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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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February 15, 2010 |

Social Media, Digital Marketing Enhance Sales Pipeline

SMBs use social networking sites and other digital media for marketing, opening up three new opportunities for you: finding new clients on such sites, offering consulting services around the sites, and reselling programs from online advertising vendors. By Brian Sherman

Social Media, Digital Marketing Enhance Sales Pipeline

SMBs use social networking sites and other digital media for marketing, opening up three new opportunities for you: finding new clients on such sites, offering consulting services around the sites, and reselling programs from online advertising vendors.

By Brian Sherman

IF YOU HAVE SMB CLIENTS, then you know they are rarely early adopters, and they change tools, programs, and processes only after long due diligence. Based on that knowledge, you’d assume adoption of digital marketing and social media would follow the same pattern, but a recent survey conducted by market research firm Hurwitz & Associates found quite the opposite: The majority of small businesses are already using Google, YouTube, Twitter, and other digital media as part of their overall marketing programs. This change presents a significant opportunity for solution providers, from both a business and an internal usage perspective.

The survey shows that more than 70 percent of SMBs are using social media as a marketing tool, with almost 50 percent employing email newsletters and more than 35 percent using search optimization programs. According to Laurie McCabe, partner at Hurwitz & Associates, SMB digital media usage is growing substantially, fueled by costs that are significantly lower than traditional advertising methods as well as accelerated adoption by the general public.

“Digital media provides a faster and easier way for end users to find what they want compared to magazines and mail, and it also allows VARs and their customers to specifically target their marketing messages,” says McCabe.

Digital media expansion creates new opportunities for Web site design and search specialists, with a destination platform and related software crucial to digital marketing success. “It is extremely complicated for many small businesses to manage Web sites, search engine optimization, and email campaign management, creating a large demand for experienced consultants,” McCabe notes. In addition, VARs can add revenue and enhance their clients’ target marketing efforts by reselling programs from online advertising vendors such as WebVisible, ReachLocal, and Yodle.

The SMB digital media trends also provide VARs with their own lead-generation opportunities. “A small investment in digital media can significantly boost marketing reach and provide an effective ROI,” says Stuart Crawford, vice president of business development for Bulletproof InfoTech. These new tools aren’t meant to replace traditional marketing efforts, but will enhance awareness of your products and services.

“Using Twitter and LinkedIn, we can drive customers and prospects to our Web site, but each is just a component of our total marketing program,” says Crawford. “Face time at events and lunch-and-learns are still critical in order to build the relationships and rapport we hope will last long beyond the life span of the current technologies.”


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