5 Business Intelligence Platforms for Hyperlocals

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brainWith more than 29 million small businesses in the United States, it should be easy for hyperlocal sales forces to pinpoint legitimate prospects — at least in theory. In reality, it takes more than just a sleek sales pitch to win the attention of local merchants. One of the fastest ways for hyperlocal marketers and sales teams to improve their success rate when pitching to SMBs is by identifying businesses most likely to be receptive to their offerings.

A number of recently introduced business intelligence platforms can make that process a little bit easier. These platforms leverage online data to pinpoint businesses that are new and thriving, two key indicators of a merchant’s likelihood of partnering with a hyperlocal for promotions. In some cases, SMBs dan even use these apps to learn more about their closest competitors.

1. Radius: Gain insight about the online activities of potential sales leads.
Sales teams that need help homing in on the SMBs most likely to be interested in their pitches can use Radius. The lead generation platform offers a database of more than 20 million businesses, which can be filtered by location, industry, revenue, and web activity. For example, marketers can pinpoint merchants in select geographic areas that regularly use Twitter and have a positive rating on Yelp. Marketers can receive further insight about the thinking of any merchant by exploring the social content posted by a business (along with any past daily deals it’s run). The cost for Radius starts at $99 per user, per month.

2. Dun & Bradstreet: Use big data to improve your marketing ROI.
Dun & Bradstreet provides marketers tools for finding leads, checking credit, and identifying opportunities for growth. The company has created a database of more than 200 million records, which hyperlocal companies can parse to learn virtually anything about a business they’re targeting. Using D&B’s prospecting tool, marketers can identify new prospects (segmented by geography or industry), along with any cross-selling or up-selling opportunities associated with their current client roster. D&B offers a number of pricing options, with the price of basic business information reports starting at $119.

3. Cortera: Gauge the creditworthiness of potential partners.
Partnering with a business that’s in financial trouble can be a real problem, since hyperlocal marketers are often the ones left fielding complaints from angry consumers when the SMBs they’ve partnered with have gone out of business. Cortera is a tool that marketers can use to get the inside scoop about an SMB’s financial history. Cortera monitors factors that can influence a private company’s ability to pay its bills and offers a community-based forum where users can review any of more than 20 million SMBs based on their payment experiences. The charge for Cortera is $5 per financial report or $49 per month for unlimited access.

4. Marketing Cloud by Salesforce: Use social media to find companies in need of services.
Hyperlocals can use Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud to sift through the conversations on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and identify potential leads. Marketers and sales teams can then filter these sales targets by location, age, and other demographic factors, and deploy “social content” to reach potential clients within their preferred social networks. The platform automatically pulls data from a number of partners, including Klout, Rapleaf, and OpenAmplify. The cost for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud platform starts at $5,000 a month.

5. TIBCO Spotfire: Rely on predictive analytics to find buried opportunities.
Spotfire uses predictive analytics tools to pinpoint emerging trends for its marketer clients. Looking at these trends, sales teams can identify underutilized customer segments and improve client acquisition rates. They can also generate customized messages for potential targets based on demographic factors and then analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns as a result of response rates and conversions. Spotfire is a self-service platform, which allows marketers to explore data and generate charts without relying on an IT professional. A free trial and variable pricing options are available for Spotfire.

Know of other business intelligence platforms that hyperlocals should try? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.