Google & Intuit Alliance = Small Businesses Using Google
If anyone can summarize the importance of the Google and Intuit partnership into a couple of sentences, Barry Schwartz has done so at the Search Engine Roundtable blog with the following statement:
Google has a huge reach with small businesses, but guess who has a larger reach with small businesses? Yup, I believe it is Intuit.
Intuit has huge market share, in terms of small businesses using their accounting software. Many of QuickBooks, the accounting software for small businesses, users may not be a Google AdWords customer. Well, with the partnership between Google and Intuit, that may change.
From the incredibly detailed press release:
Research by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading technology analyst group, found that more than 50 percent of small businesses in the U.S. believe they can use the Internet for sales, marketing and customer support to help grow their business and strengthen customer relationships. This alliance addresses this need by helping small businesses quickly and easily use the Web as an effective marketing tool.
“This alliance combines the strengths of both Google and Intuit to deliver innovative online technologies that help small businesses succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment,” said Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google. “By adding key Google services into the world’s most popular accounting product, we’re making it easier than ever for small businesses to find and use all of the tools available to them.”
QuickBooks 2007 will include several services that provide an easy way for small businesses to use Google to get their businesses and products noticed on the Internet – right from an icon on the QuickBooks Home page.
Google AdWords– Currently used by hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide to gain new customers in a cost-effective way, AdWords relies on keywords to precisely target the delivery of an ad to Web users seeking information about a particular product or service. Starting with $50 in Google AdWords credits, QuickBooks users can use AdWords to advertise themselves online.
QuickBooks users can select search terms related to their product or service and create customized ads that show up when shoppers search on Google for those products or services. This feature gives small businesses full control over their budgets, allowing them to stop or pause their campaign, monitor their spending or change their advertising messages at any time.
Google Maps – Businesses using QuickBooks can more easily be found online with a free business listing – even if the business does not have a Web site. Google Maps gives QuickBooks users a tool to reach qualified prospective customers by simply creating and managing an online business listing. The mapping capability allows customers to find a business, see a satellite image of it and get driving directions. The feature also lets small businesses provide information such as their hours of operation, payment forms accepted and printable coupons. The listing can be updated at any time by the business owner, which means the business listing is always relevant and topical.
QuickBooks Product Listing Service– Product-based businesses will now have the ability to turn local shoppers into their customers with the new QuickBooks Product Listing Service, which will be in Beta at time of the QuickBooks 2007 launch. Small businesses can let online shoppers know they carry a specific product by using this service to make their merchandise searchable on Google through Google Base. Powered by technology from StepUp Commerce, Inc., recently acquired by Intuit, this feature enables users to automatically transfer inventory information to Google Base and attract local buyers to their shops.
Research by iProspect, a leading search engine marketing firm, found that 47 percent of consumers who researched a product online drove to a store and bought the product during the 2005 holiday shopping season. Additionally, 63 percent of those who researched online went to a retailers’ Web site for product information – more than to any other type of online site.
“QuickBooks continues to expand the problems we solve. The product listing service helps businesses attract new customers by making their products findable on the Web,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president of Intuit’s Small Business Division. “This is the first step in creating an open and connected community that builds value around small business data.”
Greater Efficiency and Ease-of-Use
Intuit will also incorporate Google’s powerful search engine, Google Desktop™, into QuickBooks 2007 so users will be able to quickly find customer, vendor or financial information anywhere within QuickBooks or on their desktop. For security, the new tool can search QuickBooks data only when it is accessed from within QuickBooks and is tied to QuickBooks user permissions so search results are limited by the searcher’s authorization level.