Canadian Retailer Magazine | Independent Retailers

Small business. Big impact.: How custom marketing tools have helped Canadian business owners

November 17, 2017
Small business. Big impact.: How custom marketing tools have helped Canadian business owners

How custom marketing tools have helped Canadian business owners drive more business.

BY ABHIJEET REGE, Vice-President, Merchant Marketing and Business Insights, American Express Canada

YOU’VE heard it before: Canada is a nation of small businesses. Of the 1.17 million businesses in Canada, 97.9 per cent are small businesses. They are the foundation of our economy and critical to driving our country’s growth. Perhaps equally important, small businesses are an integral part of local communities across the country. They help shape neighbourhoods and bring communities together.

A champion of small businesses, American Express understands the critical role they play in Canada, which is why we are dedicated to offering support through tailored marketing initiatives designed to enhance their businesses.

To take business growth to the next level and keep pace in an increasingly competitive market, here are a few ways businesses are finding success, and how you can, too:

Target your ideal customer

Most small business owners understand the importance of marketing. However, many are limited when it comes to having the resources to do it. To help maximize marketing efforts, there is one key ingredient that cannot be underestimated—smart targeting.

Over the last two years, we’ve partnered with small businesses in a number of industries across the country on custom marketing campaigns targeting their ideal customers within our Cardmember base. By targeting consumers based on past spend behavior, digital profiling and more, our partners increased brand awareness, consumer engagement and ultimately drove more in-store traffic and online sales.

Meet Consumers Where They Are

There’s no denying it, the demands of Canadian consumers are changing rapidly. Empowered by technology, their service expectations have reached an all-time high, craving convenience and seamless experiences from the brands they frequent. This can mean anything from offering omni-channel shopping experiences, personalized recommendations, tailored rewards, digital payment options and realtime alerts, to name a few.

By taking an omni-channel approach, businesses can reach a wider audience and offer customers more choice when it comes to how they interact with their brands.

Realize the Power of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to creating local and authentic content. This can be especially important for small business owners who often rely on word-of-mouth marketing.

Earlier this year, we launched a shop small campaign to encourage Canadians to support local, small businesses. We partnered with local social media influencers and bloggers who specialize in various topics relevant to our business partners, to create content promoting the breadth of small businesses within Toronto neighbourhoods and attract like-minded and local shoppers. The result was engaging and authentic content that could not only be leveraged on our social channels, but that could be used by businesses as promotional content as well.

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