Archive for September, 2012

BIA/Kelsey: Daily Deal Spending to Rise 87% in 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Consumers are becoming daily deals junkies – checking sites like Groupon and Living Social each day and awaiting the daily e-mail from platforms like Gilt City and Google Offers to see the latest deals in their city.

Last week, in the midst of SMB Digital Marketing 2012, BIA/Kelsey released a new report projecting that daily deals spending will rise by 87% in 2012 alone. U.S. consumers will spend $3.6 billion on sites like Living Social and Groupon by the end of the year.

BIA/Kelsey expects the daily deals space to grow an additional 23% in 2013 and projects that it will become a $5.5 billion industry by 2016.

Growth in this area presents a major opportunity for small business. Stay tuned.

Dex Asks Small Businesses: How Findable are You?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

We weren’t the only ones with small business on our minds out in Chicago at BIA/Kelsey’s SMB Digital Marketing 2012 Conference – Dex also had some helpful tips for small business.

Yesterday, Dex hosted a webinar featuring business coach, author and business community builder, Sarah Robinson, and Dex’s own Senior Product Manager, Laura Malcolm. The two discussed how small businesses can better manage online reputation and better engage with communities on and offline.

You can catch a recording of the webinar on September 22 at the link below so don’t miss this great discussion full of actionable tips.

Listen for Success: Reputation, Community & Your Business

Print Yellow Pages Remain Strong Advertising Choice for Attorneys

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Recently, a legal marketing firm issued a press release on the changing ways that people find lawyers. The release, citing an American Bar Association (ABA) public opinion poll, stated that the use of print Yellow Pages “as the primary way to find a lawyer for a personal legal matter appears to be waning.”

The marketing firm’s conclusion is misleading for several reasons.

  • The poll, which was conducted way back in September 2010, told us what we already know: that many people searching for a lawyer for a personal legal matter find one through friends and family or by contacting a lawyer they’ve used previously. But when it comes to those who find a lawyer through advertising, the poll showed that the same number of people who search for a lawyer via the print Yellow Pages search for one online. The report itself said there may be “some erosion” from anticipated use of print Yellow Pages compared to research that was conducted prior to the availability of the Internet, but the degree of shift to the web is difficult to assess. So while there’s no doubt the Internet is playing a bigger role in how lawyers are found, there is also minimal evidence to suggest that print Yellow Pages are losing their historical prominence as a place where consumers go to find lawyers.
  • The 2011 Local Media Tracking Study, conducted by the independent research firm Burke on behalf of the Local Search Association, found that print Yellow Pages generate an impressive 93.4 million look-ups annually for attorney services. The attorneys heading ranked 9th based on usage among the top 300 print Yellow Pages headings. This is a decline over previous years, but still a very strong and healthy standing.
  • Our Local Media Tracking Study also demonstrated the high value of print Yellow Pages look-ups for attorneys. Approximately 55% of consumers have a decision to make when searching print Yellow Pages for attorneys. This includes consumers who had no name in mind or had two or more names in mind before looking in the directory. Additionally, 63% of consumers contact an attorney they found in the print Yellow Pages, while 68% of consumers using directories make a purchase of attorney’s services or intend to make a purchase. Furthermore, 70% of purchasers secured through print Yellow Pages are new customers for the attorney they contact.
  • Print Yellow Pages deliver an unduplicated audience because they have low duplication with other media, according to the 2011 Intermedia Shopping Study conducted by TNS. For example, when print Yellow Pages is used in combination with online services advertising, it extends the reach to purchasers by 58%.
  • Finally, a review of 26 display ad call tracking studies conducted for 10 national advertisers showed print Yellow Pages deliver strong value to attorney advertisers. Average return on investment is 7 to 1, and median return on investment is 4 to 1, according to Local Search Association data.

While our industry recognizes that general use of print Yellow Pages is declining, that does not mean that legal related ads are no longer an effective marketing tool. The data above speaks for itself: that an integrated advertising approach that leverages directories in addition to newer platforms like the web will garner the best results for lawyers looking for new customers.

Congressman Aaron Schock Addresses Local Search Association Board

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Neg Norton, president, Local Search Association and Congressman Aaron Schock

The Local Search Association’s Board of Directors welcomed Congressman Aaron Schock (R, Illinois) at a meeting in Chicago today.

Congressman Schock provided a brief overview of the issues facing the business community and his work on the House Ways and Means Committee. As the youngest member of the House of Representatives, elected at age 26, the Congressman recounted his early entrepreneurship – programming computers in elementary school, operating a ticket agency out of his parents’ home and buying his first real estate while still in high school.

Congressman Schock also explained the work of the Ways and Means Committee and its focus on taxes, trade and entitlement, pointing out that it is the oldest functioning committee in the House.  He expressed concern about the impact on increasing taxes on business sector growth and the ongoing issue of unfunded entitlement programs.

Acknowledging the political atmosphere in Washington, Congressman Schock stated that tax issues like the looming “fiscal cliff” are unlikely to be resolved before year-end.  He also stated that proposed changes to U.S. tax policy will be decided by the upcoming election.

Congressman Schock entertained questions from the Board before returning to Washington to continue his work. The Board was grateful that the Congressman took the time to meet with them and provide an insider’s perspective on issues related to our industry and the overall business community.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Day 3 – Google, Mobile, and What’s Next

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We’re in the last day of SMB Digital Marketing 2012, presented by BIA/Kelsey here in Chicago.  The final day is packed with speakers and analytics.

The morning will include John Pletz, Senior Reporter from Crain’s Chicago Business, a panel on Mobile Advertising for SMBs, a presentation by Valentine Matrat and Ben Wood from Google and more.

If you missed this event, take a look at BIA/Kelsey’s next meeting, ILM West, December 4-6 in Los Angeles.  That’s your next opportunity to take advantage of BIA/Kelsey’s special blend of research and networking.  Hope to see you there.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Social Media Offers ROI with the Right Approach

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mike Nabasny, Director of Midwest Sales at Wildfire, closed out the day with an interesting story of a guy, a girl, a ring, a friend and a Social Media hook-up.  The story had a happy ending and helped demonstrate what the statistics show – 81% consumers say that friends can influence a purchase.

And he answered that old question, what DO consumers want? – 67% want exclusive offers, 60% want to interact with others and share their purchasing experience and most love games, contests and of course, prizes.

He offered three keys to Social Media ROI success:

  • Create compelling offers
  • Give people a reason to come back
  • Take an integrated approach

His final word on Social Media marketing?  The ROI is there!

All in all, it was an intriguing series of presentations.  Go to biakelsey.com/smbdigital for more about SMB Digital Marketing and BIA/Kelsey.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: ’58% of Small Businesses are Still Struggling with Social’, says Manta

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A session entitled ’Social Media: Focus on Business Models’ was hosted by Jed Williams, who kicked off the session by revisiting LCM 16 and reiterating that SMBs number one objective for Facebook is new customer acquisition.

Pamela Springer, CEO-Manta presented metrics on online networking:

  • 50% of SMBs (with fewer than 9 employees) are networking online and that number is expected to grow to 70% in 2013. The goal of such networking is to acquire new customers.
  • SMBs are using a variety of sites to do so:
    • 19% Facebook
    • 12% LinkedIn
    • 1% Google
  • However, 58% say they are still struggling with Social Media.

“Revolution is being implemented in an Evolutionary way”, Springer explained to attendees.  Manta is helping customers get in the game, find out what works and tie it all together.

From creating profiles for their SMBs, to providing tools and channels, Manta is working alongside their customers to find the right solutions.  And soon they plan to add activity streams and status updates to their mix.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Author of ‘Engagement Marketing’ Speaks on “Connecting the Dots” for Small Business

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

 

Following a full morning of presentations, Gail Goodman, CEO – Constant Contact, took the stage after lunch to speak to a full room – attendance was estimated at over 400 for this event.  Introduced by Rick Ducey (link), Goodman’s list of awards is lengthy and impressive. In addition, she is the author of the bestseller, Engagement Marketing.

Goodman, who worked to grow her company’s roster of SMBs to 500,000, took the audience through her recommendations for “Connecting the Dots” of digital marketing.

Constant Contact’s clients are truly small businesses – 70% have less than 10 employees and her company interacts with them exclusively online.  They offer their clients:

  • Email Marketing
  • Event Management – on and off-line
  • Social Campaigns – 80% of their SMBs have a Facebook page

They also enable their merchants to run their own local deals.  Recently, they added Single Platform to provide digital storefronts.

Consolidating these services ensures that their clients get the services they need, so they can avoid answering repeated calls (up to 29 per month) from online marketing vendors.

Through the process of growing the company, Goodwin’s team made some discoveries that echo much of what we’ve heard for the past two days at SMB.  Perhaps the most interesting concept is that consumers can be tracked from their first contact, to their offline purchase through their repeat purchases, without the SMB coming off as “spammy”.

Currently, small businesses are advised to ask the customer when they come into the store, “how did you find us?”.  Goodwin gives that approach a #Fail.  She believes that through the right combination of deal offers, social connections and engagement, SMBs can optimize the customer experience AND get the tracking information they need to create ongoing relationships.

Constant Contact wants to bring it all together for their clients and that’s a win-win.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Groupon’s Sanjay Gupta Dispels Some Common Misconceptions about Small Business

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sanjay Gupta., VP – Global Merchant Marketing, Groupon, described their approach to winning new clients for the daily deal.  He made the important point that the term SMB can be very broad – it covers a multitude of business owners from the one person kiosk to much larger, more sophisticated concerns, and each has differing needs.

His formula for reaching merchants seems to contradict accepted tropes about small businesses:

Keep it simple – everyone talks about how busy SMBs are.  Groupon has found that they may be busy, but SMBs will spend time to learn complex ideas. He addressed what he thinks are some common misconceptions about small business:

Very Concerned About Price – Groupon has determined that with trust, SMBs will pay for product/vendor stability.

Don’t Have the Time – Gupta says that merchants will find the time for critical needs.

Know it All or Not at All – maybe, but he says that Groupon’s experience is that SMBs are willing to learn.

Groupon specializes in small, “Mom and Pop”, local merchants and is winning them over through 5 main tenets –

  • Make them successful and your success will follow
  • Support – provide both sales and account support, as well as self-serve and self-prep options
  • Empower the merchant with tracking tools – a merchant center and customer interaction tools
  • Continue that support through lifecycle management
  • Align your strategy and offerings with the evolving needs of SMBs

BIA/Kelsey anticipates strong grown in the daily deals space over the next few years as large businesses enter the fray and add their loyalty programs to the mix.  Meanwhile, it appears that Groupon is continuing to reach SMBs of all sizes with a combination of new tools and traditional customer care.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012 – Dex One’s Richard Hanna: ‘Advertisers No Longer Satisfied with One-Product Solutions’

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

After a quick review of yesterday’s meeting by Tom Buono and Mark Fratrik, this morning kicked off with Richard Hanna, EVP – Sales and Marketing, Dex One.  His presentation of Dex’s journey of digital transformation clearly intrigued the attendees.  Hanna outlined why the next two years are so important to both SMBs and providers, and how his team has worked to prepare for the challenges.

Hanna emphasized that advertisers are no longer satisfied with one-product solutions, but expect at least four or more options to meet their needs.  Discussing the changes that have to occur to ensure a sales force equal to the challenge, he explained that Dex One has:

  • Invested in a 21st century sales force and world class support technology
  • Invested in product solutions
  • Showed sales teams that “we mean business” – making an impression on the sales team through compensation plans, and by delivering products and services they can believe in.

“Easy to buy, easy to sell” – Dex One created an assortment of bundles and delivered them across multiple platforms, as well as creating Dex Guaranteed Action (DGA), to encourage customer confidence in their approach.

Hanna returned several times to the theme of high-tech training, describing how they have outfitted their reps with iPads, and now deliver training, sales results, new compensation incentives through webinars, videos and podcasts.

His plan to “motivate and captivate” has resulted in measurable success. And the strategy continues to deliver – a 40% growth in digital revenues since its inception.

Hanna did a great job of answering some probing questions from the audience and his presentation gave the audience a lot to consider.