As the digital marketing manager for Christine Waller Photography, a small photography business based in Chicago, Illinois, Conor Keenan uses many sources of traffic to generate leads. His monthly search budget runs between $250 and $500, depending on the services he’s focusing on that month.
At Treat Cupcake Bar, Sarah Waters’ responsibilities run the gamut from online and offline marketing and social media management, to event organization and employee development. Of all her responsibilities, it’s online marketing that creates some of her biggest challenges.
Despite recent successes with mobile advertising, Herminio Gomes of Sharp Cleaning estimates he currently spends just 4% of his marketing budget on digital channels. The rest is divided between direct mailers, newspaper ads, flyers, and commissions.
Smartphone messaging apps were used by more than 1.4 billion consumers last year, but very few of the conversations that took place were between shoppers and local merchants. Here are seven examples of ways that local merchants can start using messaging apps to improve customer service and boost customer acquisition right away.
What’s on the mind of technology and marketing suppliers targeting the connected local economy? They’re keen on mobile — perhaps too keen — but struggling with their own companies’ brand awareness. The dichotomy between small businesses and national chains that sell locally is profound, and presents difficult challenges in scaling to support either, let alone both, according to Street Fight Insights analysis.
The venerable apps vs. mobile web debate continues to rage on but it is largely a distraction for local merchants. Business owners do need to understand the changing media landscape to make the most effective possible use of their limited marketing budgets, but their time and their dollars are better spent on marketing fundamentals rather than investing in the increasingly difficult and crowded race to acquire, retain, and monetize app users.
Social media, search engines, and local review sites can all generate attention for businesses in the home services industry, but when it comes to actually making sales and closing deals, nothing beats the effectiveness of a good old-fashioned telephone call. “Listening to how my associates communicate with clients is important,” says All Plumbing’s Kabir Shafi.
When it comes to selecting which hyperlocal platforms he’ll adopt at Mixt Greens, co-founder David Silverglide is clear on what he’s looking for: “It needs to be driving incremental revenue. It can’t just be trying to siphon off our existing customer base in a different way, or shifting them to a new platform…”
Paul Wade, the owner of Third Street Boxing Gym in San Francisco, is a self-professed technophobe. But noticed an increase in the number of people coming into his gym with smartphones in their hands, and he had a nagging feeling that there could be better ways to promote his live boxing events than the printed posters and flyers he’d been creating with the help of a graphic designer for the past 10 years…
By integrating mobile waitlist management platforms into their business operations, restaurants may be able to increase the length of time that guests are willing to wait for tables. This makes it possible to get more customers seated in the average day or night, and ultimately boosts the bottom line for restaurants…