Category Archives: Marketing

SBA Presents Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Apply for the 8(a) Business Development Program

SBA Presents Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Apply for the 8(a) Business Development Program

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Small Business Administration will present How to Prepare and Submit Your 8(a) Business Development Application-Tips for Success, the first in a series of webinars from April through August to help small disadvantaged businesses learn how to successfully apply for the 8(a) BD program. 

The hour-long webinar will cover: 

  • How the 8(a) Program works
  • Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification
  • Benefits of the 8(a) Program
  • Helpful tips on completing an 8(a) application

The webinar series is designed to help small disadvantaged businesses get and maintain their 8(a) certification and compete in the federal marketplace.  Pre-registration is not available for this webinar.  Click on this link onApril 9 at the start of the webinar to participate:

The SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program was created to help small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged grow their businesses through counseling, training workshops, management advice and technical guidance. The nine-year program also provides these businesses access to government contracting opportunities. During fiscal year 2012, small businesses received more than $15.8 billion in 8(a) contract dollars. 

WHAT: How to Prepare and Submit Your 8(a) Business Development Application-Tips for Success

WHEN: Wednesday, April 9 – 2 to 3 p.m. EDT

HOW: Click on the above link to participate.

Advisory Number: 14-11

Contact: Tiffani S. Clements (202) 401-0035 
Internet Address: 
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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration performs 1st flower delivery by drone performs 1st flower delivery by drone

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — conducted the first flower delivery by drone in the United States for Valentine's Day. Further commercial testing of drones has been grounded in the United States pending a legal case, but testing has paved the way for flowers to be delivered by drone around the globe.

"We're in the business of delivering surprises and conveying emotions – not just delivering flowers," said Wesley Berry, CEO of "Technology is ever-changing, and we're having a lot of fun experimenting with alternative flower delivery methods, such as our successful flowers by drone delivery."

On March 6, a U.S. federal judge ruled to legalize the use of drones for commercial purposes, but the Federal Aviation Administration is appealing the ruling. The case is now pending before the National Transportation and Safety Board.

"The good news is that this technology is here to stay," said Berry. "I'm looking forward to using drones for flower deliveries, and positioning the company at the forefront of successfully implementing this technology. Soon we'll be delivering flowers by GPS coordinates instead of addresses." launched a consumer beta program to test alternative delivery methods and other development efforts with a select group of U.S. customers before going to market. The company currently uses traditional delivery methods to serve its customers.

In the business of shipping high quality flowers, is taking action to stay ahead. "Drones are an emerging technology that will provide an economically viable shipping option for our customers," said Berry. "We believe the use of drones will become common practice in the near future."

Watch the U.S. drone flower delivery, which took place Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in West Bloomfield, Mich., here


Wesley Berry is the CEO of, a multi-million dollar online floral delivery operation. Berry also owns Wesley Berry Flowers, a Detroit-based brick-and-mortar florist established in 1946. is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. The company has also been voted "Best Florist" more than a dozen times. delivers from their own brick and mortar flower shops with their own delivery fleet, and through FedEx and UPS from coast to coast. Deliveries are also made via a computerized sending network of affiliated shops. They provide delivery throughout most of the United States, Canada, and more than 80 countries around the world. Shoppers can conveniently make floral purchases 24 hours a day/7 days a week by phone at 888-851-2881 or online at Like onFacebook.


ACCENT Marketing Survey: Nearly 90 percent of Consumers Say Personalized Interactions with Brands Drive their Purchase Decisions

ACCENT Marketing Survey: Nearly 90 percent of Consumers Say Personalized Interactions with Brands Drive their Purchase Decisions

Interaction Beyond the Point of Purchase Key to Building Brand Advocates

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — According to new research from ACCENT Marketing Services, the key to repeat customers is personalized communication from brands after purchases. ACCENT Marketing Services LLC, a provider of multi-channel customer engagement solutions, today announced findings from its 2014 Survey "Beyond the Point of Purchase – A Look at Behaviors that Build Brand Loyalists."

ACCENT Marketing's findings align with Forrester's expectations that organizations will explore the power of proactive pre-purchase and post-purchase engagements as a major marketing trend in 2014. Key findings in the report released today also include:

  • Nearly half of consumers interact with brands after a purchase
  • 86 percent of consumers say that it's important to have a positive experience after making a purchase
  • Word of mouth marketing is still critical with 79 percent of consumers telling family and friends when they have had a great experience with a brand
  • 93 percent of consumers claim that a positive response or special offer can help restore the company's reputation after a bad experience
  • Brands can't solely focus on mobile for interaction post-purchase. Only 26 percent have used their phone to contact a company through mobile app with a service question after making a purchase

"As consumers continue to evolve, we are seeing a significant shift in what CMOs are focusing on," said David Norton, EVP Customer Analytics and Insights at MDC Partners and Chairman ACCENT Marketing Services. "Their focus used to be solely on customer acquisition. CMOs today need to spend time to understand and engage customers across the entire lifecycle, not only pre-purchase. What our research has uncovered is that when CMOs consider the entire lifecycle, they can maximize return on investment."

To better understand the habits of today's changing and empowered consumers, ACCENT Marketing surveyed more than 1,000 consumers throughout the United States. The company looked at how consumers prefer to communicate with brands before and after purchases, what drives brand reputation, and the role of the post-purchase brand relationship.

For more on the findings of the 2014 "Beyond the Point of Purchase – A look at Behaviors that Build Brand Loyalists", download the full report at:

About ACCENT Marketing Services, LLC 
ACCENT, a member of the MDC Partners Network, provides multi-channel customer engagement solutions to brands who need to maximize their ability to engage with consumers and influence behavior, while generating a better return on their investment. Founded in 1993, the company's data-driven approach transforms customer service touch points across phone, online and social media channels into powerful relationship and brand-building tools. For more information, visit

SOURCE ACCENT Marketing Services, LLC


Compass Intelligence Ranks “Best in Class” Small Business Portal Experiences

Compass Intelligence Ranks "Best in Class" Small Business Portal Experiences

SAN ANTONIO, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Strategy acceleration firm Compass Intelligence is proud to announce it has released its "Best in Class" Small Business Portal results.  These exciting results are derived from on-going research with small business owners and tracking website capabilities, design and content as part of Compass Intelligence's Customer & Digital Experience research. Companies are assessed in terms of their ability to provide relevant online experiences to Small Businesses, with the focus of the research being small business-specific buying and learning experiences.  Results are based on more than 20 facets of the online engagement process.

"The research shows that while Verizon and AT&T have some of the most comprehensive and intuitive web portals today, providing a strong support and learning environment that is tailored to the small business community is equally important," said Heather Taylor, Customer & Digital Experience Manager at Compass Intelligence. While companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Dell may not provide the sheer number of products and services as the Telco giants in the marketplace, they are clearly strategic in how they position support, community and self-learn website features, and are reaping the benefit of repeat small business customers as a direct result," says Taylor. 

Creating a relevant experience for the small business market continues to be a challenge.  While we are starting to see traction with regard to improved content and solutions geared to this market, the majority of providers that cater to the small business segment tend to focus on the product offering aspect, falling short when it comes to presenting themselves as a custom solution provider and secondly the integration of learn content. Learning and media content not only educate small business customers on how to best utilize the providers' solutions, but also engage them and encourages repeat visits.

To learn more about the report, please click here.

Key Findings Include:

  • Best in Class Experience Overall – Top 5: Verizon, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, and Dell
  • Best Practice: Theme-based Simplicity – a clean site experience, which seamlessly weaves in contextual content relevant to the small business segment.
  • Best in Class Help & Support: HP offers an extremely intuitive Help & Support center, which incorporates multiple media types.
  • Best in Class Community: Cisco provides a strong dedicated small business community portal that covers key topics and scenarios relevant to SBs.
  • Best in Class Learn Experience: Microsoft offers lots of learning options and resources to Small Businesses wanting to develop and grow.
  • Best in Class e-Commerce: Dell offers tools to help Small Businesses by providing comparison tables, user ratings and product images.

Want to learn more about the impact of mobile & wireless on your enterprise? Join us at Go Mobile 2014, October 13-15, 2014 at the Omni Mandalay in Las Colinas, Dallas, TX. Click here for more information.

About Compass Intelligence

Compass Intelligence, a market analytics and consulting firm, specializes in strategy acceleration and insights for the high-tech and telecom industries while providing clients tailored services through excellent customer support. Compass Intelligence provides executive insights, market sizing/modeling, competitive analysis, strategic consulting, and expert recommendations on multiple markets. Visit us at  Follow Compass Intelligence on Twitter at @CompassIntel.

SOURCE Compass Intelligence


UpTo Introduces the Calendar of the Future

UpTo Introduces the Calendar of the Future

Layered view of upcoming events adds entirely new dimension to navigating everything that's coming up

DETROIT, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — UpTo today launched the first-ever multi-layer mobile calendar.  The multi-layer interface adds an entirely new dimension to navigating one's upcoming schedule. The new UpTo gives users a top-level view of their existing calendar and expands to reveal upcoming events based on a user's location, likes and interests – including sports schedules, TV shows, local concerts, friends events and more.

"Managing what's coming up should be effortless," said Greg Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of UpTo.  "Not just meetings and appointments, but everything – from your favorite sports teams and TV shows to your kid's school schedule.  Until today, these other calendars were scattered on paper, on websites, in apps and in emails, making it impossible to keep it all straight.  UpTo represents the most significant innovation to the calendar in the last 10 years.  We designed UpTo to give users a holistic view of everything coming up, without the clutter—the things you have to do, plus the stuff you want to do."

UpTo's front-layer includes a user's existing calendar, offering a fast and familiar view of upcoming meetings and appointments.  With a pinch or tap, UpTo expands to reveal a back layer of events from calendars a user chooses to follow. Users can select from thousands of public calendars from UpTo's growing content network—from sports teams and TV show schedules to movie and music releases, local concerts, tech events and more. These "back layer" events can be added to the user's calendar with a simple swipe.

Users can also connect privately with friends to share upcoming events to the back layer of a friend's UpTo calendar. Unlike other calendars that are limited to all-or-nothing sharing, UpTo lets you choose individual family members, friends or co-workers to share events with on an event-by-event basis.

UpTo offers automatic two-way sync with any existing Google, iCloud, Exchange, Facebook or other calendar that syncs with the user's phone.  Users syncing multiple calendars can choose which layer each calendar appears on in UpTo. 

Groups and organizations can use UpTo's online platform to publish and manage their own calendar content for others to follow, and simultaneously embed their UpTo calendar into any website to position their events for maximum engagement in front of fans and constituents.

UpTo is available for free for iPhone and coming soon to Android.  To download or learn more about UpTo, visit

About UpTo
UpTo is the modern calendar that changes the way individuals and organizations plan for, share and interact with the 'future tense'. Featuring a multi-layer mobile calendar, an online calendar publishing platform and seamless integration with Google Calendar, iCloud, Exchange and other popular calendar solutions, UpTo shifts the calendar paradigm. With thousands of public calendars that users can follow, UpTo goes beyond 9 to 5 to give users the most complete view of everything coming up that matters, in one spot. Learn more about UpTo at



Hispanic Consumers Outpace Non-Hispanics in Use of Social and Mobile Sources for Local Shopping Information, According to BIA/Kelsey

Hispanic Consumers Outpace Non-Hispanics in Use of Social and Mobile Sources for Local Shopping Information, According to BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey will present data on Hispanic digital media usage and local shopping behaviors from its Consumer Commerce Monitor study during a webinar this Thursday, Feb. 27

CHANTILLY, Va., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Hispanic consumers are outpacing non-Hispanics in their adoption of mobile, social and online sources for local shopping, according to BIA/Kelsey's Consumer Commerce Monitor™ study.

Hispanic consumers are far more likely to use mobile devices (tablet and smartphone) for local shopping than non-Hispanic consumers. According to the study's findings, nearly a quarter (23.6 percent) of Hispanic consumers reported they use tablets for local shopping, compared with 15.5 percent of non-Hispanics. And nearly half (48.5 percent) of Hispanic consumers use mobile devices for local shopping, compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanics. Among mobile Hispanic consumers, 52.5 percent report using their tablets and 42.5 percent report using their smartphones daily for local shopping.   

"How the Hispanic consumer shops will affect how a local business advertises and builds loyalty with this community," said Celine Matthiessen, VP Analysis and Insights, BIA/Kelsey. 

"An integrated social, mobile and loyalty strategy will be a necessity to attract this demographic, as Hispanic consumers are very loyal to local businesses. Hispanic respondents to the CCM study reported that they supported an average of six businesses by becoming a fan or follower or liking a local business."

BIA/Kelsey defines local shopping as any stage of the purchase funnel, from awareness through research, to transacting for products or services locally (within a 25-mile radius of your primary residence). The firm's definition of local products and services includes items such as groceries, restaurants, drugstore items, gasoline and other high-frequency purchases.

Mobile Search vs. Mobile Apps
Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers rely more on search engines than mobile apps for local shopping. Sixty-one percent of Hispanic consumers and 69 percent of non-Hispanics reported they "mostly use search engines" on a tablet or smartphone for local shopping. And while their mobile app usage is significantly lower than their use of search engines, Hispanics rely more on mobile apps for local shopping than non-Hispanics, by nearly two to one. Seventeen percent of Hispanic consumers reported they "mostly use apps" on a tablet or smartphone for local shopping, compared with 9 percent for non-Hispanics. In addition, Hispanic consumers reported using 5.1 mobile apps, on average, for daily shopping, compared with 2.7 apps for non-Hispanic consumers.

Social Sources
When using social media for local shopping, Hispanic consumers index higher than non-Hispanics on all social media networks, except Facebook, with 61 percent of Hispanics and 67 of non-Hispanics reporting they use Facebook for local shopping. Other social networks used for local shopping include:

  • YouTube: 17.7 percent by Hispanics; 10.3 percent by non-Hispanics
  • Yahoo: 16.8 percent by Hispanics; 16.4 percent by non-Hispanics
  • Google+: 11.9 percent by Hispanics; 10.8 percent by non-Hispanics
  • Twitter: 11.1 percent by Hispanics; 6.7 percent by non-Hispanics

Despite their heavy social media use, 83.2 percent of Hispanic consumers list family and friends as their most trustworthy source for local shopping information. 

Free Webinar: 'Hispanic Consumers Buy Into Digital for Local Shopping'
BIA/Kelsey will present data on Hispanic digital media usage and local shopping behaviors from its Consumer Commerce Monitor study during a free webinar this Thursday, Feb. 27. Webinar details and online registration for "Hispanic Consumers Buy into Digital for Local Shopping" are available at

Hispanic Radio Conference
To address the opportunities and strategies in Hispanic advertising and media, Mark Fratrik, SVP and Chief Economist at BIA/Kelsey, will participate in Radio Ink's Hispanic Radio Conference on a discussion panel titled, "Investment Strategy: The View From Wall Street and Main Street." He will share further findings from the CCM survey, as well as examine investment opportunities in Hispanic radio.

About BIA/Kelsey Consumer Commerce Monitor™
BIA/Kelsey Consumer Commerce Monitor (CCM) is a proprietary tracking study focused on how U.S. consumers are evolving their use of traditional and online channels to find, engage and transact with local-serving businesses. The first wave of CCM was conducted in September 2013, with research partner Ipsos, via an online survey. The geographically diversified survey sample of 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and over, is inherently balanced to reflect the U.S. adult population. The survey's overall margin of error is 2.2 percent. Nearly all of the questions are framed in terms of local shopping, which BIA/Kelsey defines in the survey as "shopping for products or services locally (within a 25-mile radius of your primary residence)." CCM reports, along with custom cuts of the data, are available for purchase.

About BIA/Kelsey 
BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research and forecasts, Custom Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey's annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at, on the company's Local Media Watch blog, Twitter ( and Facebook (