If you look around any town you'll often see local merchants doing all sorts of neat stuff to advertise. Go for a drive and you are bound to see billboards sponsoring local merchants (Realtors especially), vehicles branding company logos (often landscapers do this), and even people waving in the street welcoming you to take advantage of close out sales.
Aside from driving; if you go into a community center, local restaurant, or any other local business for that matter you'll often find bulletin boards, business card drop offs, and newsletters all promoting its merchants and friends. Here are a couple examples I found from a local taco place nearby.
I think all this stuff is great and it definitely shows the ingenuity of small business owners to get their names out. Why do you suppose merchants do these things? Well, for 1) it works, 2) its easy, and 3) its CHEAP. At MerchantCircle, we've taken these principles and ideas and have built them into our product. Merchants are now connecting with each other and their consumers through networking, coupons, advertisements, and newsletters online. It's GREAT!
However, we would still like to do more. Is there anything we can do to help you out? Know of any other ways we can promote the small business? We would love to know your thoughts, so drop us a comment and we'll get to work on some of your ideas.
Look forward to hearing from you.