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Why Startups See Big Money in Small Business Marketing

Yodle CEO Court Cunningham talks small business marketing at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn
Yodle CEO Court Cunningham talks small business marketing at the Northside Festival in BrooklynCourtesy Jasmine Teer

Small business marketing used to be simple. You could buy some space in the Yellow Pages, take out an ad in the local newspaper, and call it a day. The Internet has spawned innumerable new ways to reach customers, from search engines to social networks and business listings boards. But most small business owners don’t have time to understand which methods are best for them—let alone fine-tune strategies or even keep information updated across platforms.

At least that’s the pitch from startups trying to sell marketing services to Main Street small businesses. That problem—call it too much of a mediocre thing—has attracted countless startups. It’s a potential $40 billion market, according to Trevor Sumner, founder of LocalVox, a New York-based company that’s jockeying for a piece of the pie.