This is the third year that American Express is working in conjunction with Bank Hapoalim to increase public awareness of small businesses, which represent 98% of all commercial enterprise in Israel. We were pleased to participate in this further round of collaboration and assume leadership of the campaign in the digital sector as a direct sequel to Small Business Day, 2014, which we organized as well.
Our project concept was based on the global Small Business Day campaign of American Express with its “Shop Small” slogan. Our first step was to align the graphic design and language of the site to the style and branding language of the global campaign. The next step was to plan the digital sector marketing campaign, and this effort was divided into two phases: first phase, where we encouraged small business owners to register for the Small Business Day event and to offer special bonuses to their customers; the second phase, where we offered the public the opportunity to get to know their local small businesses, to support them, and to buy from them.
Central to the campaign was a digital tool that we developed for the desktop and mobile platforms, providing solution options for both our target audiences: the business owners and their customers. The interface allowed business owners to join the campaign, while their customers could locate a range of businesses by location. We revealed our proprietary digital tool to site visitors by displaying banners and ads on diverse websites and in social media networks.
We also created an advanced search mechanism to allow customers to locate businesses by a selection of industries and keywords. The businesses were displayed on a map via the Google Maps API. Using a “Favorites” mechanism, customers saved businesses near their locations, and were then able to put together a business visiting plan for the day of the event.
The subscription process for small businesses was planned carefully, as were its features, so that despite the amount of information the business owners were required to enter, the designed interface made the process simple and convenient. We also designed a dedicated subscription process to enable American Express agents to register businesses by phone, and a mobile application for business registration while roaming.
As part of the subscriber system, we developed a text messaging device to enable us to send notices and updates to the owners of registered businesses. Such messages included the password to enable business owners system access for editing details of their businesses and benefits at any time.
Managing the Small Business Day operation in the digital arena for the second consecutive year afforded us greater depth of vision based on lessons learned and conclusions drawn from the conduct of our earlier campaign. This meant that, after the previous year’s impressive results, we were able to leverage the knowledge we had gathered, continuing the process of research and learning, and applying our conclusions to achieve even better results.
Over 18,000 small businesses joined the campaign, and 15,000 offered special Small Business Day bonuses. More than 50% of visitors accessed the digital interface from their mobile devices and were able to locate nearby businesses. As the campaign drew to a close, the Small Business Day site was already listed on the first page of Google’s search results for relevant search terms, thanks to the successful SEO work that was being conducted during the campaign.