Although corporate marketing initiatives are an important part of any brand’s overall success, local-store marketing programs are essential to driving traffic to stores or restaurants. With that said, for small business owners or franchisees, gathering enough funds or manpower to execute quality marketing programs can be tough. That’s where technology comes in. Now, more than ever before, small business owners are relying on technology to power their local store marketing efforts, whether it be through CRM platforms, campaign support or by a customer loyalty and recruitment tool.
Using Technology to Market Your Business
As mentioned above, small business owners should utilize technology when marketing their business to new and existing customers. Below are a few tools that should be explored when determining your overall marketing strategy:
- Email Marketing - Social media and mobile marketing may be the new rage, but email marketing is still a great tool for small businesses to reach customers. Tools such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow small business owners to build templates for ongoing emails, as well as build their email database.
- SMS/MMS Campaigns – For small businesses, email marketing alone does not necessarily garner the results you may desire. By expanding your marketing mix to include SMS/MMS/text messaging to reach those customers glued to their smartphones, you can be sure that you are reaching customers at home and work. A tool to try is EzTexting, which has a free trial for small business owners looking to test the platform.
- Social Media – Although large brands like Oreo or Wendy’s get noticed for their fun social media campaigns, a report by Surefire Social shows that 60 percent of franchise businesses use their Facebook pages for local promotions. This shows the importance of having a local social media presence for small businesses. If your business isn’t already on these social channels, we recommend getting involved – and stat! The first place to get started is building your local Facebook business page, and then explore other platforms to see what would reach your customer base.
- Customer Loyalty – According to Entrepreneur, the philosophy behind a customer loyalty program is simple: repeat customers are rewarded and businesses increase sales. With technology advances, rewarding repeat customers is easier than ever before. Subscription programs like Belly or Punchtab allow small business owners to automatically reward loyal customers and capture data of new customers without having to be physically present at the business.
Technology Platform that Automates Local Store Marketing
For some small business owners, it can be daunting to manage various technologies and platforms, while also simultaneously running your business. FoundryLocal has made it easy with its zeeDashboard (pictures above) and zeeCampaign platforms, which allow local businesses to easily run marketing campaigns from their computer or smartphone. These platforms are ideal for corporate or franchise organizations that have various locations and want to provide marketing support to those business owners looking to market to their local community.
The key to building relationships with customers is to provide timely, community-based support tailored to your local customer. Technology advancements have allowed local businesses to connect with customers in a timely manner with content and campaigns that they want to receive. Small business owners are often responsible for every facet of the business, not just marketing, so technology enables owners to do their jobs better. By investing in technology today, business owners can enhance their business and get instant access to data and insight that they couldn’t otherwise.
About Kelly Ronna
Kelly is an Account Supervisor at Trevelino/Keller, where she leads a variety of clients in the food and beverage practice. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys traveling, dining at Atlanta’s best restaurants and enjoying time spent with family and friends.