ReachLocal’s Rowlands: In Order to Stay Relevant with Your Market, You Have No Choice But to Broaden
“A lot of companies started with a one-product solution — ReachLocal in search and other companies in email marketing or social. But our customers’ needs evolved, and they needed more than that one product. In order to stay relevant with your market, you have no choice but to broaden,” said ReachLocal CEO Sharon Rowlands about the pressure to offer a full suite of services.
The venerable apps vs. mobile web debate continues to rage on but it is largely a distraction for local merchants. Business owners do need to understand the changing media landscape to make the most effective possible use of their limited marketing budgets, but their time and their dollars are better spent on marketing fundamentals rather than investing in the increasingly difficult and crowded race to acquire, retain, and monetize app users.
Data is a core principle of digital marketing today, yet when it comes to local, big data has not penetrated very deeply where the sales process is concerned. All of that is about to change with the appearance of multiple companies trying to put data at the center of the way digital marketing is presented and sold to local businesses.
A new report from Street Fight Insights found that when being pitched a new product or service, local merchants want information on costs, a clear explanation — backed up by case studies — of how the product or service will benefit their business, and all their questions or concerns addressed.
The marketing of digital marketing services was once built on guarantees of leads, new customers, clicks, and the like. But when it comes to promoting small and medium-sized business (SMB) marketing products and solutions, the rhetoric and tactics have shifted. The new direction is more consultative and driven by content.
Online reviews play an increasingly important role in helping local businesses stand out from the competition. But getting that strong rating on Yelp – or TripAdvisor, Google Plus, or Foursquare – requires a concerted effort on the part of the local business and its marketing partners. Here are some steps that can help earn a few more five-star votes.
As the head of digital strategy for a broadcaster operating local TV stations, I’ve been challenged to clearly understand the digital marketing space from an SMB perspective. So I’ve developed a chart, both to enhance my understanding and to assist SMBs in identifying potential suppliers.