“Regardless of the right package, the key for both agencies and small businesses is to choose best-of-breed components in each galaxy that integrate with each other so that you can add relevant and profitable services over time,” David Mihm says to Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly column.
Based on the results in Alignable’s 2018 Q1 Small Business Trust Index, the three least trusted categories of vendors include legal, hiring and people management, and loyalty and rewards. Alignable’s findings were based on Net Promoter Score ranges and averages for each products and services category.
SMB OS isn’t a new concept, though it’s now emerging and crystallizing in new ways. Advancing it are supporting technologies like cloud computing, mobility and cash-flow friendly SaaS pricing. Much of this trickles down from enterprise world, as it often does.
“Google is rapidly moving towards a time when HTTPS will be an absolute necessity for websites,” writes David Mihm to Mike Blumenthal. “As soon as this month if an http:// website contains any input field, users will start getting scary security messages.”
After coming off a banner month in July where the SMB Index gained 4.6%, August 2017 was a flat month where the Index gave back 0.4%, consistent with other major indices we track.
Major changes are coming to SMB marketing as the market shifts away from media towards cloud-based services, artificial intelligence, marketing automation and location marketing. This cluster of tech movements represent real opportunities to help SMBs target and engage customers, and become more efficient.
Big name tech companies including Facebook, Google, Square, SalesForce, Chase Bank, and many others are offering the knowledge they have acquired on the way up to small businesses that might not be getting all the help they need.
Last week’s Street Fight Summit showcased a variety of research on local marketing. Analysts showed evidence of mobile’s impact and improving its performance, and reinforced that companies selling marketing tech and services must address ROI and attribution.
“So many things are happening right on Google; clicks to call, driving directions, etc., and even more so than a website,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “For a business to do well there, things like photos, reviews (everywhere) and other visuals are becoming ever more important.”
A survey of 200 U.S. small and medium businesses conducted late last year revealed that 70% said they would be increasing their digital and online marketing budgets in 2017. Fewer than a third said budgets would stay the same, and only 2% said they were cutting back.
More and more consumers expect the small businesses in their own communities to be open when they’re ready to book appointments or ask questions, regardless of the time of day. Here are six examples of platforms local merchants can use to increase conversion rates outside of traditional business hours.
“I’m not convinced small businesses without a full-time in-house marketer really care about analytics,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly chat. “They certainly don’t have the time or expertise to dive in each week and change their marketing or customer service behavior based on what a dashboard is telling them.”
Where should small businesses be spending their money (or energy) right now to maximize their digital investment? Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm say it all starts with a website and listings management, and includes a variety of services like email newsletters, reviews management, and even Facebook ads.
Street Fight’s new analysis, The Urban SMB Report, indicates that local business owners in big cities get better results from their digital marketing efforts by not doing it themselves. The more they outsource, either to internal staff or to an agency, the higher their satisfaction rating. But there is room for improvement.
There is no better way for a local business to get its digital marketing in place than through a full understanding of key tools; by linking up with a digital agency; and focusing efforts on one channel that delivers powerful results. For the past four weeks in this space, LocalVox has delivered those insights and hands-on tactics, plus resources to provide SMBs a clear path to getting started and succeeding…