More and more small businesses have begun questioning the validity of daily deals services like Groupon in recent months. But many local businesses still need a way to boost sales and get customers through the door in a tough economy.
Enter Signpost, an online advertising startup that used to offer deals similar to those found on sites like Groupon, but now offers a different way for local businesses to run promotions and manage their marketing efforts.
Signpost used to offer local business deals that were ongoing and didn’t expire. But toward the end of 2012, the company shifted its focus to software that helps businesses automate and run marketing campaigns and promotions. Said VP of Marketing at Signpost Jacco de Bruijn:
“Our distribution of campaigns is not focused on reaching deal seekers that signed up for a deal email, instead we work with web and mobile partners that feature a local business as part of search results, local content or business listings.”
To use the marketing tool, you simply provide some information about your company and allow Signpost to put together a marketing campaign that is automatically syndicated to search engines, local media sites, directories and mobile apps. Signpost partners with other sites and services such as Google and eBay in order to reach consumers. Across all of Signpost’s partner sites, there are about 75 million consumers that can be reached through these marketing campaigns.
The photo above shows how businesses can track their marketing campaigns and statistics. It shows how many consumers are viewing and taking advantage of an offer, and also where deals are being seen and which of Signpost’s partner sites are featuring the offer.
De Bruijn said that this type of promotion can help businesses both gain and keep more high quality customers – those who are more likely to become loyal customers rather than those who are just searching for easy deals.
In addition to helping local businesses reach new customers and run ad campaigns, Signpost also gives mobile and online publishers access to relevant ad content from local businesses.
Signpost originally launched at the end of 2010, and the company raised $4 million during a Series A funding round with Google Ventures and Spark Capital. The company currently works with 6,000 clients in the U.S. and is headquartered in Manhattan, with an additional office in Austin, Texas.