Historically, the world of advanced analytics has been the domain of huge enterprises with large budgets. But with big leaps in AI capabilities, even the smallest business can now access insights that were previously only available to “the big guys.”
For many years, the government’s assessment of the public interest was to encourage Web access to all. The current FCC, however, contends that this position is better met by eliminating the net neutrality rules — that SMBs will be able to have a variety of ISP options based on their actual needs with the end of the net neutrality rules.
Online-to-offline marketing platform Empyr has announced a partnership with Vendasta that has the potential to rapidly scale up and deepen its customer base. The deal makes Empyr’s CPR (cost-per-revenue), performance marketing platform available on Vendasta’s marketplace, which sells digital solutions through more than 2,000 local marketing agencies.
Comparing some surveys focused at opposite ends of the local small business spectrum — franchise operators and self-employed professionals — it feels like, though the industry is selling these groups the same marketing and commerce technology and services, the two segments are more different than similar.
Many small-but-growing businesses have a multi-store operation and a dynamic online presence, but simply can’t afford the custom-built, integrated retail and ecommerce systems that keep a premium brand’s customer experience tight and consistent. Here are some tactics they can employ to hack that problem.
Websites remain a foundational marketing element for companies of all sizes and they are likely the “home base” for customers finding the detailed information they desire as well as the basics, like store hours, contact information, product details and links to social channels. While on the surface it may seem like websites are the opposite of engaging—static, one-size-fits-all, impersonal—the fact is with a little bit of strategy, businesses can create a website that provides customers with a truly engaging experience with clear calls to action as part of the customer’s journey.
I’m often asked by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike to talk about what changes throughout the course of the “bell curve ride” in selling to small and medium-sized businesses — and how organizations need to adapt at each stage in order to ensure continued success. Here’s the best way I can explain how it all works.
The pace of innovation is such that many new technologies are deemed “obsolete” before small business owners get the chance to fully understand them, let alone implement them in their business. Many feel left behind the curve as a result. But obsolete is not an absolute condition when it comes to marketing techniques. Where marketing tactics and technologies are underutilized, potential for competitive gains still exists.
The future of SMB marketing solutions isn’t do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or even do-it-with-me. Rather, it lies in a new go-to-market model called “do nothing” that combines context, content, software, and automation into solutions that are low-cost, have next to no barriers to entry, and require little in the way of learning or doing from customers.
Speculation over the best model for providing and marketing SMB solutions — do-it-yourself (DIY), do-it-for-me (DIFM), or the middle-ground option, do-it-with-me (DIFM) — has been swirling for years. Columns from two Street Fight contributors indicate that while technology is part of the current problem, it’s undoubtedly part of the solution as well.
The question of whether or when SMBs are going to self-provision online marketing has been a topic of intense debate for at least a decade. Signs now point to the emergence of solutions simple enough to make self-service viable within three to five years. Ultimately, rather than a do-it-yourself vs. do-it-for-me dichotomy, we’re likely to see an increasingly stratified local market that looks a lot like a three-cabin airplane seating chart.
As the head of digital strategy for a broadcaster operating local TV stations, Lorren Elkins has been challenged to clearly understand the digital marketing space from an SMB perspective. In response, he developed an interactive chart, now in its second iteration, to both enhance his own understanding and assist SMBs in identifying potential suppliers.