SMB Marketing Platform bzzHive Announces Launch at #SFSW12

CEO Dave Walker announced the launch of his company’s beta site at the Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco on Monday. bzzHive, a web start-up that aims to streamline the marketing process for small businesses and their suppliers, helps marketing services suppliers reach and sell to small businesses.

#SFSW12: Next-Gen Loyalty — Mobile Payments vs. Credit Cards

Traditional paper punchcards are on their way toward extinction, but leaders from top loyalty companies weren’t in complete agreement over which platforms are best positioned to capitalize on the changing tide during a morning panel discussion at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday…

#SFSW12: Google’s Mangtani Says Quality Drives Redemptions

One way that product chief Nitin Mangtani and his team at Google have begun to streamline the merchant acquisition process is by introducing Google Offers Marketplace, which allows companies in the deal space to partner with Google for offer distribution. “We can work together to compliment each other’s skills,” explained Mangtani…

7 Strategies for Creating Effective Mobile Websites

Savvy marketers are ramping up their mobile offerings in an effort to generate attention from the 51% of consumers who say they’re more likely to purchase from retailers with mobile-specific sites. There are some basic principles that marketers large and small can follow to ensure their mobile sites generate the greatest ROI possible. Here are seven tips from experts in the mobile marketing industry about what small business owners should keep in mind.

Case Study: Sotheby’s Uses Mobile iPad App to Attract High-End Buyers

Consumers purchasing multi-million dollar properties want to see more than just static photos and written descriptions when researching homes online. According to John Passerini, vice president of interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty, high-end buyers want to understand the “context” of the properties they’re viewing. To satisfy this need, Sotheby’s used LBS-technology to create a “lifestyle overlay” for its mobile iPad app…

5 Tools for Outsourcing Hyperlocal Ad Management & Sales

Companies that provide publishers with ad sales support and management tools have become a happy medium for publications that can’t afford to employ full-time reps and aren’t quite satisfied with the low rates they earn from advertising networks alone. Here are five tools that publishers can use to outsource some or all of the advertising operations…

Case Study: The Benefits of Running a POS System in the Cloud

When David Steingard began researching point-of-sale systems to use at Laughing Man, the New York City coffee shop he founded with the actor Hugh Jackman in 2011, he was surprised at how expensive checkout terminals had become. Rather than paying $15,000 to $30,000 for a traditional POS system, Steingard opted to go with ShopKeep, a mobile system that runs on the iPad…

6 Platforms Hyperlocal Publishers Can Use to Fill Unsold Ad Inventory

Ad inventory sold by networks typically doesn’t command the high CPM (cost per thousand impressions) that individual publishers can charge when they work with local businesses directly. However, these ads do give publishers a chance broaden their advertiser base and earn revenue for space that would have otherwise gone unused…

Case Study: Charlottesville Cafe Increases Customer Frequency With Cardagin

At Calvino Cafe in Charlottesville, Virginia, owner Katie Kroloff was already looking for a marketing program that provided trackable results when a salesperson from Cardagin Networks walked through her door. The loyalty platform provided many of the same benefits as the punch card system she had been using, but with fewer headaches and better rewards…

5 Tools Hyperlocal Publishers Can Use to Improve Online Ad Sales

Salespeople from hyperlocal publications are increasingly turning to turnkey ad platforms in an effort to simplify the process of selling and creating display ads for small business owners. Here are five platforms that publishers are using to streamline the sales process when working with small business advertisers.

Case Study: New York Acupuncturist Grows Business With Signpost

As the owner of Premier Integrative Medicine, an acupuncture clinic in New York City, Humberto Toledo has struggled to generate walk-in traffic without a street-level storefront. To combat this issue, Toledo now uses Signpost to run regular deals and incentives to attract new customers, and says the company is less “intimidating” to work with than competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial…

6 Email Optimizers for Improving Daily Deal Open Rates

It’s become increasingly difficult for daily deal publishers to cut through the clutter and get their offers noticed. In an effort to boost the open and purchase rates on their marketing messages, a number of deal providers have turned to technology companies offering email optimization platforms for help. Here are six email optimization platforms deal companies can use to improve response rates…

Case Study: Pet Supply Chain Finds Value in SMS Advertising

Lipof Advertising creative director Nathan Lowery says businesses that inundate their customers with meaningless marketing messages are actually doing more harm than good. In his experience handling advertising and marketing for Pet Supermarket, Lowery has noticed that customers are less likely to unsubscribe from SMS advertising lists when they’re sent messages that have actual value, like coupons and discount codes…

6 Tools SMBs Can Use to Update Digital Directory Listings

Almost half of all business listings on hyperlocal services and online directories include information that is outdated, incorrect, or incomplete — a major problem given that 92% of people use online directories to research products or services in their areas. Here are six platforms that merchants can use to improve the accuracy of their directory listings and increase their businesses’ exposure online…

Case Study: Finding an Easier Way to Accept Deal Bookings

Ray Chang, the founder and CEO of The Motorsport Lab, was excited about the prospect of running his first Groupon offer in 2010. What he wasn’t expecting was the crush of phone calls that resulted. To help decrease the pressure on his staff, Chang started using Genbook to handle online reservations. Since then, he’s been able to run three subsequent deals without overburdening his employees…

7 Card-Connected Marketing Programs

Card-connected platforms help merchants promote customer loyalty without introducing any extra steps or hurdles to the traditional payment process. Customers swipe their cards just as they normally would, and the rewards or discounts they earn are automatically reflected on their next credit card or bank statements. Here are six card-connected programs that merchants can use to promote loyalty and customer engagement…

Case Study: Seattle Office Caterer Grows Business With Mobile Payments

At Molly’s Salads in Seattle, Washington, founder Stefan Kalb needed an easy way to collect payments from customers without being present in person. His solution? Seconds, a mobile commerce platform that customers can use to pay via text message…

7 Platforms Local Merchants Can Use to Build Mobile Websites

Fifty-four percent of smartphone users now use their phones to “pre-shop” before arriving at stores, and 51% of consumers are more likely to make purchases from retailers with mobile sites. Despite this, only 4.8% of retailers in the U.S. currently have mobile websites. In response, a number of hyperlocal companies have stepped up with platforms that SMBs can use to easily create mobile-optimized sites. Here are seven of them…

6 Mobile Coupon Platforms for Merchants

One of the simplest solutions for merchants just beginning to dip their toes into mobile marketing is text-based mobile coupons. Coupons that are sent via SMS are eight times more likely to be redeemed than coupons sent through email, and 90% of these messages are opened up within just three minutes of receipt. Here are six tools that local merchants can use to drive sales with targeted coupons sent to their customers’ mobile phones…

Case Study: Providence Retailer Uses Swipely to Reward Customer Loyalty

As the co-owner of Kreatelier, a retail shop that sells gifts and textiles in Providence, R.I., Line Daems is always on the lookout for ways to reward her most loyal customers without overwhelming her staff with extra work. In 2011 she discovered that she could use Swipely, a loyalty platform tied to customers’ credit card transactions, to offer cash-back rewards with zero effort on her company’s behalf…