With mobile marketing an increasingly important part of midmarket advertising, Nokia and Intuit announce a partnership.
Business and financial management solutions specialist Intuit and
mobile communications giant Nokia announced an alliance to develop and
deliver a new mobile and Web-based marketing service for small to
medium-size businesses around the world. The first market launch
of the service is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, the companies
announced through a joint statement, when further details will be made
available at that time.
Nokia is the world's largest mobile device manufacturer as well as a
provider of digital mapping and navigation services, covering more than
70 countries in over 45 languages; there are more than 1.3 billion
Nokia mobile devices in use around the world. Inuit is known for
developing solutions to help small businesses improve their bottom line
with offerings such as QuickBooks and Intuit Websites.
Intuit global business division president Alex Lintner said small
businesses need every advantage to stay ahead of the pack in today's
competitive environment. "We plan to offer them a way to strengthen
customer relationships, through targeted communications that increase
sales by delivering more customer visits," he said. "We're applying the
same proven formula we've used with QuickBooks to help small businesses
succeed by better serving their customers. We are thrilled to partner
with Nokia to bring our respective areas of expertise to bear in
developing this revolutionary service."
Robert Andersson, senior vice president and head of corporate alliances
and business development at Nokia, called the alliance a "significant
step" that he expects would create future growth opportunities.
"Working with Intuit, we are developing a breakthrough service to help
small businesses deepen relationships with their customers, leveraging
our expertise in mobile and location based services," he said. "We
believe this will benefit consumers too, by helping them find their
favourite products and services in the right place, at the right time
and at the best price."
The Better Business Bureau, an organization of businesses
supporting consumer rights, offers small businesses tips on how to
effectively market in the mobile age, calling mobile marketing an
increasingly effective way for small business owners to tap into a
younger customer base. According to a recent survey by JiWire, more
than 50 percent of mobile users would like to receive location-specific
advertising; another 39 percent would like to receive location-based
"Lacking the time, know-how and money to launch an effective online
marketing strategy can make many small business owners neglect the
whole endeavor," said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. "The good
news about mobile marketing is that you don't necessarily need to
dedicate a lot of time or money into a campaign to reap some rewards."
The organization recommends employing social networking site
Foursquare--which boasts 3 million users-- a mobile app that allows you
to "check in" at locations, including businesses, which tells other
Foursquare users where businesses are. The BBB also recommended
Facebook and Yelp, another social networking site the organization said
is well suited for small businesses.
Yelp allows users to post reviews of businesses, services, locations
and events. According to the company, 33 million people visited the
site in June 2010. In addition to the website, Yelp also provides a
mobile version with an interactive map and allows users to "check in"
at locations. After "unlocking" their location, businesses can offer
coupons through Yelp, update business information and promote events.
Timothy Doherty, research analyst for SMB mobility at IT research firm
IDC, said small businesses have a strong appetite for tools that can
help them reach their customers and attract new ones. "There is a real
opportunity for cost effective solutions that allow small businesses to
proactively target the mobile customer with highly contextual offerings
based on location and past purchase behavior," he said.