|By Marketwire .||
|September 11, 2012 06:15 PM EDT||
PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/11/12 -- Alicanto, a freemium online service that delivers the world's first virtual CMO for small businesses, launched its public beta today from the TechCrunch Disrupt 2012 conference in San Francisco. Its powerful cloud-based platform provides highly tailored marketing and sales plans, along with automated execution across email, social media, SEO optimization, printed materials, advertising, direct mail, sales promotions and more.
Alicanto is an affordable and effective way to help small businesses thrive by attracting and retaining new customers and generating more revenue. In a fiercely competitive marketplace, the new online service levels the playing field for small and local business owners fighting for attention and business against large national chains in the midst of a tight financial market. By signing up with Alicanto, they benefit from highly tailored advice they could get from a specialized marketing expert.
While it is fast and simple to use, Alicanto is powered by a sophisticated artificial intelligence and analytics engine that accesses a high volume of information across numerous data sources that more costly marketing consultants can't easily access and analyze as quickly. For instance, it checks best practices across an industry, competitor promotions and social media feeds, and marketing opportunities based on factors such as seasonality, weather, and local events to provide a highly specialized plan. It learns more about each small business over time and provides free daily updates and advice and then automates free and low-cost marketing executions such as email, social media, text and direct mail campaigns.
Small businesses are a primary contributor to job creation in the U.S. and an important ingredient to both the regional and national economy. On average nearly six million small businesses are created in the U.S. alone every year. However, more than 200,000 small businesses vanished between 2008 and 2010, taking with them an excess of three million jobs, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released in July 2012.
Alicanto is designed to serve the needs of approximately 27 million small businesses that operate in the U.S. today and the new businesses that are launching every day. The reality is that these small business owners don't have the time and resources to spend on marketing, yet it's crucial to their success. Alicanto caters to a broad variety of small business categories such as restaurants and retail stores or professional services like healthcare, beauty, real estate, law and financial services.
"The inspiration for Alicanto was my wife's dream of opening her own high-end retail shop," says Alicanto founder and CEO Sharon Segev. "Like many small business owners, the store was a passion play for her. She worked with the best architects, stocked it with quality products and expected customers to simply discover her when she opened for business. That didn't happen. Then she realized there was a lack of time, money and experience to market the store while running the business. Following that eye-opening experience, I became very passionate to find a solution to this universal problem. Alicanto was created to help small businesses of all kinds survive and thrive."
Unfortunately, many small businesses simply can't afford to hire a full-time marketing director to ensure they garner a steady stream or traffic, revenues, sales leads or new customer acquisition and retention. For small business owners in need of smart, affordable marketing expertise, Alicanto offers collective features and intelligence not available anywhere else. Its one-stop marketing tool provides three key business success factors for small business. The new Alicanto service 1.) Attracts new customers; 2.) Increases average spends per customer; and 3.) Drives customer loyalty and repeat business.
One innovative and popular element of the new Alicanto service is the ability for small business owners to quickly and easily create alliances with each other anywhere for any duration. Alliances by Alicanto lets small and locally owned businesses work together to compete with the "big guys" (national chains). By joining forces and marketing together, they can reach more customers and drive more traffic to their street or shopping mall, for example, or create other types of group promotion alliances that help secure new and repeat customers and maximize revenues. Alliance partner customer lists are kept separate, but the marketing power in Alliances by Alicanto lies in the ability to entice each alliance partner's customers via group promotions and help each other to flourish and grow.
Along with powerful data mining and analytics bolstered by human marketing expertise, Alicanto provides a mix of free and paid marketing services for small business clients that include:
- Strategic guidance and recommended marketing executions for Alicanto to handle via daily feeds
- Customized insights and automated creative to more effectively engage with customers
- The ability to create or join local alliances to co-promote events and special offers
- Free and automated email and social media campaigns and alliance marketing programs
- Affordable SEO optimization, sales promotions, advertising, direct mail and text campaigns
The new Alicanto online service is now available in beta for small businesses in the U.S. Registration is free. Requesting an invitation for the beta takes less than a minute. Following service activation, Alicanto will ask some simple questions that will take about three minutes to answer. It then begins its work as a virtual CMO for small business owners so they never have to market alone again. To request a beta invitation, please visit www.alicanto.com.
Alicanto is an online service that delivers the world's first virtual CMO for small businesses. Its cloud-based platform is powered by a sophisticated artificial intelligence and analytics engine that provides small business owners with the same level of tailored advice and smart, effective campaigns they'd expect from a specialized marketing expert for their industry. The privately held company has headquarters in Palo Alto, California and an R&D office in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was founded in 2011 by a team of veteran entrepreneurs with deep experience in bridging technology and marketing. Its first-round funding was led by Shlomo Kramer, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.