The Bing Business Portal was already pretty impressive when it launched back in the spring, and Bing has recently rolled out a series of updates and new features that only make it more impressive — not only for online marketing, but also for offline, too.
I wrote about the updates in some detail on Search Engine Land this morning:
In a nutshell, Bing has created a new Group Deals/Loyalty Program offering that’s somewhere between self-serve and “let us handle that for you.” It expands on the existing Deals tool that was in the Business Portal when it launched in April, and gets into the same area where the Groupons and Google Offers are already competing. There are also new options to create print marketing material and other smaller upgrades and updates to the BBP.
As I point out on SEL, Bing’s local business portal offers so much more than what the Google Places business center offers — except in the area of analytics, where even Google’s weak attempt at giving small businesses some stats about their local listing is better than Bing’s complete lack of data.
But the Bing portal is becoming so much more than just a place to manage a business listing in a maps/business database (which is all Google Places is). Bing is offering DIY print collateral building tools and other tools that are 100% offline oriented. And, in some cases, the collateral created inside Bing’s portal can be instantly sent to Office Depot for printing. Pretty darn cool.
Bing’s Business Portal, in other words, is on its way to becoming a one-stop location for a small business to manage its marketing.
Imagine if Bing somehow integrated Quickbooks and other common small business tools. (I think David Mihm may have mentioned that idea when we had our briefing with Bing.) I have no idea how it would work, but the mind races with possibilities. There’s also the “how much is too much” debate, which is another post for some other day.
Anyway, if you need an update on what’s now available in the Bing Business Portal, check out the article on Search Engine Land.