I logged on to Thumbtack this morning, and was greeted with a permanent message: Starting June 16th, you'll only show up in search results for the jobs you're targeting. Set targeting preferences no! To start with, it is ANNOYING that there is no button to close this message because it takes up about 25% of the "real estate" on my iphone 8 Plus. It is difficult to respond to client or do anything reasonable. It is interesting and tale-telling to note that the only option to get rid of this annoyance is to click on the only link that TT has provided to turn on Targeting; this simply tells the whole story!
When you take away the opportunity to make a choice from people, you will always draw the ire of the people. From all I've read and heard about targeting, it is supposed to help pros get more quality leads, so why not leave that decision to the pro if/and when we want more quality leads. If you are making this a mandatory change, then you should have labeled it as CHANGE OF PRICING MODEL; at least that we not make it insulting, and easier to digest. And really, there is nothing wrong in changing your price model. Everyone is in business to be successful. If the current model is not working for you, then change it, but please be upfront with your change and don't present it as a gift one cannot refuse.
Ok. Having gotten the annoyance out on my system, here is my personal experience:
When targeting launched, I actually gave it a shot and quickly realized like other Pros that I got lots of leads who were asking for what I do not do or cannot do due to distance. Examples:
1.) A client with a broken iPhone screen leaving in a different state (I had my ideal location set, but also had remote support on)
2.) A client whose computer is not starting up or with broken laptop screen in another state
3.) A client requesting for electrical wire installation. I don't do electrical cabling, but I do computer network structured cabling.
In the first example, I got rid of the option to accept remote leads. It worked for the iPhone targeting, but hurt the number of computer support leads.
In the second example, I got rid of targeting as I was getting leads I could not service because they were remote and the kind of issues they had could not be fixed remotely.
In the third example, I also got rid of targeting because there is no way to "Target" my tasks out of the whole lots bunched together under "Wiring Installation" service.
In conclusion, I believe there are benefits to Pros with targeting; however, the implementation seemed premature. As of today, I only have targeting turned on for just 1 out of the 6 services I offer. I can confirm that for this service with targeting, I got more leads and paid less for them. I'll love to turn on targeting for all services, but with the way things are setup it will be a loosing game for me.
Like some pros have already pointed out, TT needs to make the services more granular in order to make targeting sensible and profitable to Pros. If targeting is working for us, it will be win-win for both TT and Pros. In addition, the filter on the site should also be enhanced in order for it to be smart enough to know tasks to present for targeting.
Stay safe and enjoy you day!