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Among the varying definitions of “Local” Demandforce CMO Patrick Barry boils it down to its root-level: SMBs. Though we’re seeing lots of activity in location based ad targeting, and brand advertisers localizing campaigns, it’s all about the SMB for Demandforce.

Going further down this road during his address today at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference, Barry divides SMB objectives between running their business and growing their business. And the company’s product set and philosophies map to those areas.

“Running a business” drives many DemandForce’s operational offerings for the SMB and take form in back office software. This brings in the OS for SMB trend we’ve been writing about. Think payroll, payment processing, insurance etc.

But as we’ve mentioned, there are lots of synergies between these operational functions and the aspects of the front office like advertising and marketing. For example, payment processing data can reveal things about optimal marketing techniques, loyalty programs, etc.

Tying these together is one of DemandForce’s objectives and one of the marks of their success as an emerging exemplar in the local/SMB space. It has also uncovered lots of data from SMB operations that reveal where the biggest points of value lie in SMB operations.

“From a software perspective across vertical markets — spas, salons, animal care, optometry, etc. — this is where the data of the SMB lives,” said Barry. “They are not always on connected systems, but there is hugely valuable data there when you get into back office is insights.”

This has developed into a data-educated mindset that customer retention is more valuable than acquisition. This runs counter to lots of SMBs advertising behavior. But providing tools to track and cater to existing customers (think CRM) is where DemandForce is placing its chips

“Existing customers and retention drive the most economic value,” said Barry. “As a result, you need to understand those customers and bring to bear the technology that helps them and bring them back.”

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