I recently was at a board meeting for Spoke which I founded with a number of people including Chris Tolles from our advisory board. This was a meeting about patience. After a number of years Spoke is really taking off based on a lot of the learning from here at MerchantCircle. This is just proof that sometimes you have to have a lot of patience. On the other hand, here at MerchantCircle, we have not had to have a lot of patience. Yes it has not been easy, but since last June the growth has been amazing because of our absolute focus on bringing merchants on board and solving their issues. How about 75,000 merchants on board! Our efforts and yours were recently recognized as we were named "Newcomer of the Year" and one of the Top 100 Private Media Companies in the world.
This of course, wouldn't have happened if you hadn't claimed your business, started blogging, uploading pictures, building coupons and writing newsletters to your customers. Essentially, you made your MerchantCircle listing your own - which is exactly what we want you to do. It's a busy consumer-driven world on the internet and your MerchantCircle listing is YOUR voice on the web. Customers write reviews about you all over the web - we aggregate them for you under your MerchantCircle listing because you've got plenty of other things to worry about.
There's nearly 15 million businesses in the U.S. we've created a listing for and we want to make sure you're connected to a 'local' audience and not forced to market yourself on the Yellow Pages - an outdated form of advertisement. Fewer and fewer customers use the Yellow Pages to search for services, instead relying on the internet to find where they're going next.
With more and more merchants signing on, you're giving those customers a chance to find your MerchantCircle listing when they search Google or Yahoo. The interesting thing is that as more of your other friends who are local merchants come on board and are linked to you, the network becomes even more effective at getting you visibility with local customers.
Ben Smith, IV
Chairman and Co-Founder, MerchantCircle