Telling the truth about SME life today

Win more local business during the busy holiday season

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In partnership with American Express .

The winter holiday season is one of the busiest times of year for most retailers but with online shopping growing at a rate of knots, it is important that brick-and-mortar businesses keep ahead of the game and keep shoppers interested in their local offering.

This year, one of the key marketing techniques for businesses to achieve this is through location-based marketing. This is a fast-growing trend for savvy shop owners keen to capitalise on local footfall.

Using Foursquare, businesses can engage with consumers at a specific place and time, helping to bring the real and digital world together.

“What this simply means is that businesses can make offers or present content, experiences and more to customers within their immediate catchment area or in-store,” explains Stacy Gratz, vice president for international digital partnerships and social media strategy at American Express.

American Express has partnered with Foursquare to offer complimentary ad credits to British small businesses during the holiday season*.

“We have a strong tradition of working with small businesses across the world,” Gratz tells Real Business. Were proud to be supporting small businesses and celebrating their important role in local communities.

Gratz points out that because small businesses make up 99.9 per cent** of private sector companies, they must be given all the support they can get:

Independent small businesses make a huge social and economic contribution in the UK. A thriving local high street is often the backbone of a town or city.

American Express therefore wants to help SMEs make the most of new technology and social platforms during the busy holiday season.

Through American Expresss partnership with Foursquare, before 31st December 2013 up to 500 businesses can sign up to receive $50 in complimentary Foursquare Ad credits (Foursquare ads are paid for in US dollars), which enables you to advertise your business on Foursquare and help win more local business.

The credits enable businesses to create local campaigns that can help drive new customers into their stores based on where they are or what they are searching for,” Gratz says.

A customer, or prospective customer, using Foursquare simply has to open up the app on their smartphone to find tips, offers and more from friends and businesses. For a business or retailer, it takes just a few minutes to sign up and create a message to attract business through Foursquare.

Trying Foursquare advertising doesnt cost anything for you, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for you to give location-based marketing a tryAnd get a feel for how it works. Importantly, you dont have to be an American Express merchant in order to sign up for it it’s open to any small business and is subject to availability on a first come first served basis*.

Why not give it a try and see whether you can attract more local custom this busy holiday season!

* This offer is promoted by American Express Europe and Foursquare. For full terms and conditions visit

**Source:BIS Business Population Estimates, 2013

Terms & Conditions

Only one $50 credit (equivalent to approximately GBP30, dependent on daily exchange rates) per Merchant, up to 500 Merchants. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Credits cannot be redeemed for cash. Credit only available to UK Merchants who have claimed their location(s) on the Foursquare Service and who post an advertisement on the Foursquare Service between 0001 hrs on 11 November 2013 and 2359 hrs on 31 December 2013. Credits are not available for fake venues, duplicate Merchant accounts or any other attempt by a Merchant to circumvent these rules, as determined by Foursquare in its sole discretion. Use of Foursquare’s advertising platform is subject to Foursquare’s advertising terms and service available at http://business.foursquare.comv

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX. Registered in England and Wales with Number: 1833139. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (reference number 415532) for the provision of payment services. American Express Services Europe Limited also subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board and is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading for the provision of credit products and related services.

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