Case Study: SimSage

A Better Way To Search

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to change the way they advertise, conduct operations and most importantly for many, how they sell their products.

For businesses relying on their website to be the point of contact between them and their customers, there has never been more important time to ensure their site performs as well as possible or run the risk of losing out to competitors.

Sites with a lot of content or a large number of product pages may find many users opt to use an embedded search box to speed up the process of finding the page they are looking for. Studies have found search box users are more than twice as likely to convert, and are likely to head straight to a competitor if they can’t find what they’re after, so getting it right is hugely important.

This is where SimSage steps in: they have created a search function that is far more in-depth and sophisticated than the ones found elsewhere and it can be installed within ten minutes.

Like many businesses recently the decision to pivot towards an online-only product was in part forced by the pandemic, but also helped refine the product and its audience.

SimSage is a search engine that can be integrated with websites, replacing the often basic built-in search bars included with site builders.

The technology behind SimSage is what really helps it stand out as an industry-leading piece of technology: unlike most search functions that try to match a specific keyword to one or more pages, SimSage uses Artificial Intelligence to understand the context of the enquiry.

In practice that means users will be able to find the products or pages they are looking for by searching for a much wider range of phrases than other search engines would allow.

Because the system utilises AI, it is constantly learning and expanding its understanding of host websites and their queries. One way it achieves this is by including a chat function-like feature, which gives site admins the ability to manually respond if the search can’t find an answer to the user’s query.

The AI learns the correct answer to the question and is intelligent enough that the next time it is asked it will provide the right response, even if the question is phrased differently.

What Is SimSage?

Working With Oxford Innovation

Sean and his co-founder, Rock de Vocht, SimSage’s CTO, had extensive experience of leading major enterprises in the past, and so didn’t need a refresher course in how to run a business. They needed the support of an industry expert that would understand what stage they were at and what would help elevate them to the next level, which is how they came to work with Oxford Innovation and their Lead Coach, Ernie Capbert.

Though they already had an industry-leading product, with Ernie’s support it became clear the final piece of the puzzle they were missing was the right marketing, identifying that the product needed to be explained in a way that would appreciated by customers, rather than leaning on its technical achievements.

“Ernie provided some fairly targeted coaching in helping us to understand the critical importance of this to our business success, and how to start addressing the issue,” Sean Wilson, CEO and co-founder of SimSage explains. “Ultimately, this led us to understand that we needed to transform from being a technology-centric business to a marketing-centric one, and that this would not only help ‘the market’ and prospect customers to better understand our value-add solutions, but also helped us to focus our business in selection of key market segment, complementary business partners, and providing the collateral that our sales force would require to be really successful.”

Sean and his team had worked with other marketers in the past, but found on more than one occasion that without a total understanding of the product and the benefits to clients, the way their products have been sold have been wide of the mark. “If we had had this input from Ernie earlier, those companies would have done so much better,” Sean says.

For Lead Coach Ernie, there was never any doubt that SimSage had what it took to thrive as a business: “Sean has been full of belief since the moment I met him: full of passion for what he and Rock are doing, full of passion for their technology and how it can really help businesses power forward and enhance their users’ experience. I’m really excited to see what Sean does with SimSage, it’s a start-up that’s going to enhance the way in which we search for things online – powerful stuff.”

This new focus on how to market SimSage in a way that would do the product justice led to the business appointing a CMO, who has helped create a working strategy for what marketing will look like going forwards.

With all the key players in-place, 2021 is looking to be their biggest year yet, with prospective clients including a number of household names.

Book an online coaching session with Oxford Innovation Cornwall at no cost to your business.


Book Online

This programme is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.