Prospect Genius provides internet marketing services to help small businesses grow and prosper. It does this by providing a full range of services, from website development and writing services for concise messaging to social media outreach.
The company’s clientele includes electricians, plumbers, taxi drivers, tax and accounting professionals, appliance repair companies, and home builders and remodelers.
“These are the companies that are so busy providing their services that they have no time to promote themselves,” says cofounder and CEO Alex Pelli. “We help them come up with a unified strategy so that they keep a steady stream of business going throughout the year and are able to thrive long term.”
Prospect Genius notably specializes in website development. It then uses the latest SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to promote the website online, layering with paid ads and other services as needed.
The small businesses that Prospect Genius serves usually need a website, or they might want to do some advertising via social media. Or, perhaps they need some blog posts written that can then be distributed via social media to establish themselves as an expert in their line of work.
“These are all areas we can help with,” Pelli says.
Pelli and his business partner Jay McGlothlin, who serves as company’s CTO, founded Prospect Genius in 2008. Pelli and McGlothlin, who created live-streaming focus-group surveying software for several large television networks, entered the burgeoning internet marketing industry on their own after working for an IT company that folded after two years of trying to branch out into the same market in the early 2000s.
“The business was based on all paid ads — essentially buying traffic on Google and directing it to the landing pages that the company had built. Any click on an email or on the website itself generated fees charged to the client,” Pelli says.
“I recognized early on that there were some real challenges with this model,” Pelli adds. “Businesses ended up receiving steep invoices that they could not pay while receiving few actual business leads in the process. What is a click anyway? None of the companies saw any value in that.”
Pelli and McGlothlin thought there was a better way to conduct online marketing without charging for each click. They decided that offering services based in large part on organic searches (or unpaid search results) was a better route, and so they established Prospect Genius to provide an affordable solution for small businesses.
The two cofounders are both 2003 graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and met during their freshman year at the university. Pelli earned his degree in business with a minor in psychology while McGlothlin graduated with a degree in information technology.
With nine employees and still growing, Prospect Genius has been in the Rensselaer Technology Park Campus since 2010.
“The Technology Park is an ideal location for us, and the technology infrastructure we need for day-to-day operations is extremely reliable,” says Pelli, who notes that the Technology Park is hooked up to two electrical stations that feed into the campus. “If our phones aren’t working and the internet is down, we are doing no business.”
“We also have a choice of multiple providers that offer fiber-optic connectivity options,” Pelli adds, “which is a huge plus considering the large amounts of data that go through our systems on a daily basis as we work to service our clients.”