already thinking on getting it back! At the same time that it sounds amazing it can sound as a disaster. Leaving the door opened to anyone who can just google it sounds a waste of time. You know how hard it is to make a sell and in this case, after you do it, you immediately have a competitor. And worse, the competitor is the company you are using. Even Livestream.com has an option to remove the branding from its live events. (pls, take some time to review their sales strategy - they are HUGE!)

    Pls, let me (us) know how this is turning out. This is a very important topic.

    Thanks in advance!

    Ricardo - www.lemonadetv.com

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  • I 100% agree with Borris many at times I wanted to air out my opinion about MP pushing products to agents and MSP's on the same terms. The MSP's are adding a huge value by adding creative editing, probing and asking questions for features benefits whereas agents and realtors are simply buying the product to do property staging and photography in house to save cost.

    Agents on the other hand usually don't have time or skills necessary to enhance MP scan services. We on the other hand are creative artists first as photographers, etc. We want to enhance our work and creative artistry constantly and it shows in our scan models and still images. Basically It's a simple matter of partner vs. customers I don't feel I am treated as a partner by MP. Every other vendor I deal with consider me as their partner not just customer.

    I suggest MP should do more to cultivate and promote their core business by supporting MSP's instead of using a common sales marketing approach to business model. At the end of the day I am sure by partnership between MP and MSP's will yield to better revenues and business for all.

    Ray

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  • @Todd Thurston

    @ricardo

    @Rayhan

    Sorry for the delay, I had been travelling. @borismaganic and I had a good conversation. He relayed to me his situation with a large customer, and the need for white labeling, which made sense and helped me to understand better some of the requests for this feature. I very much appreciated his taking the time to explain to me the details.

    I promised him that I would bring his input to the product team. I discussed it in my one on one with the head of product, last week. We have set aside additional time to discuss it further in our next meeting. I will address some of the other comments in an additional post.

    Thank you

    Matterport Linda

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  • @ Linda

    Hi Linda, thanks for the update, I also would like to add that approach needs to be different in other markets specially in Engineering and constructions, I have to say that I lost clients where I offered my Matterport services and once they saw a demo, lost them to Matterport,

    thanks

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  • Thanks Linda for the conversation. I look forward to hopefully positive results from these meetings!

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  • @Linda appreciate your update. I am down here i South East US so it's bit different here. However, any positive move towards a more constructive engagement between MSP's and Matterport will be good for business growth at both ends. Most of my clients prefer a partner instead of dealing direct with Matterport.

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  • Hello,

    As a perspective MSP and newcomer to this field I am very interested in continuing this discussion.

    Without some kind of white label service any larger customer has the very real chance of just going direct to Matterport. Potentially limiting the MSP to one shot sales to large clients which is not a good long term business model for us.  Essentially we are being turned into Matterport salespeople.

    I understand Matterport's predicament.  Maybe a compromise would be a different monthly subscription rate or processing fee to white label scans?

    This accommodates customers that prefer not to have extra branding potentially cluttering their site.  It also helps to protect MSPs that want to protect their investment of time and money.

    Just a thought, thanks!

    Rich

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  • Thanks for the comment Rich, I absolutely 100% agree with you. It's a rather selfish business model on Matterport's behalf and where as I see the reasoning behind it (they want to grow as quickly as possible), it really limits people like ourselves to the span of a business we can create. For me, I use Matterport to augment my virtual tour and 360 services. I do worry however that eventually, a majority of my client base will either buy their own equipment, or choose another MSP who under cuts my prices because it's easy to get into the Matterport scanning business. This is something that happens in all business tho, but Matterport has the potential for it to happen faster due to their aggressive marketing approach, low price, and mass appeal. I dunno, we'll see. I really hope they decide to white label, and put MSPs at their marketing focus instead of the end user.

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  • Hi

    Many of you who have reached out about a white label service have suggested that it is important enough to you that you would pay for such an offering.  I'd be interesting in hearing more about that.  How much is a white label model worth, relative to a Matterport branded model?
    Thanks, Linda

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  • I'd prefer a by-model pricing, instead of a higher subscription, as you know Linda. I'd pay double the standard processing fee for white labelling.

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  • Per model pricing for white label would make the most sense to me. Not all projects warrant it.

    Rich

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  • I just purchased the Matterport and have not started using it. Would support a per model pricing for white label too.

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  • Whatever we or Matterport suggest as a White Label option needs to be orchestrated in a way which works for most or majority of metros.

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  • @Linda Itskovitz (not sure if you are Matterport Linda or a different Linda)

    I might turn your question around just for devil's advocates sake and ask how important are MSP's to the Matterport business?  It is a struggle to build a business brand while having Matterport's brand all over the place.  I liken it to one of my major business clients who is one of the largest flooring producers in the world.  They have thousands of dealers (MSPs) across the country and around the world where customers can go to buy carpet and hardwood floors etc. but those customers cannot go directly to the main company to buy it.  The dealers or MSPs do not have to compete with the producer of the product.  The producer/manufacturer is focused on making the dealers happy so the dealers will sell more of their products. There is no cannibalism between manufacturer and dealer/MSP.

    -I would like to see this type of model for Matterport and MSPs

    -I would like to see processing pricing based on number of scans such as $9 for scans under 50, $19 for scans 50-100, $29 for scans 100-150, $39 for scans 150-200+

    -I would like white labeling options but don't think it should be double priced it should fit within a model as I described above.  If the MSP model described above were in place white labeling wouldn't matter as much because we would know our client couldn't go direct to Matterport instead of us.

    There are obviously lots of details that are not included here on how to have an effective Manufacturer/Dealer model but this hopefully gives enough to get started.

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  • So I am not the only one with these same issues..... 

    My business partner and I are dealing with major film studios and our business with them is at a halt because of the Matterport branding.  This MUST be fixed.  I don't see how this can be positive for Matterport  in the long run.  Eventually people will stop using these cameras for this major flaw.  If your users are losing business, Matterport loses business.  

    My business partner and I are professional photographers. When we purchase our still cameras from Canon, Canon's logo does not appear on every image that we produce. Matterport ...this doesn't make any sense and is a selfish business model.  

    If the only way to solve this issue for now is to charge a fee so be it.  An extra (small) fee for processing per model would be a good solution for now.  It should be our choice, not Matterport's.  We should not feel that we are salespeople for Matterport.

    Matterport has cornered the market for 3D still cameras, however as technology improves and more competitors see this major flaw, Matterport will lose business.  

    Please change this business model and be a hero to your users and clients.

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  • @Christina

    Well said, and I don't want to come off as ungrateful for the opportunity to use the Matterport equipment, but at the same time I won't be grateful if 1. my client decides to purchase the camera and do it themselves or 2. my client doesn't want to hire me because they don't have the option to white label. I don't want to create competition for myself while offering services. This is the major reason that I don't invite collaborators to the cloud. Sure it would allow them to update their own Mattertag content, and create other changes, extract measurements, etc. BUT the cloud is LITTERED with so many cues to BUY NOW BUY NOW BUY NOW, IT'S SO EASY TO USE blablabla. There's no way that I am willing to increase the risk of losing a client to the manufacturer. 

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  • I totally agree with Christina and Boris Maganic.

    I am a professional photographer too and at the end of the day it will not be good for the business. Matterport is not a cheeper camera indeed. As a professional me/we  need more than one cemera to work.

     Is a fact that we  need to show our clients a clean presentation without advertising Matterport and links to guide them and push them to buy a camera.

    Please Linda we are not the only one, we need a solution about it.

    Thak you for listen to me/us

     

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  • @Linda

    @Everyone

    This conversation has been going on for such a long time and all we hear is "will discuss in the next meeting".

    I have lost clients to Matterport and it is not a nice feeling, I work hard to get a brand attention, then they don't like Matterport being marketed through their channels and also when they know about Matterport and do a google search, they see other MSPs silly very cheap pricing that creates friction between clients and services provider and  one wonders how they make money and survive the cost of business.

    So I suggest for Matterport, to sit down and make a decision once and for all and let MSPs bring more business to Matterport by creating more models and hence extra monthly subscription and processing fees.

    I would also suggest to look into your MSP referral system as there should be abetter way to manage it, all we have had so far were junk referrals.

    Another thing, Matterport offer SDK and API, but when approached, Matterport wants to know everything and then say that the API/SDK not ready, so why advertise it at first place.

    Matterport can market tis cameras in alliance with the MSPs, but being in competition with MSPs is not a good way and eventfully MSPs will drop Matterport and move on to other technologies.

     

    thanks

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  • @Bez

    My business partner and I have also lost clients because of Matterport's branding.  This  business mode is not only unfair, it's unheard of.  What other camera company brands each image with their name?  My partner and I have been  professional photographers and have worked in the TV and film industry for a combined total of over 35 years.  Once I click the button on my camera, I own that image, end of story.  Why not let us have white labeling and access to our tours with no strings attached?  Or charge more for white labeling, as suggested several times before.

    The way that Matterport is handling this whole branding issue is making me think that they are up to something bigger.  Especially the fact that they have recently partnered with Google Maps.  

    The camera that we currently have is going to become a very expensive paperweight if this doesn't change.

    Although Matterport may be listening to our repeated requests, I feel this, unfortunately, will not change.  

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  • Just a quick note that I have digested all of your feedback but have not been commenting each time.

    @Bez  

    Im wondering where you are located @Bez, as we have MSPs who have gotten a lot of successful leads and others who have not.   We have been turning up our investment in marketing our MSPs services and many have seen growth, so this is potentially a regional thing.

    @ninaurquizo, @Christina, @Boris 

    We send out an annual feature study to get input from our customers on what is most important.  We pay close attention to your input...this is what drove many of the most popular features this year including Multimedia Mattertag Posts. Please watch for this study (coming out in September) and give your input.

    Regarding the Matterport brand, we understand that it is not always ideal to have it on the Showcase experience, but it also does help our community to have people recognize the Matterport brand.  We did minimize it significantly after hearing feedback from the community.  We do, legally, need a link to our Terms of Use on the models, but at the same time, we understand the need to sometimes have it go away.  

    Re the comparison to Canon, I hear you, I am a consumer too. ;)  But perhaps things in the digital world are different - other "digital" brands like Google DO maintain a persistent brand, as well as their Terms of Use, on their digital experience (which is again, something we are required to do legally, so perhaps there is a different model. 

    @Todd

    MSPs are very important to us.  In addition to an MSP-only feedback study and an ongoing scan services study, we have a number of MSP advisors who we meet with monthly to help us on important decisions.  I personally have frequent exchanges with numerous MSPs who I consult with to get input on important decisions.  The truth is that, as much as we may try, we will never satisfy everyone (your wants and wishes are not always aligned), but we do our best to listen and try to pursue the things that will be most beneficial to the community as a whole.   

    Again we appreciate the input - I come to our community often to read the comments (positive, constructive, negative, all of them ;) ) and I also forward them to others as they help drive many of our most important discussions and decisions.  Thank you. 

    - Matterport Linda

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  • I fully agree with all of the arguments regarding how Service Providers should Never have to compete with the company that provides the base product and/or service.

    It's an additional slap in the face when your clients become your competitors, With the complete support and encouragement from the company through whom you are providing the service!

    My question is, isn't by now the cat out of the proverbial bag? Don't people instantly know they are looking at a Matterport Virtual Tour, not just because of a logo present, but because they recognize the doll-house view, etc? It's not exactly a secret anymore. Even my 91 year old mother-in-law asked me "Isn't that one of those virtual-matter thingy's?".

    "White Label", meaning no Matterport Logo, will no longer disguise the fact that it's a Matterport product. Count me as one who would not want to pay anything Extra for this privilege.

    I'm really (sadly) thinking that it is now too late for any effective way to keep our clients from potentially becoming our competitors. This would only have worked if Matterport had made a "Service Provider Only" business model from day one.

    It's not going to happen.

    Before you scourge me with heated replies, please know I'm on the Service Providers side of this. My input is merely (and sadly) a recognition of logic and reality. It is what it is.

    I optimistically think that our true clients are too busy doing what they do, to start doing what it is We do.

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  • As someone who is starting a company dedicated to 3D Scanning I've been seriously considering buying a Matterport Pro 2.  It would allow me to work with a whole new industry and provide an invaluable service to contractors, realtors and business owners helping them and their customers alike.  Its an exciting new technology I'd love to be a part of.

    However, as someone who hasn't yet bought one, or more, it's apparent that Matterport is mainly interested in making more sales and is directly marketing to the end user.  The cost of the camera and subscription cost is low enough to appeal to most of my potential clients which would result in a one time sale more often than not.  It's disappointing but I have to admit that it's a great business model for them since it will result in more sales and more monthly subscriptions.  

    The only opportunity I see would be to partner with Matterport to basically be a sales rep, informing potential clients that it exists, demonstrate and show off how it works, actually sell it to them (eliminating the need to ship and wait on it to arrive), train them how to use it, offer service and direct support, and later sell them on the newest version of the camera or any other services they develop.

    Whether or not they're interested in that is another story but I could see it being hugely beneficial to Matterport and myself.  @Matterport Linda is this something you've considered or are already doing?

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  • @ Matterport Linda,

    I have been considering for a while the fact of starting with Matterport.

    in the last years the market has moved and a few software based solutions are getting close to the matterport experience. I am very surprised that this subject started one year ago by Boris Maganic and supported by many members of the MSP is still an open point. I have seen very realistic propositions on "pay per whie label" policy.

    But at the end 1 year after this discussion started, no decision has been taken.

    Only looking at the way matterport pushes for sales, I decided to have my own cloudbased space to share with my clients, just to avoid them to be confronted with the permanent try to push them a camera in the hands.

    The white label even against payment is in my opinion a must. 50% of the prospects I met asked me : " Can you please deliver us a product without logo ?

    Simple, i start on a market that don't know the product and even clients don't want to give their competitors the name of the product they are using. In a starting market it will give them at least e few month's or weeks a primary position.

    I hope to have very soon a position from matterport on white label.

    Looking forward.

    Manuel

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  • @mm  can i have a private conversation with you about that cloud? Thanks. I am interested in your solution. 

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  • There is no solution other than hosting on the Matterport servers. That is why there are so many requests for 'White label' or simply a paid option for removal of the Matterport logo.

     

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  • @Mirela You can contact me via 3d-webservice dot com Looking forward

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