28 April 2016

Customer Data Security Tops ISP Survey of Small Business Patrons

Data Security Tops Small Business Patron Concerns

A recent survey of more than 800 patrons of small businesses examined consumer attitudes toward company web sites, use of social media and responsiveness to product and service reviews. While some findings followed intuition -- such as the preference women express for companies which are active on Facebook -- a surprising outcome was about something else altogether.

More than any other factor, customers cited the need for small businesses to protect the privacy of data they hand over. In other words, expectations are high for companies to crunch data to personalize and target, but even higher for that data to be protected. Fully 79% of respondents cited securing their private data as the highest priority for companies they would patronize.

Note: The full story is a white label report that appears on a major telecomm site. For more, see Storyteller.tech

Image credit: Jason Baker (Flickr) 

26 April 2016

Cloud Technology: Helping to Level the Playing Field

Army Corps of Engineers: Wellton Border Control Station Construction 2010

Transborder data flows, video "surveillance" for child care and crowdsourced sales leads were three disparate domains where three small businesses leveraged cloud services. This piece emphasizes the ubiquity of cloud services and how cloud services can help to even the playing field against larger competitors.

I would have preferred to interview the principals, but that option was not available to me.

Image credit: Army Corps of Engineers | Flickr 

11 April 2016

Google Places: Where a Business Can be Found

Photo by Kevin Dooley on Flickr for Story about Google Places | Google My Business by Mark Underwood
Google My Business: Essential for Storefronts and Brands

SNIP This story is about a place that isn’t a place anymore.

Internet giant Google’s initial foray into business listings for search and social media was called Google Places. The idea likely stemmed from a sensible observation: that many businesses offer services to a specific geographical region. That observation is best demonstrated with mobile search. When a hungry smartphone owner is in the vicinity of a restaurant, a search for “pizza restaurant” should, by default, show nearby pizza restaurants, not the headquarters web site for Dominos, Pizza Hut or Little Caesars.

How does this work?  And why, even if there are numerous pizza restaurants nearby, does Google Search only show three restaurants on the search engine results page (SERP)?

Note: The full story is a white label report that appears on a major telecomm site. For more, see Storyteller.tech

Image credit: Kevin Dooley 

04 April 2016

Growing Loyalty for Loyalty Programs among Small Business

Screenshot: VentureBeat Story on FiveStars Capitalization
VentureBeat Report on FiveStars

Are small businesses convinced that loyalty programs can work for them, too?  Apparently the VC firms behind FiveStars believe they are. as FiveStars has been rewarded with a third round of $50 million to support the firm and its 350 employees. 

I look at the general outline for loyalty programs and the benefits and risks for small businesses. 

Note: The full story is a white label report that appears on a major telecomm site. For more, see Storyteller.tech.