Will 2019 Be Remembered as the Year of GMB Messaging?

Mihm to Blumenthal: Absent a messaging competitor, even a handful of conversations with real customers make businesses *think* Facebook is where the party is. In reality, as you and plenty of others have found, 90% of actual leads are coming from Google. And a serious chunk of that 90% comes directly from Google My Business. Per my prediction, Google is *just* starting to push the “Message” CTA to consumers. And I think the floodgates are about to open.

Google Testing Restaurant Booking, Foreshadowing Ever Tighter Grip on Local Commerce

The news is an important signal that local-commerce options like Reserve with Google will get sleeker and more dominant in the years to come. And it calls to mind a crucial local-search debate: Will Google SERPs and the many options for engagement with local brick-and-mortars on them effectively supplant the local business website as the crucial interface for interacting with customers?

dataPlor: The Importance of Personal Relationships and Other Key Findings from Emerging Market Small Business Survey

At dataPlor, we know that the best way to gather data and insights on emerging market small businesses is in person. We sent our general manager in Guadalajara out on a mission to understand how hyperlocal businesses communicate with customers and potential business partners and suppliers. He spent a week speaking first-hand to small business owners about their customer outreach strategies and how they chose potential businesses partners. Here’s what we found.

Google Local Services Reportedly Expand to Canada, Signaling Rapid Growth

Launch in 2015 in Silicon Valley’s home court, Local Service Ads have since expanded to a whopping 90 markets in the U.S. and are now making their way abroad, where searches for local services are abundant.

Street Fight Daily: SMBs to Spend on Social, Location for Holidays; How AI Can Help Revamp CPG Brands

TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING AND MEDIA… Reveal Mobile Predicts Big Holiday Season Ad Spend for SMBs, With Social, Location At the Top… How GDPR Helps Consent Management Platforms… How AI Can Help CPGs Meet Millennial and Gen-Z Expectations…

Reveal Mobile Predicts Big Holiday Season Ad Spend for SMBs, With Social, Location At the Top

This coming holiday season, social, location-based advertising will dominate small business ad spend, according to a recent survey conducted by Reveal Mobile, a location-based marketing company. The survey also indicated that brands are increasingly comfortable with location-based tactics like geotargeting.

Amazon Furthers Embrace of SMBs with Storefronts

What Amazon has done is create a channel for the entrepreneurial impulse of small business owners that would appear to sidestep local commerce completely. But has local really been removed from the equation?

Report: Half of Very Small Businesses Suffer Financial Losses from Website Hacks

Half of all the small businesses with five or fewer employees examined in a recent report by GoDaddy have suffered a financial loss due to website hacking, and for one in eight, that loss was more than $5,000.

Is Google Playing the Long Game with SMB Websites?

“When you look at this Website growth + the Local Knowledge Panel with Posts + AMP + Progressive Web Apps, we are starting to see the outlines of an “open web” that Google totally controls. Or at least they control the profitable parts,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest biweekly column.

Street Fight Daily: Google’s Long Game with SMB Websites, Video Ads Rise—Will Fraud Rise With Them?

TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING AND MEDIA… Is Google Playing the Long Game with SMB Websites?… More Digital Videos Are Coming—How Will They Affect Ad Fraud?… Causal IQ Reimagines Role of Programmatic Solutions Provider, Leveraging Intimate Influencers…

3 Tips for Managing Local Services Ads

Google expanded Local Services ads to the San Diego area in November 2016 and has been rapidly expanding this platform across different verticals and markets in the USA over the last two years. If you’re considering running Local Services ads, here are three things to know before getting started.

Facebook Takes a Stab at Local—Again

“As it stands, Facebook’s latest local effort is of academic interest but hardly seems a reason for businesses to actively re-engage with the free side of the social giant’s features. From a competitive viewpoint, it hardly seems the stuff of legend needed to take on the current local search hegemon, Google,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest biweekly column.

Womply: Prime Day Coincides with Bump in Small Retailer Revenue

It would make sense to assume that Amazon’s e-commerce extravaganza results in a decline in foot traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers, especially small ones. Womply’s data science team has intel that says otherwise.

Why Google’s Mobile Speed Update Smells Like Trouble for Small Businesses

The murky guidelines surrounding just whom and how many people and sites the mobile speed update may affect—and how exactly businesses in the line of fire are to amend unsatisfactory practices—spells potential trouble for small businesses.

How AI Helps Local Businesses Compete With the Biggest Brands

Historically, the world of advanced analytics has been the domain of huge enterprises with large budgets. But with big leaps in AI capabilities, even the smallest business can now access insights that were previously only available to “the big guys.”

How the End of Network Neutrality Could Affect SMBs and the Public Interest

For many years, the government’s assessment of the public interest was to encourage Web access to all. The current FCC, however, contends that this position is better met by eliminating the net neutrality rules — that SMBs will be able to have a variety of ISP options based on their actual needs with the end of the net neutrality rules.

Empyr Partners with Vendasta to Expand Its SMB Reach

Online-to-offline marketing platform Empyr has announced a partnership with Vendasta that has the potential to rapidly scale up and deepen its customer base. The deal makes Empyr’s CPR (cost-per-revenue), performance marketing platform available on Vendasta’s marketplace, which sells digital solutions through more than 2,000 local marketing agencies.

Research Roundup: Comparing Franchisees and Independent Professionals

Comparing some surveys focused at opposite ends of the local small business spectrum — franchise operators and self-employed professionals — it feels like, though the industry is selling these groups the same marketing and commerce technology and services, the two segments are more different than similar.

Tried and True Marketing Tactics SMBs Can Borrow From Premium Brands

Many small-but-growing businesses have a multi-store operation and a dynamic online presence, but simply can’t afford the custom-built, integrated retail and ecommerce systems that keep a premium brand’s customer experience tight and consistent. Here are some tactics they can employ to hack that problem.

Sponsored Content: Using Your Website as a Customer Engagement Tool

Websites remain a foundational marketing element for companies of all sizes and they are likely the “home base” for customers finding the detailed information they desire as well as the basics, like store hours, contact information, product details and links to social channels. While on the surface it may seem like websites are the opposite of engaging—static, one-size-fits-all, impersonal—the fact is with a little bit of strategy, businesses can create a website that provides customers with a truly engaging experience with clear calls to action as part of the customer’s journey.