If it’s possible to distill the 30 million small business owners in the U.S. into a single persona, Marc Reisner strikes our columnists as a great candidate: “Marc has been disillusioned by past performance and that poor performance has understandably tarred the entire industry with the same brush.”
“It seems like the agency business of the future — both large and boutique — will largely add value around integration of best-of-breed point solutions, which I don’t see many large entities like YP attempting to tackle yet,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal.
“Facebook has long been a force in post-sale retention and Messenger can really play a huge part as a CRM tool,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “I see it as the “real” social network… the one where folks communicate with those closest to them.”
“So many things are happening right on Google; clicks to call, driving directions, etc., and even more so than a website,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “For a business to do well there, things like photos, reviews (everywhere) and other visuals are becoming ever more important.”
“Each of these sites that Google trusts might calculate authority in a different way, but if Google can verify the relationship to the local entity, they can apply that authority to the ranking of the local listing,” writes Mike Blumenthal to David Mihm.
As voice search becomes more prevalent, Apple will “retain an advantage over Amazon in ‘on-the-go’ searches, since our phones are always with us,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal. “Unfortunately for Apple, people overwhelmingly conduct voice searches at home. “
Clearly Amazon is positioning itself in the sales funnel aggressively, Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “And unlike Google their presale efforts lead directly to sales that they control. ”
“I’m not convinced small businesses without a full-time in-house marketer really care about analytics,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly chat. “They certainly don’t have the time or expertise to dive in each week and change their marketing or customer service behavior based on what a dashboard is telling them.”
“Last time we identified our essential digital bundle for small businesses,” says David Mihm to Mike Blumenthal. “This week I thought we might tackle how agencies and media companies might go about building and selling that bundle — and why there seem to be so few who are actually doing it.”
Where should small businesses be spending their money (or energy) right now to maximize their digital investment? Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm say it all starts with a website and listings management, and includes a variety of services like email newsletters, reviews management, and even Facebook ads.