NTT Town Page is focusing on developing the SMB market, targeting medium-sized and small businesses. They have launched “My Town Page”, a membership service aimed at supporting SMB business, and are focusing on its development.
By registering as a member of My Town Page, users can promote their business using “i-Town Page”, which has information on approximately 5 million businesses and stores, create homepage samples, and receive management consultation from experts. A variety of functions that support business expansion and growth can be used for free through a web browser or smartphone app.
Tetsuo Kawaguchi, vice president of NTT Town Page, talks about the background behind the launch of this service.
“We are developing a digital marketing service for SMBs called ”Digital Lead” It is a one-stop service that supports everything from attracting customers to closing a contract using your homepage. There has been a net increase in the number of customers, and the current number is approximately 33,000.The industries of our customers are wide-ranging, and there are about 1,000.On the other hand, there are also issues that have become apparent through the provision of digital leads.For SMB customers, attracting customers is the most important thing. “There are many customers who have the same needs, but don’t have the know-how to attract customers and don’t know what to do. We launched My Town Page to support these customers”.
Although the SMB market is said to be huge, market development is not easy and there are no success stories yet. This is because SMBs are scattered all over the country, and each one is small in scale, making it difficult to make a profit. Companies that support SMBs exist in each region, but it is difficult to support them nationwide.
Although developing the SMB market is not an easy task, the company believes that it will be possible to develop the market by utilizing My Town Page.
“Our company operates a website called ”i-Town Page” where you can search and view information on about 5 million business establishments and stores on the Internet. By combining our digital capabilities, we have created a system to efficiently support SMB customers,” explains Vice President Kawaguchi.
My Town Page is provided free of charge, but what kind of business model is it?
As you continue to use My Town Page, you will be able to obtain a variety of data. The company utilizes this data to develop data-driven sales.
The company’s service lineup includes not only creating a homepage, but also a number of services for attracting customers.
For example, ”We want to create not only a homepage but also a logo,” ”We want to post beautiful photos,” ”We want to create a video,” and ”We want to create an English version of the page in anticipation of inbound demand.” NTT Town Page will respond for a fee.
NTT Town Page has been promoting My Town Page in earnest since November, including running a commercial featuring Mikako Tabe as its image character.
A new slogan was set on the occasion of the release of My Town Page. The slogan is “We want to support you locally, digitally as well”.
Vice President Kawaguchi notes, ”Our company has always focused on supporting SMB customers, and we want to continue to do so even in the digital age”.
As part of this effort, they will place emphasis on developing digital human resources. They currently have 228 web analysts and 213 SEO certification level 1 holders to support digital marketing.
NTT Town Page aims to reach 1 million My Town Page members within the next few years. The company hopes to increase the number of digital lead contracts to 100,000 over the next few years.
”The SMB market spans the entire country and is difficult to make a profit, but we believe that companies with customer bases like ours can exploit this market, so we will leverage the collective strength of the NTT East Group to tackle this market.” By further improving our data-driven sales, we would like to provide optimal approaches and support for our customers,” says Vice President Kawaguchi.
Currently, D2C market, where companies sell products directly to consumers from their own e-commerce sites, is expanding. D2C is highly compatible with small businesses such as SMBs, which emphasize added value.
e-commerce sites operated by major companies have high store opening fees and many competing stores, making it difficult for SMBs to obtain results.
Traditionally, local SMBs have conducted business in narrow trade areas, but with digitalization, their trade areas will expand domestically and internationally. This point is also a feature unique to D2C.
“In D2C, just creating a homepage does not mean that it will immediately become prosperous. To support this, we have prepared a variety of service lineups. Our company does not just create a homepage, but also attracts customers. “We will support our customers’ businesses all at once. We would like to firmly promote this aspect.” (Vice President Kawaguchi)
In recent years, there has been an increasing need not only for e-commerce functions for selling products, but also for reservation functions, mainly for restaurants, beauty salons, hospitals, etc. The company’s policy is to propose the necessary functions to suit the needs of each business operator.