Podium vs Intercom - customer support platforms

Positioning analysis of Intercom vs Podium using SmokeLadder

Strong positioning shows customers you have a *specific* pov into their needs.

That specificity does two key things:
1) It shows that you understand their needs on a deep level, which builds trust
2) It creates separation from other solutions, which makes you memorable

When you don’t do this, you end up with a broad, generalized position that overlaps with competitors and dumps you onto the giant pile of forgettable solutions.

The extra sneaky thing is that a broad position will often sound totally fine on paper.

It may even be backed up by customer research.

It’s not wrong it’s just not as effective.

Video Transcript:

In this episode we’re looking at Customer Support platforms to see how the brand Podium could sharpen their positioning to take on a market leader, like Intercom.


Website messaging and positioning reviews of Intercom and Podium

First we’ll look at intercom’s website, their homepage, Big headline, the only AI customer service solution you need. They’re really leaning into some of their new AI tools.

Intercome homepage headline

And the support for that, getting more done faster with our AI enhanced workspace, big play here around efficiency, reducing effort, pretty much what AI is built to do.

And really suits a company that has a lot of customer support issues. So that makes a lot of sense.

Let’s jump over to podium site, see what they’re saying, their headline, get more leads, make more money, beat your competition.

Podium home page headline

Also have their powered by AI in here, which is kind of mandatory these days.

But their focus here a little bit more on the revenue generation growth side of things. But if we come down here, we can see they do also talk about simplification, reducing effort for for customers.

Alright. Let’s take a look at our app. Here’s our home page. Find out exactly where your B2B rank can win. That’s what we’re aiming to do.

Jumping into the app, we can see we’ve analyzed both sites. We’re looking at podium site first. Their total positioning score built off of the value they provide on one side and then differentiation on the other side.

First, we’ll look at value.

We analyze every site on these twenty four points of value scale on a scale of one to ten. On the far side, right side, we can see which points they scored the highest in. We have save time, simplify, connect, reach, reduce effort, responsive.

All things that definitely correlate to customer support platforms. So that’s that all makes sense.

Let’s come into the differentiation tab.

First, we can see how they compare against category averages. So other customer support tools. And we can see some separation here for podium, which is good. The highlight points down here at the bottom generate revenue, ties directly to their their big headline. That makes sense. Reach, being able to expand and grow connects to customers saving time.

Let’s come down and see how they compare though against intercom.


Podium vs Intercom – SmokeLadder Positioning analysis

This chart here is showing us the comparison between intercom scores and podium scores, podium in the orange intercom in the blue turquoise color.

Podium vs Intercom - positioning analysis

If we move left to right, we can see points where they’re pretty similar like connects. We can see points where intercom actually has some advantages and separation like organize and some points where podium has some slight advantages. If we come down to the bottom, we can see also here the descriptions of why they got the scores they did.

And down here, we can see Where did podium have the most separation from intercom? That was around generate revenue, reach, reputation, marketability, and intercom podium’s weaknesses being intercom strengths.

We have configurable innovation, totally makes sense again with their with intercom’s big push around AI and organization.

So this all makes sense, but it’s not It’s not that podium doesn’t have some advantages here, but I don’t necessarily think they’re leaning in as hard as they could into a few specific points.


Where Podium has opportunities to win

If we come over here, we can see this point connects where they scored fairly well, but pretty much even with intercom, responsive, pretty much even with intercom and vision.

These are the three points I want to focus on. And I wanna come back over to podium site for a minute because they are telling part of their story with their messaging, but they’re also complimenting that with some of the visuals they use, and they really focus on a lot of visuals of small local businesses.

And what’s important here to think about is rather than intercom’s, position that that’s focusing on efficiency and using AI to organize and handle hundreds or thousands of customer support tickets, Podium’s focus here is more on small businesses and I think they would be better off rather than trying to lean into strictly, kind of a similar type of promise or position as intercom around efficiency and vacation and thinking a little bit more about connects, thinking about responsiveness. With a small business, it’s a little bit less about volume and the organization of dealing with all these different tickets and support requests, or or sales inquiries, and it’s I think more about the personal connection and recognizing that every single customer really matters when you’re small business.

And you wanna be able to reach them as soon as they as soon as they reach out to you, you wanna be able to connect with them. And you need to build strong connections with them, personal connections with them. So I think that those points around connects and responsiveness are even more important given who they seem to be targeting, which is which is our small businesses. The last point that I think they could emphasize a little more vision.

Again, with small businesses, the vision of the company is going to be very emotionally connected, I think, to the to the business owner.

And being able to touch on that point and and emphasize that they really understand small businesses and and business owners I think could really play to their advantage and build a little bit of more of an emotional connection with those people.

Those are just some ideas that I think that could help podium set themselves apart. I think they’re on the right track. They’re focused on small businesses. I just think their position and their message could be even stronger. To emphasize how they’re the perfect solution for that kind of customer.

These are just some initial ideas. Hope this was helpful. Hope this spark some ideas and take a look at our app, try it out with your own website, look at some of your competitors and see how you could take on your own market leader.

Go analyze a website!
Your positioning will thank you.