SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Groupon’s Sanjay Gupta Dispels Some Common Misconceptions about Small Business

Sanjay Gupta., VP – Global Merchant Marketing, Groupon, described their approach to winning new clients for the daily deal.  He made the important point that the term SMB can be very broad – it covers a multitude of business owners from the one person kiosk to much larger, more sophisticated concerns, and each has differing needs.

His formula for reaching merchants seems to contradict accepted tropes about small businesses:

Keep it simple – everyone talks about how busy SMBs are.  Groupon has found that they may be busy, but SMBs will spend time to learn complex ideas. He addressed what he thinks are some common misconceptions about small business:

Very Concerned About Price – Groupon has determined that with trust, SMBs will pay for product/vendor stability.

Don’t Have the Time – Gupta says that merchants will find the time for critical needs.

Know it All or Not at All – maybe, but he says that Groupon’s experience is that SMBs are willing to learn.

Groupon specializes in small, “Mom and Pop”, local merchants and is winning them over through 5 main tenets –

  • Make them successful and your success will follow
  • Support – provide both sales and account support, as well as self-serve and self-prep options
  • Empower the merchant with tracking tools – a merchant center and customer interaction tools
  • Continue that support through lifecycle management
  • Align your strategy and offerings with the evolving needs of SMBs

BIA/Kelsey anticipates strong grown in the daily deals space over the next few years as large businesses enter the fray and add their loyalty programs to the mix.  Meanwhile, it appears that Groupon is continuing to reach SMBs of all sizes with a combination of new tools and traditional customer care.

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