Intuit: The next local Advertising Agency?

Intuit: The next local Advertising Agency?

Summary: Acquiring customers is the “number one pain” of small businesses, so said Steven Aldrich, VP, Strategy and Innovation, Small Business Division, Intuit, yesterday in his Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local” Conference keynote.Aldrich put forth a myriad of small business census type data to make the case for why small businesses need help, marketing help!

TOPICS: Google

Acquiring customers is the “number one pain” of small businesses, so said Steven Aldrich, VP, Strategy and Innovation, Small Business Division, Intuit, yesterday in his Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local” Conference keynote.

Aldrich put forth a myriad of small business census type data to make the case for why small businesses need help, marketing help!

Juxtaposing the “Fortune 500” to the nation’s 26 million small businesses (under 500 employees), Aldrich asserted the large business sector and the small business sector each account for approximately the same amount of non-farm private U.S. GDP: about $5 trillion.

“Small business is as big as big businesses,” Aldrich concluded.

All is not rosy in the small business world, however, according to the data put forth by Aldrich: While 6 million businesses are started every year, another approximately 5.6 million businesses cease operating, Aldrich reported.

For new businesses, finding customers is the biggest limiting factor to growth, Aldrich underscored, despite marketing efforts. Small businesses spend $110 billion on marketing, Aldrich noted.

Sixty percent of small businesses spent marketing dollars in the last 12 months, Aldrich said. He added that the Web is not favored by small businesses for their marketing spends: Less than 5% of small businesses' marketing budgets are allocated for online and in the last 12 months, only 22% of small businesses marketed online.

"Think local" when you think small business, Aldrich said. Eighty percent of small businesses do 75% of their business within 50 miles.

Aldrich indicated that many small businesses do not succeed because they can not find enough customers.

Intuit to the rescue, Aldrich suggested. The Intuit mission is to “help small businesses achieve their dreams,” Aldrich said. Towards that end, Intuit aims to not only help by providing financial management tools, it aims to “help small businesses with their front office needs,” the marketing and sales ones.

Intuit proclaims QuickBooks “delivers a full set of solutions designed to help small businesses succeed,” touting “track money coming into and out of your business.”

Nevertheless, Aldrich acknowledged Intuit is “finding it is hard” to add meaningful front office attract new money marketing tools to its roster of manage your money back office financial tools.

What’s new for QuickBooks 2007? “Make everyday business tasks easier with the latest version of QuickBooks financial Software,” Intuit offers.

Among the “new financial software features,” or “new products or services,” in QuickBooks 2007 are small business online marketing and sales ones, Aldrich underscored:

Advertise your business with Google AdWords,
Help customers finds your business by listing on Google Maps,
Showcase your retail store on the Web with QuickBooks Product Listing Service.

Aldrich suggested Intuit has only begun in its mission of helping small businesses achieve their dreams via Intuit marketing and sales tools support.

Aldrich said through Customer Driven Innovation (CDI), it will iterate its front office small business marketing and sales support.

During the Q & A, I discussed Steve Bennett, CEO, Intuit, commentary in the second quarter, fiscal 2007 earnings call, on the lack of tangible results to date of the “major strategic alliance” between Intuit and Google and the deal structure as it was announced last year by Intuit and Google.

I asked, specifically, about how Intuit’s mission to help small businesses achieve their dreams with marketing and sales tools impacts Intuit’s shareholder mission to drive income. I asked Aldrich for an indication of when a Google revenue share might kick in.

Aldrich reiterated his confidence in Intuit’s ability to build long-term shareholder value and a belief in the potential of the Google-Intuit alliance.


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Topic: Google

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  • Bleh. Intuit.

    Most businesses fail because they don't have enough capital to start with. Or because its just a bad idea in the first place. And that usually happens because most people don't get accounting and tax planning. While Intuit would like all small business owners to believe that all they need is QuickBooks; the simple truth is that small businesses need an accountant or CPA advising them before they ever write the business plan.

    Of those 5.6 million small businesses that close each year, I would bet that if they all had met with a CPA first, half of them wouldn't have been started in the first place because they would conclude that their business model wasn't viable.
  • Intuit is the biggets pain

    As a small business who got sucked in by Intuit's own advertising and ended up with version after version of buggy software and no technical support (Quickbooks Professional), I would say Intuit are the biggest pain to small businesses.
  • works great for me

    However I do have a account that uses QB
  • Ironic that the internet disproportionately helps small businesses

    It's ironic that small businesses spend so little of their budgets on internet advertising and promotion because in my mind the internet disproportionately favors well prepared small businesses far more than large businesses:
  • Undercapitalized, Ill-conceived businesses don't work on Adwords either.

    The only way to create a sustaniable business is to quickly design youself out of it. You must work on the business, not "in" the business.

    Most people don't create businesses. They create jobs for themselves, and usually they are horrible jobs.

    Most people need 12-18 months of full 100% living expenses before you start a company. Most people have zero.

    Unfortunately many think a franchise is the solution. It's not. A franchise just means that you are buying a system rather than creating one.
  • RE: Intuit: The next local Advertising Agency?
  • RE: Intuit: The next local Advertising Agency?

    The typical small business owner is a subject matter expert. The owner knows his or her craft. The more successful owners also know how to market and sell their expertise.

    While online marketing is not a panacea for all that pains the local/small business, it can help when properly designed, implemented, and managed. That's how local business prevails.
    <a href="">Local Online Advertising</a>
    The local business owner's friend in the internet marketing business.