Friday, July 27, 2007

Help for Local Businesses? Or is it HELP!

Last week I had a painter in my house. When I asked if he used Web advertising, he replied, "Who has time to figure it all out? Everybody wants my money." He's right. Too keep up with all the latest and greatest, a business needs a person who will devote a lot of time.

Over the next few days I saw several press releases about companies trying to help local businesses figure it out.

First, UK-based Vertical Leap, "pioneer of managed search engine marketing, has launched Local Leap, a new search optimisation service specifically for businesses whose market is local, rather than global. ...Local Leap comprises the same robust processes as Vertical Leap’s main Managed Search Engine Marketing service, but focuses on campaigning and maintaining search engine rankings for those businesses who know that 80% of all buying decisions are made within a 20 mile radius."

I didn't see promotion for Local Leap on the US home page,, but an email query was promptly returned by President Jessica Faltot, who assured me they do offer Local Leap in the US. She referred me to the Web site.

The second PR came from Your Marketing Corner, announcing, "Your Marketing Corner, a new walk-in retail chain that provides Internet advertising and progressive marketing support services to local businesses, is announcing an expanded list of markets for its new retail stores."

Mostly hype, considering they haven't opened any stores so there is not yet anything to expand.

But I liked the idea and went to their Web site. I read the copy twice to convince myself these folks are for real. "Your Marketing Corner is a revolutionary new kind of retail store, staffed not by "employees" but by passionate "marketers" waiting for the next Restaurant Owner, Contractor, Attorney, Realtor, Car Dealer or Landscaper to walk in our store and say "I'm trying to reach new customers. Can you help?"

First of all, I'm not sure what a "marketer" in quotes means. Is there a wink-wink-nudge-nudge somewhere? And second, if these folks are sitting around waiting for auto dealers and Realtors to walk in and hand them money, they've been smoking something very funky in that corner of theirs.

My vote is that Local Leap offers "Real Marketing." Your Marketing Corner is "Get Real" marketing.

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