Welcome to my bi-weekly newsletter featuring the latest research, products, and innovations in the SMB digital marketplace.

It’s designed to help your agency recruit more small business customers, deliver more effective services, grow your margin, and prepare for the future.

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Thanks for joining me in following along with our incredibly dynamic industry!

–David Mihm
Founder, Tidings

SurePath’s SMB Software Market Thesis

Mark MacLeod

I love so much of this post, which is more about product and company strategy than it is about finance. In particular, the fragmentation of the SMB market is actually a positive for companies that aren’t trying to be billion-dollar unicorns.

Do SMBs Value Advertising at All?


Greg Sterling highlights an admittedly-flawed survey that illustrates a sentiment I’ve felt since I started working with small businesses in the mid-2000’s: low-cost organic marketing options are strongly preferred to (increasingly-expensive) advertising.

Amazon Tops Alignable’s NPS Ratings Index for Fifth Quarter


A related story which came out just this week features Alignable’s quarterly Net Promoter Score survey of small business owners.

Greg notes “there were plenty of companies on the negative side of the line, including most of the lead-generation and digital advertising companies…Organic social and other marketing tools were much more highly rated.”

(And, as I noted on Twitter, Yelp has finally been displaced at the bottom of this list!)

Inside AdWords: Get more out of your local and omni-channel marketing


Perhaps starting to get the message that advertising is a tough sell to local businesses, Google has just released a number of features not only to expand ad inventory in local SERPs, but to help make a stronger case to advertisers about offline success of their digital ad campaigns.

SMBs Are Stalled with FinTech; But There is Light Ahead


Many of the companies mentioned here are going to be well-positioned to offer marketing and advertising solutions, since individual consumer data already underlies the most sophisticated customer acquisition today today.

I would argue slightly with Peter Krasilovsky that Square in particular IS in fact changing marketing for a lot of its customers. At the very least it’s built a remarkable infrastructure for those businesses who choose to adopt.

Thanks for reading — that’s it for this issue!

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