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Multi-channel marketing leads to increased engagement for SMBs

main street - ericortner - rgbstckThere are more than 28 million small businesses in the US. They provide 55% of all jobs and 54% of US sales. Unfortunately, the failure rate in the first two years is between 50 and 70%. Some sources say it’s even higher. You have a better chance of watching your business fail than your marriage and the fact that that fact is scary says a lot about the world, doesn’t it?

Glass half full time – a record number of entrepreneurs are getting rich off their small business idea and that’s incentive enough to keep millions of people in the game.

A new survey from Constant Contact shows that the majority of small business owners are cautiously optimistic about not only their chances of survival, but of their growth potential.

50% of local smartphone searchers visit a store within a day

Google Think Local Searches 1Google Think Insights just posted the results of a new study called “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior” which is all about understanding consumers’ local search behavior. There’s nothing terribly groundbreaking or earthshaking in the report but it’s great for validation if you’re not sure you’re going the right way. It’s also very authoritative if you’re in need of some data to sway a boss or client.

We’ll talk highlights then you can download the full report right here.

4 out of 5 consumers conduct local searches using either a smartphone (88%) or computer / tablet (84%)

These aren’t just browsers looking for a way to waste time while they wait for their lunch. These are people with a specific goal in mind. They want a fast, relevant answer. If you’re the first one to the party, you’re going to be their first choice . . . provided you’re close by (5 mile radius is best) and you have what they need at a decent price.

70 Percent of digital users cross from device to device. Can your online biz handle it?

IMG_1161I just bought a new iPad. I can’t believe I’m saying that because when I bought my first iPad I thought it was the most expensive, frivolous toy I’d ever purchased. Then it became my new best friend. I became so attached that when my son began borrowing it regularly to use iMovie and watch Netflix and record his podcasts I missed having my iPad at my side.

So I bought a new one with all the bells and whistles, including Siri. Again, I thought Siri was frivolous and fun but in under a week, I found that she could text my son faster than I can find my glasses and do it myself. I can ask her to wake me in the morning faster than I can set the alarm clock and the other day, she told me who won the hockey game I missed. That was a biggie because before Siri, I would have gone online to a hockey blog or newspaper to find that answer. Thanks to Siri, those digital outlets lost my views. As a writer, I feel bad. As a busy person, I’m excited.

Want to reach a young audience? Snapchat might be the next big thing.

SnapchatWhen you’re a marketer, it’s up to you to find out where the people are so you can reach them with your message. It was the newspaper, then radio, then TV, the internet and now social media – especially the mobile kind. If you’re trying to reach potential customers under the age of 30, then it’s an even tougher job because by the time you discover the next big thing. . . it isn’t anymore.

Here’s my tip of the day: Snapchat.

Snapchat is a mobile messaging app with one very unusual feature. Unless one party takes a screengrab, the text and images disappear when you’re done chatting.

Perfect for teens with parents who routinely check their text logs or unfaithful partners worried about getting caught.

Foursquare and Groupon pivot (slightly) in order to stay in business

Groupon BasicsPivot is the fancy word start-ups use to label a sudden but noticeable change in a company’s direction. The pessimist could say it’s a sign of failure – the need to change in order to stay in business. (…looks at post title… hmm….) The optimist would say it’s a sign of a great leadership and success. It takes a brave heart to change your business model in the middle of the stream and for some it was the turning point that led to them becoming a household brand.

For example, Groupon started out as The Point – a kind of kickstarter for charity projects. But when a group used the site to gather enough people to get a group discount for a product a new idea was born. It took awhile but eventually Groupon was all about “group” buying. If enough people are interested, the price goes down.

Facebook ads, off Facebook: The mobile ad network is here

“This is really the first time we’re going to help you monetize on mobile,” says Zuckerberg and it’s big news.

Facebook is now officially in the mobile ad network biz. They call it Facebook’s Audience Network and it’s all about putting third party ads on mobile apps.

Facebook Audience Network

The Audience Network uses the same targeting as regular Facebook ads. Actually, it uses the same everything as regular Facebook ads, all you have to do to include the new mobile option is check another box.  You can create a banner ad, an interstitial, even a native ad if you want to blend in with the scenery.

Rather watch than read? Here’s a nifty video that shows you how it works:

Facebook takes a step back with anonymous login options for apps at F8 conference

F8 2014If you felt a shift in the Force today, it’s because all of the developers in the world are at Facebook’s F8 Conference in San Francisco.

What’s interesting is that the conference isn’t just about building a better virtual mousetrap. It’s also about how to monetize and grow apps as a business because you can’t just build it and hope people will come – today’s developer has to be a good marketer, too.

Even if you’re not in the app biz, keep reading because Facebook just made some interesting changes to how things work.

First off, Facebook is proud to announce  a new “two-year stability guarantee for our core products and API versioning to simplify development.” So exciting!

I’m joking, I have no idea what that means.