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Importance of publishers helping the SMB compete in the digital world

Importance of publishers helping the SMB compete in the digital world

Patrick Hagarty & Haley Luttrell

Publishers were and continue to be the trusted resource for the small business owner. In the past, SMBs felt confident that if they put an ad in a media outlet – whether it was a phone book or newspaper – they would be found.  Well, as Bob Dylan once said, the times they are a-changin', and with the emergence of the internet and the digital age, the confidence small businesses once felt has started to falter. So the question has emerged: how important is it that the publisher remains the trusted resource and helps SMBs compete in the ever-changing digital climate? In our opinion, very important!


It is no secret that the way consumers search for products and services has evolved. Many purchases now start with a search on Google, a local directory or a social network. This change, however, does not mean that SMBs cannot or should not rely on publishers for marketing. What it does mean is that publishers need to build on what they are already good at – connecting sellers and buyers – and expand their product offerings to ensure the small business owner can compete in this changing marketplace.

Today there are endless ways to reach your target audience. Unfortunately, SMBs often don't always have the time, knowledge, manpower or ability to execute effectively on their digital strategies. For many it is not only intimidating, but a foreign concept beyond their realm of expertise. This is where the publisher can and should be a one-stop shop for the small business owner.

trusted brand

Publishers have a reach that most cannot compete with. By increasing their digital product offerings, publishers can help SMBs reach their potential customers no matter where they are looking. By creating a customized campaign for the SMB that encompasses print, mobile, digital, and search, publishers can create a footprint the SMB would not be able to create for themselves or most likely afford from anyone else. Small businesses are a crucial part of our economy, and many continue to rely on foot traffic in order to survive and thrive. As generations change, more foot traffic is driven via digital channels. It is imperative that SMBs are able to navigate those channels – and publishers have an unprecedented ability to be that compass. Publishers are in the perfect position to offer hyper-local programs to a large number of small businesses that are in need of assistance. As the long-standing trusted resource, publishers are in the unique position to guide and help the SMB compete. It is important they continue to do so.
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