Hiding from customers
Q2 findings of the tracking study of online presence and performance of SMB websites, SMB DigitalScape, indicate that almost half the SMBs in USA do not have a local presence, an alarmingly high number of them are not participating in social platforms, and only 2% have a mobile presence.
Our day-to-day phone consultations with SMB advertisers give us a startling insight into their attitude to internet marketing – one that mainly stems from a lack of awareness of the latest developments in online advertising and marketing. For example, a sizeable number of them are opposed to including markers on the website that would establish their business as local from search engine as well as user perspective, making it easier for them to get found and get contacted. Some of them work out of their homes and understandably leave out the physical address. Nonetheless, it is helpful to include the home address to let the neighbourhood know they are near and lend additional credibility to the business. A physical address makes it that much more easier to earn customer confidence. Some of them opt to have the phone number hidden in an inner page than displaying it prominently on the Home page or site wide. Email is withheld from the website if they do not check emails regularly or fear spam.
SMBs are inadvertently hiding from the internet and avoiding getting found or getting contacted. We had discussed in the last post about SMB owners’ prejudice regarding the Facebook ‘like’ button. Typically, SMB advertisers get alarmed at the mention of social media. The last big box movement involving local retail is a notice served to the local service provider. If Staples displaced local stationary stores, Best Buy displaced local electronic stores, there is a similar threat looming large over local dentists, mechanics and plumbers from technology-savvy players like Aspen Dental, YourMechanic and ServPro in the next big box event.
Averting such displacement of the local service is an opportunity for SMB providers, a pie the size of $50B as identified by SMB DigitalScape. BuzzBoard, the sales tool, delivers market intelligence on scale, precisely pinpointing opportunities. Additionally, sales reps will need coaching in cutting through the prevailing mindset of SMB owners.