small business saturday

By Pehr Luedtke, SVP of Business Development for Valassis Digital

Everyone has heard of Black Friday, but Small Business Saturday has emerged as an important event as well.  Over 95 million consumers shopped during Small Business Saturday last year, marking an 8 percent increase over 2014.

This presents a unique opportunity for SMBs; but if business owners use only traditional marketing tactics, they may be leaving money on the table.  To up the ante this week, they should adopt more advanced strategies, like location-based mobile advertising. With recent technology innovation and consumer adoption of location sharing, SMBs can use the same tools as big brands. In particular, there are three tips SMB retailers should keep in mind to drive customer engagement and sales. They include:

Capitalize on Audience-Based Data

Audience based behavior is a powerful way to determine if consumers are interested in certain products or services.  It helps advertisers reach consumers who are genuinely interested in their products or services. Many companies – including Valassis – have powerful ways of identifying key audience segments.

Embrace Proximity Marketing

With proximity marketing, small businesses can reach consumers in striking distance of their shops. This creates an opportunity for brands to go after the competition’s customers with geo-conquesting. This tactic serves ads within a range around competitor locations. Ads with coupons or other promotions will incentivize consumers to try the advertisers’ business.

Measure and Optimize

Measuring the impact of location-based programs can be challenging, as traditional digital metrics such as Click Through Rate (CTR) only tell part of the story. Newer analytic tools can correlate advertising to in-store visits, letting advertisers know if people who saw their ad really visited their store. However, not all foot-traffic studies are equally reliable. Make sure you are asking where the location data is sourced and where your ad is being shown. If the data is sourced only from third parties such as exchanges, and not directly from mobile app publishers, that should raise red flags, as location data on the exchanges can often be unreliable.

As shoppers get ready to open their wallets this weekend, SMBs must be prepared to do more than just open their doors. Considering that consumers plan to spend one-third of their holiday shopping budget at small businesses, SMBs have a great opportunity but must be strategic to capitalize on their potential for success. The businesses that promote themselves actively, incorporating strategies such as location-based mobile advertising, can expect to be pleased with this results on Saturday.