My Kapost Review: Why I won’t be Using KaPost
I’ve been using various content workflow systems over the years and recently discovered KaPost.com via a brief, sentiment-free mention on CopyPress. I watched the demo. I logged into the sample instance, and “played around”. I spend about 2 hours with it overall, and another 1.5 or so reading online about KaPost and Eloqua, etc. I believe I figured out a way that I could get considerable value out of using it with my content teams.
And then I looked at the deal: minimum $1200 per month for up to 8 users, limited to 5 content types. Plus they with hold the persona matrix. And that, plus a few other hints collected during my evaluation, means I won’t be using Kapost for content marketing.
Now it is important to note that I am not choosing based on price. At $1200 for 8 users, that’s $150/user and I would gladly pay that for a true productivity tool. The centralized workflow management and monitoring is additional value beyond the productivity gains. It’s not a bad price if it does what it promises to do. But does it?
Kapost seems strangely distant. I am not citing facts here, just my observations. I’m pretty good with Google and I am pretty good with observations. In my perusal of what-I-could-find-on-Kapost I did not come across friendly, outgoing, helpful people associated with the brand nor the product. At all. Trust? I could find much to build on in the trust department. Why is that?
You content marketers might recognize what is happening here… I’m floundering at the top of the conversion funnel. I discovered the brand and product, visited the website, and “entered the conversion funnel”. I then got lost… picking up signals of non-trust, while not finding signals of trust. I didn’t continue down the funnel… I bounced around the edges. Why is that?
Not to mention the irony that this is a product designed to be used by people charged with the task of drawing prospects DOWN the funnel, once they have entered. For the SEOs out there, perhaps no surprise that a “content marketing” industry company didn’t do the basic SEO needed to help me find the necessary signals. Hard to believe they didn’t generate the off-site content needed to accomplish same. Trust me when I report that I returned to Google a half dozen times at least. I really wanted Kapost to work for me.
Then there were those “huh?” observances. Like a tweet from someone who works there, that basically said it was a good day when he woke up to see a new, paying customer in the queue. Really? Are things THAT bad? Content Marketing is big right now. Either there aren’t many customers, or there aren’t many PAYING customers? And I’m being asked to pay $1200 per month. Scary.
There were a few other “scary” signs, but like I said, this is not fact, just my observations and how they made me feel. But I still liked what Kapost does, and so was still willing to take a risk and put it to use. That may have been stupid, but sometimes I win when I follow my hunches. In this case, I needed a few positives to overcome my negative sentiment. I hit Google gain, and (strangely??) didn’t find any. So I returned to read the details.
At $1200/month, I get limited support (with 48 hour response time). Oh, and the persona matrix (which had been highlighted as a great feature which kapost puts in front of users all-the-time since it’s so essential) was with held for $1200/month customers. They have to pay extra to get it.
Withholding the persona matrix is another clue to company attitude (in my opinion). Withholding is an approach to business. I find that companies that make awesome products and help customers get access to them, succeed. Companies that strip down products to create lesser products, in an attempt to service “different markets”, don’t succeed. Like the American car companies of the 80’s. They built cars according to how they felt they could sell them into specific economic demographics, to make profits. It wasn’t about building a great car.. it was about providing just enough car to get customer X to buy it, while still making good profits. They withheld electric door locks, cup holders, and even intermittent windshield wipers unless extra fees were paid, while Toyota and Honda delivered all the goods to everyone. Guess who succeeded? Guess who know sells the best selling cars in the world? Both Honda and Toyota went on to also create luxury brands that are now among the best selling cars in the world.
With kapost, the basic decision for me, after my review, was not whether or not kapost was a good choice for content production flow management and scheduling. The question is whether Kapost (the company) would be a trustworthy partner in my business. If it worked as intended, I wouldn’t need support except when I needed help figuring out how to make it do what I was trying to do. In that case, 48 hours is fine. I would figure it out by then. But what if it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do? I wait 48 hours to learn that yes, it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do? And then?
Gnawing questions remain, giving me concern. Why not much out there about actually using and dealing with kapost? Why so little personality around the company and the customers’ interface to the company?
No dice. I can’t buy kapost.
I’ve been in this business a long time, and used dozens of innovative IT products. Every one has flaws… and we have to deal with those. My sense is that I will not have a good experience with Kapost. It will have flaws, and the company won’t give me access to understand whatever unusual behavior is encountered except with a 48 hour turn around. Given the history of pricing for kapost (from reasonable per-user-per month fees to the current $1200/month plus extras), maybe they can’t afford to develop the product. Maybe they are so strapped they won’t even fix them. Maybe it’s been built by people who have full time jobs somewhere else, hence the lack of a social profile for all but the president or whatever. Maybe they need my $1200 to make sure it works when I use it. Maybe they’re chasing the Fortune 500 Big Brand market now, in an attempt to close service business (helping to run it?) or those famous pay-the-recurring-billing-and-never-use-the-product Big Brand accounts. Either way, Kapost is not for me.
PS: This is not a slam.. I’ve never even used the full product. This is an essay on why, after all the review and testing I’ve done, I will not be choosing kapost.