Can Your Business Survive Without a Traditional Website?

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashableregularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

When Jon Goldman would get on the phone with potential customers, often the first thing they’d ask is, “So what is it you do?” even after they had visited his website. He discovered a solution with a new web tool called Pitch Site, which allows him to sum up his business in a “much more visually attractive and concise way.” Goldman has generated 3,900 leads since putting his business on Pitch Site. The formulaic single page website answers 99% of the questions people will have about how his business works — fundraising for sports teams — so during the phone call he can focus on benefits rather than explaining the “how.”…Read More (Source: Mashable.com)

How to Make the Most of Mobile Local Search

Brands have a lot to gain by embracing geolocation based mobile strategies — and you don’t have to be a big box retailer to benefit from doing so.

Companies are still trying to figure out how to best approach mobile local search by connecting online consumers to nearby businesses and boosting traffic to the physical store.

Geolocation is nothing new, but as mobile wallet and payment options hit the mainstream, business will try to gain recognition in local searches more than ever before.

“The companies that might target mobile-local searchers are not necessarily companies that are doing a great job being found on traditional web,” says Cindy Krum, CEO and founder of marketing and SEO firm Mobile Moxie. “Since mobile-local search is much more about driving foot traffic into a physical location, it is often the smaller, more independent locations that have a lot to gain by being found in mobile-local search.”… Read More (Source: mashable.com)

The Truth Behind “Secret” Innovation At Nike, Apple, Google X

On the outskirts of Nike‘s yawning campus in Beaverton, Oregon, a nondescript garage sits behind a line of tall trees, hiding between a day-care center and a security firm. A door to the garage, marked only with the letter “A,” is always locked; the windows to the facility are tinted like a rapper’s SUV. Inside, two toned athletes are lunging in front of a pair of Xboxes. A gaggle of laptops tracks their progress, spitting out Matrix-like data onto the screens. The floor plates beneath their feet are pressure-sensitive. There are high-speed cameras and infrared lights watching overhead, staring down at various weight machines, climbing ropes, and other gym props.

This is the Sparq performance center, one of the most secretive labs at Nike’s headquarters. It’s the 21st century equivalent of the advanced facility Russian boxer Ivan Drago trained at inRocky IV, and it was key in developing the analytics behind such digital products as Nike+. Few Nike employees know of its existence, I’m told; even fewer have access. As Sparq performance director Paul Winsper insists (implausibly, given my notebook and recorder), “We don’t want anybody to know about this.”… Read More (Source: FastCompany.com)

Facebook to Serve Up Ads Based on Your Offline Shopping Habits

Facebook will now be able to target some ads based on your offline shopping habits thanks to some partnerships it announced on Wednesday.

The social networking giant has inked a deal with data mining firms Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon that will apply their records about customers’ offline purchases to Facebook’s Custom Audiences product. Facebook is also working with BlueKai “as a marketing data platform to bring a brand’s first party site data to use for targeting on Facebook,” according to the company. Custom Audiences, which was released last August, lets advertisers identify Facebook users by their Facebook ID, phone number or email address. Now, advertisers can match that information with data from the firms, which was gleaned through shopper loyalty programs… Read More (Source: mashable.com)