Channel Marketing Showcase - American Express and Small Business Saturday

November 17, 2011 Gary Ritkes

Coming soon to a shopping area near you – it’s Small Business Saturday. This new holiday is being driven by American Express with support from Facebook, FedEx, Google, and a host of media outlets to encourage consumers to visit their neighborhood shops in lieu of big box stores and national retail chains.

Check out the nifty marketing support site for this event at www. Now, see if anything there looks familiar to you. There’s support for store signage, marketing materials, subsidized advertising, social sharing, and, hey wait a minute, they’ve created a channel marketing program for distributed marketers! This site has everything a participating business needs to help market themselves, and American Express by implication, to drive local store traffic and sales. Welcome to the world of marketing resource management.

Small retailers participating in last year’s program recorded a 28 percent increase in sales on the Saturday after Thanksgiving compared to 2009. So far this year, small businesses quickly snatched up the 10,000 slots to receive $100 in free Facebook advertising and over 2 million consumers have taken a pledge to shop local.  While local marketing isn’t the only factor contributing to sales increases, the bottom line is that it works.

Marketing resource management holds the same potential for your brands and the local marketers in your distribution channels as it does for billon dollar companies. This time of year is the season to believe, but it’s certainly much easier to do when it’s backed by sales results. Your goals may already be established for 2012, but the time is now to take a serious look to see how additional channel marketing support will help you get there.

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About the Author

Gary Ritkes

Gary Ritkes oversees all Business Development and Marketing at SproutLoud. He has been a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology and is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and a co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS) which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He is a current board member of the local Advertising Federation chapter and has served as a member for other national industry associations including the DMA, AGA, and the CMO council.

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