Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Oct 28, 2013


Feeling Generous? Visa Joins Starbucks With Tweet-A-Coffee

Many of us take to Twitter on a regular basis to share our opinions, thoughts and lives with others. Starting today, consumers can use Twitter to share something different with their followers – a coffee.

Visa is teaming up with Starbucks to let Americans send the gift of coffee to anyone on Twitter  through tweet-a-coffee. As of this morning, Twitter users can sync their Starbucks account to Twitter and Tweet to @tweetacoffee, allowing you to send any of your Twitter followers a coffee. The person of your choice will receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift that can be redeemed at participating U.S. Starbucks locations. And today through November 6, the first 100,000 customers who tweet a coffee using their Visa card will also receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift, courtesy of Visa and Starbucks. Limit one per person.

You can learn more about how to tweet-a-coffee at, where you can also set up a account if you don’t already have one.


Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on October 28, 2013 at 6:16 am

Oct 15, 2013

Secrets of Small Business Success: Strategic Online Marketing for the Holidays

While some believe that “if you build it (your website), they will come,” most small businesses should face the reality that there is a lot happening online to distract their customers. How do you cut through the clutter and stand out? As part of her holiday series, Donna Fenn shares tips from successful small business owners on how they are differentiating themselves from competitors via online promotions. From working with bloggers to getting in the gift-giving sprit, you’ll have four bases covered this holiday season.


Janet – @jzablock


Strategic Online Marketing for the Holidays

By Donna Fenn, Small Business Author and Expert

Chances are you’re ramping up your online marketing campaign for the holidays right now – along with everyone else, unfortunately! As you look to reach your current and potential customers, the challenge is to market to your customers in the places where they’re most likely to notice you, and with messages compelling enough to convert prospects into buyers. To help differentiate yourself from your competitors, consider trying these online marketing strategies:

Court the right bloggers. Diana Charabin, founder of Tiny Devotions, taps into bloggers who write about yoga and contemplative practices to help her get the word out about her mala beads, which are frequently used in meditation. Rather than approach very high profile bloggers who are typically inundated with requests to review products, Charabin instead targets “the mid-range bloggers – the ones who may just have a few thousand Twitter followers, but they’re very die hard.” She sends them her products, but makes it clear that there’s no obligation to write about the company. It’s a strategy she can use throughout the holiday season, as bloggers are always hungry for content that can be turned around quickly.



Have a mobile strategy. Dr. Marvin Lee, a Los Angeles-based chiropractor, has been working with a company called Signpost to help him with online marketing and to ensure that his content and offers are mobile friendly. “I’m a doctor and I don’t want to wear a marketing hat,” he says. “But you need an online presence, and if that doesn’t translate to mobile devices, you’re behind the times.” For a quarterly fee of $375, Signpost promotes his business on multiple channels, including Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, Amazon, and Google. Over the holidays, he’ll promote a special $39 introductory offer that includes a consultation, a first adjustment, and x-rays if needed. “My job is to convert the lookers to regular patients,” he says.

Offer gift-giving advice.  At Book Bouquet, founder Kim Shanahan is already busy marketing her company’s book-centric gift baskets on Facebook. “Every day, we’ll have a post that’s related to how people within our company are using the special that we’re promoting,” she says.  That may include gift baskets for coffee-lovers, cooks or movie buffs. She also offers customers the option of spreading payments over three months.

Personalize your communication. Sure, your customers want to feel that you know them, but they also want to know you. Ada Polla, CEO of the family-owned skin care company, Alchimie Forever, says that email blasts containing images of and content about her mom and her three sisters “get click rates that are much higher.  We’re a family-focused company and email is much more successful when it’s highly personal.”  This year, Alchimie will offer a 30% friends and family discount on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the email blast will contain images of all four Polla sisters peppered with a bit of family storytelling.

Remember that one of your greatest strategic advantages over your larger competitors is your ability to connect intimately and authentically with your customers. Online marketing enables that, but also make sure that you’re not just “broadcasting.”  Now’s the time of year when you need to make certain that you’re also engaging in dialogue with customers who respond to your online marketing efforts.

Please check out other posts in our “Secrets of Small Business Success” series:

Secrets of Small Business Success: Your Best Strategy for Attracting New Holiday Customers is Hiding in Plain Sight

Secrets of Small Business Success: Holiday Marketing: Be Memorable and Meaningful

Disclaimer: Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal counsel to determine what laws and regulations may apply to your specific circumstances. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on October 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

Nov 19, 2012

#HolidaySuccess: Tips for Small Business Owners

A few weeks ago, we shared the Small Business Holiday Success Guide that we recently launched with USA Today small business columnist, Rhonda Abrams. As the holiday season is upon us, we are excited to bring you the first in a series of posts that will provide you with more in-depth strategies to help make this a successful holiday season for your small business. In this series, we will cover money management, holiday marketing techniques, tips for extending holiday success into the New Year, and more. – Janet Zablock @jzablock

6 Tips for Social Media Holiday Success

Social Media 411 chart

Whether it’s money management or marketing, every aspect of your business requires a plan. That includes social media marketing. Keep in mind the following six tips when developing your social media strategy:

  1. Remember, it’s better to give than to receive.Anything you tweet, post, pin, or blog should offer value. Just like you’ll tune out your know-it-all brother-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner, your followers will drop you if all you do is talk about your product or service and why they should buy it. Instead:
    • Write blogs showing how you meet customers’ holiday needs
    • Post links to articles and videos your followers will find useful or entertaining.
    • Discuss promotions and special items you’re offering just for the holidays.
    • Refresh your content often during the holidays to bring customers back.
  2. Write your content in advance. Before you’re knee deep in gift wrap, write as many of those blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts as you can, and merely publish them according to the calendar. Brainstorm the topics, themes, and promotions you’ll cover. Then create a calendar of what to post when (a spreadsheet is best, but a physical calendar also works).
  3. Regift. No, I don’t mean unload that itchy orange and purple sweater your mother gave you last year. I’m talking about repurposing your content. You’ve already taken the time to write your blogs and email newsletters. Now save time. Pull material out for tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates.
  4. Put some tasks on auto-pilot. During the holidays especially, you don’t have the resources to update and like posts on Facebook all day. Of course, you’ll still pay attention to the conversation. With tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Manageflitter, you can pre-load all that content you wrote in advance and schedule it to post later.
  5. Encourage engagement. Create surveys. Ask questions. Run a contest. Do what you can to encourage followers to engage. When they do engage, respond.
  6. Manage review sites. According to SearchEngineLand,76 percent of customers visit sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zagat to find the best meal, store, hotel, and more. Make it easy for your customers to post positive reviews. The tool ReviewBiz allows you to embed an icon in your website that will take your customers directly to local review sites.

Visit to download the Small Business Holiday Success Guide and learn more!

–Rhonda Abrams (@RhondaAbrams), USA Today Small Business Columnist and Expert


Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Jul 27, 2012

Visa’s Go World Campaign: 28 Million Cheers…and Counting!


With the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games just hours away, the world is ready to celebrate and cheer for their favorite athletes and teams. At Visa, we’ve been encouraging fans to cheer for Team Visa athletes for the past several months leading up to London 2012. To date, more than 28 million fans have submitted digital cheers as part of Visa’s Go World campaign, our largest global and most social marketing campaign in Visa’s history.

Go World encourages consumers to cheer via Facebook, Youku and Sina-Weibo in China, VKontakte in Russia, YouTube and Twitter (US), to inspire Team Visa athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since the campaign launched in May, fans have cheered in the form of liking the Visa Facebook page, submitting photos, videos and text cheers and performing one-click cheers through Visa’s Cheer application on Facebook, viewing and sharing video content on YouTube, as well as including the campaign’s hashtag (#VisaGoWorld) on Twitter (@TeamVisa) and cheering through partner websites.

Some highlights of the campaign:

• 1.9 million fan “Likes” on Visa’s Facebook page
• 400,000 cheers for 69 Team Visa athletes in the form of a one-click cheers and text, photo or video submissions

• 25.7 million views of Visa’s Go World commercials, behind-the-scenes athlete content and consumer-generated cheer videos
• Globally, the most viewed Go World commercials include:
1. “The Difference”* (8.5 million views)
2. “Double Beach Volleyball” (3.4 million views) featuring Brazilian Team Visa athletes Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti
3. “A Very High Dive”* (3.2 million views) featuring Team Visa athletes David Boudia (US; diving) and Hugo Parisi (Brazil; diving)
4. “100th of a Second” (1.9 million views) featuring US Team Visa athlete Michael Phelps (swimming)
5. “Perfect 10” (1.1 million views) featuring Olympic legend Nadia Comaneci
6. “Yelena” (1.3 million views) featuring Russian Team Visa athlete Yelena Isinbaeva (pole vault).

The five most cheered for Team Visa athletes around the world include:
1. Li Na (tennis, China)
2. Yelena Isinbaeva (pole vault, Russia)
3. Michael Phelps (swimming, USA)
4. Lopez Lomong (track & field, USA)
5. Azizul Awang (track cyclist, Malaysia)

Within the United States, the five most cheered for Team Visa athletes include:
1. Michael Phelps (swimming)
2. Lopez Lomong (track & field)
3. Nastia Liukin (gymnastics)
4. David Boudia (diving)
5. Alana Nichols (wheelchair basketball)


Posted by: Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products on July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

May 7, 2012

“Cheer” on Team Visa Athletes at the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games

The Olympic Games begin and end with the athletes – a fact that we at Visa have emphasized and celebrated during our 25-year partnership with the Games. As the exclusive payment services sponsor and the only card accepted at the Olympic Games, we believe that athletes power the Olympic Games, and that fans inspire them to greatness.

Today we are excited to unveil Go World, Visa’s Olympic Games-themed integrated marketing campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is Visa’s most global campaign ever and will be executed in more than 70 countries around the world.

The Go World campaign has always been about the athletes and their incredible stories that inspire the world. It’s a feeling that encapsulates the Olympic spirit – a movement that happens every two years, when for 17 days, the world watches and hopes as one.


This year, with Visa, the world will cheer as one. We are bringing the fans closer to the Olympics than ever before, igniting a cheer that can be heard across the globe. Just as much as we celebrate the athletes who compete in the Games, we want to celebrate the connection that fans have to the moments that define the Olympics Games, inspiring the athletes to do their best with support and cheers harnessed from around the globe.

 The campaign is  social at its core, using Facebook, YouTube  other online content to seamlessly bring fans and athletes from across the world together. In Beijing and Vancouver, it was Visa cheering on the athletes, but this year, we are inviting the entire world to join in the global cheer, and the rallying cry of Go World, harnessing the Olympic spirit from every corner of the globe.

 To bring our campaign to life, we created a new commercial called “The Difference,” which you can watch here. This spot celebrates some of closest and most dramatic finishes in Olympic Games history and reminds viewers that cheering together can propel athletes to greatness.

Visa’s Facebook page is the central hub of the Go World campaign, enabling fans to create, share and view cheers for Team Visa athletes preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Using Visa’s cheer application, fans will be provided with relevant athlete content based on their likes and preferences, offering a personalized user experience. Fans can also voice their support on Twitter by tweeting their cheers using #VisaGoWorld. We hope that Visa will also enable fans to add “cheering” to a growing list of popular social actions that includes “pinning” and “liking.” For the first-time, Visa will reward fans in the U.S. for participating in the campaign by offering them the chance to have their cheers featured in a special-edition Visa commercials celebrating the achievements of Team Visa athletes during the Olympic Games. And, from May 1 – August 31, 2012, Visa cardholders in the U.S. and Canada will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip to cheer in-person at the summer sporting events of the Olympic Games for the rest of their lives when they use their Visa card. Official rules, including details on non-purchase entries, are available here.

You can learn more about Visa’s Go World campaign here.

 With less than 90 days to go to London 2012, we encourage you to join our global cheer movement and inspire the more than 60 Team Visa athletes from around the world who are pursuing their lifelong dreams of competing and medaling at the Games.

 Every cheer counts!

 Antonio Lucio

Global Chief Marketing, Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Visa Inc.


Posted by: Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer on May 7, 2012 at 6:01 am