For many SMBs, keeping their information up to date has been a logisitical challenge -- especially for those SMBs that have multiple stores, or are franchise affiliates. Address listings, marketing promotions, social media, reviews and other features are often treated as "one size fits all," when they actually vary from location to location.
How many times will an SMB lose a job or sale because a customer pullled up to an address that closed last year? Or tried to use a promotion that had expired? The problem was that individual stores would update their information, one at a time --if at all. Indeed, the process has never really scaled for the SMBs, or for the technology vendors, agencies or marketing partners that worked with them.
New advances in marketing automation, however, are making these problems a thing of the past. While marketing automation leaders like HubSpot and Marketo have been applying marketing automation to enterprise customers for several years, its application at the local SMB level is relatively new.
Listings information represents a base for marketing automation. The various automation companies are not only expert at adding listings to the major search and discovery sites like Google, Bing, Yelp and YP, but to dozens of smaller ones as well.
Besides listings, many other features are being applied. These include presence management (websites, photos, “near me” location, reviews), social media management (blog posts, Tweets, etc.) promotions management (coupons, offers etc.), scheduling/booking and leads management.
Not everything at the local level is meant to be automated. Relying solely on automation and “air coverage” doesn’t work at every level. But these platforms are definitely moving the needle.