Square and Adobe Spark Team Up to Give SMBs a Holiday Marketing Boost

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Local businesses are being forced to quickly pivot their marketing programs this holiday season, as the strategies they’ve used for years no longer feel relevant during a worldwide pandemic. Sensing a need in the market, the tech firms Adobe Spark and Square are teaming up on a program designed to help small businesses stand out.

In addition to selecting three small businesses to receive a holiday marketing overhaul — pairing each up with local designers to modernize their brand marketing materials — Adobe Spark and Square are helping businesses digitize their shops to process transactions in a touch-free environment, utilizing mobile technology and QR codes. The firms have also announced a plan to give five small businesses a $10,000 media buy credit and a subscription to Adobe Spark Premium.

“Small businesses are essential for our communities, and many of them have faced considerable challenges this year,” says Amy Copperman, editorial and social media lead for Adobe Spark. “As you can imagine, so many of our local businesses have had to pivot their operating models or introduce new offerings to meet this moment. The holiday shopping season offers a unique opportunity for these businesses to recoup some of the losses from earlier this year and attract a new set of loyal customers.”

For the tens of thousands of local businesses around the country that don’t win this challenge, Adobe Spark is laying out key learnings for marketing during the 2020 holidays in a new resource guide. The guide is being made available for free for all small business owners on the company’s website. Adobe Spark is also releasing an e-commerce hub, where anyone can go to access marketing ideas and digital templates around key holiday moments, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Despite a global pandemic and political upheaval, Adobe is predicting a record-setting holiday season. Data show that more than $189 billion will be spent online this holiday season, up 33% year over year, and small businesses alone could see a 107% increase in daily revenue. Even more importantly, from the SMB perspective, is where those shoppers plan to spend. Studies are showing that consumers are more interested than ever in shopping small — and that could have an impact on the SMB community.

Copperman says Spark and Square offer products that are highly complementary, and by partnering together, the firms are looking to help businesses stay connected to their customers and build out their online presence for the holiday season and into the coming year.

In particular, Copperman believes social media will play an important role for businesses that want to stay connected with their customers this season. With more people shopping online to stay safe during the pandemic, independent retailers need better methods of engagement. Email is highly effective for bringing back lapsed customers, but social media opens businesses up to entirely new groups of people with whom they might not have connected before.

“People frequent the businesses they have a personal connection with, so utilizing social media is a great way for small businesses to foster that connection during this time and keep customers aware of store information, sales, and updates on favorite items,” she says.

Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy, and Facebook have all become major shopping hubs, and they make it possible for small businesses to reach large audiences without spending large sums. However, Copperman says the traditional approach to social media for businesses has changed. Retailers that don’t have access to the latest insights or smart optimizations could be getting left behind. Spark’s e-commerce hub is designed to bring SMBs up to date and minimize any disadvantages they may have when it comes to effectively using digital marketing over the 2020 holiday season.

“It’s all about telling a personal story behind the business. While local shops aren’t going to be able to compete with big-box retailers when it comes to deals and savings, small businesses can capture hearts with a community-driven approach,” Copperman says. “Using tools and resources available on our e-commerce hub, local merchants can encourage their audience to shop local this season and highlight the ways their business contributes to the neighborhood.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.Rainbow over Montclair

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.