Top 10 Reasons to Attend LSA|14 in Huntington Beach

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The 2014 Local Search Association Conference kicks off in just 10 days!  Here are the top 10 reasons you won’t not want to miss the premier local advertising and marketing event of the year:

10. Idea Labs: These intimate focus groups taking place on Sunday, April 27 will dive into a variety of topics impacting the local space.  With six sessions scheduled, there is sure to be something that piques your interest.

9. Expo Hall: With 25 companies participating and counting, the Expo Hall will feature an array of interesting companies on display just outside of the Grand Ballroom where the General Session will take place.

8. Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa: Dubbed Surf City USA, Huntington Beach is a mecca of all things surfing. Don’t forget to take in a beautiful sunset as well!

7. Yacht Cruise and “Landlubbers” Party: Whether you’re at sea or on land, these parties are sure to be great opportunities to relax, catch up and make some new connections with leaders and decision makers in the local space.

6.  Increased Value, Lower Price: LSA|14 provides quality, top-level speakers, productive networking opportunities and the powerful insights that you have come to expect from our annual event – available for an average savings of $700 compared to last year’s admission.

5. Influential Speakers: In addition to Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, we have nearly 50 influential speakers booked from companies including Google, comScore, YP, Bing, LivingSocial, xAd, JiWire, Retale and Wanderful Media.

4. Attendee List: Just last week, 54 high-ranking local pros registered for LSA|14. At that rate, we expect to be well over 400 attendees for this year’s event!

3. Ad to Action Awards: We received 60 strong entries across eight categories for our new awards program. You won’t want to miss learning about how these innovative local advertising solutions are driving consumer actions, including calls, clicks and store visits.

2. Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak: Innovator and Silicon Valley icon “The Woz” will discuss the intersection of future technologies, his favorite new products and his predictions for mobile and wearable devices.

1. Last Mile Advertising: With this new way to talk about “local,” we will bring clarity, definition and understanding to our space.  Come see how your organization fits into the ecosystem, and stake your claim in the Last Mile!

Time is running out! Register today and we will see you soon in SoCal!

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Day 3 at LSA|14 Features The Woz, Ad to Action Awards, comScore and More!

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After the Idea Labs and networking on Day 1, and the great sessions planned for Day 2, there is a lot to look forward to on the third and final day of the 2014 Local Search Association Conference. You won’t want to miss all the great speaker and panel sessions planned, as well as the inaugural Ad to Action Awards ceremony. Here are the planned highlights for April 29th:

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple
“The Woz” is a Silicon Valley icon who knows a thing or two about innovation. He will discuss the intersection of future technologies, his favorite new products and his predictions for mobile and wearable devices. In addition, the Woz will highlight the local marketing opportunities resulting from these new technologies for both national brands and SMBs.  His session alone will be worth to trip to Huntington Beach!

Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman/Co-Founder, comScore
The rapid adoption and use of mobile devices is changing the face of digital marketing. Consider for example that more than 50% of time spent on the Internet now occurs via mobile access. In this presentation, Gian Fulgoni will review the latest statistics showing how consumers are conducting local search today, with a particular focus on the use of mobile devices and the implications for marketers and publishers.

Ad to Action Awards Ceremony
We recently announced the finalists for our first ever Ad to Action Awards. During the awards ceremony, join us for drinks, food and networking as we celebrate innovation in local advertising.  We will be showing a video highlighting each winner and featuring interviews with our judging panel on why they chose each solution.

Other Noteworthy Sessions

  • “Local’s Coming Data Revolution” (Retailigence, Placemeter, Placed)
  • “Emerging Start-Up Tech in the Local Media Space” (Google)
  • “From Traditional Yellow Pages to the Consumers’ Online Arena” (Zap Group Ltd.)
  • “Redefining the Experience of Buying and Selling at the Local Level” (Solfo, Saatchi Art)
  • “Utilizing Local Media Data for Sales and Marketing Efforts” (Burke)
  • “Back to the Future” (Solfo, BuzzBoard, Opus Research)

For more details, see our full agenda page. And if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

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Mobile Goes Universal: New Survey Shows Older Generations Embrace Mobile as Local Shopping Companion

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Conventional wisdom tells us that younger generations trump older generations in their use of mobile devices during the local purchasing process. While teenagers use their smartphones at every opportunity to find local businesses, read reviews and scan deals, their parents and grandparents rarely rely on their devices to take advantage of what is increasingly available via mobile, right?

Maybe not. According to the results of a new consumer survey conducted by Thrive Analytics and released today by the Local Search Association, older generations — including Boomers and Seniors — are embracing mobile as a local shopping companion.

Local marketers should take note of the growing importance of mobile across all age groups, including Boomers and Seniors, and the various ways in which mobile usage and preferences are uniform across generations.

Take a look at our infographic below overviewing our survey results, and then head over to Search Engine Land to read my analysis of the key takeaways from this study.

Older Generations Embrace Mobile as Local Shopping Companion from Local Search Association
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Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Reputation Management

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A few weeks ago we shared stats that highlighted the importance of ratings and reviews for local search as well as the impact ratings and reviews have on consumers.  Along those same lines, today’s stats examine the importance of managing and monitoring reviews, social media pages and other venues where consumers can freely provide feedback.

While these online venues make it easy to connect with local consumers, they also make it easy for a business’ slip ups to be more visible.  For this reason, reputation management is critical in order to leave a positive impression on existing and potential customers.

Here are some compelling stats the highlight the importance of managing a business’ online reputation:

  • 95% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. (People Claim)
  • Over half of brands (55.5%) do not have an effective strategy in place to deal with negative comments on social networks. (Social Media Marketing University)
  • 7 in 10 survey respondents indicated that a brand’s response to an online consumer review changes their perception of a brand. (Bazaarvoice)
  • 68% of SMBs don’t spend any time monitoring for online reviews. (Yodle)
  • Just 40.5% of SMBs consider websites with customer opinion to be very or extremely important. (BIA/Kelsey)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

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Day 2 at LSA|14 features speakers from Bing, Google, JiWire, PlaceIQ and more!

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You saw the exciting activities, events and Idea Labs set for Day 1 of our 3-day jam-packed event, April 27-29 in SoCal.  Now let’s take a look at some of the highlights for Day 2 of LSA|14:

Main Stage Sessions

  • Kristen Coit, Head of Directories and Web Hosting (Google)
  • The Cross-Screen Opportunity (Mobile Media Summit, Digitaria)
  • Making it Easy for Small Businesses (Bing)
  • Measuring Real World Results from Mobile Ads (xAd, JiWire, PlaceIQ, YP)
  • National Advertiser Perspective (VCA Animal Hospital)
  • How Digital Offers & Couponing Help Customers Find Locations (Street Fight, Retale, Wanderful Media)
  • Global Leadership Panel (YP, Sensis, Zap Group, Trudon Ltd., Radicle Consulting)

For a list of all the sessions and descriptions of each, visit the Agenda Page.

New Member/Partner Member Yacht Cruise (invitation only)
This exclusive networking event will take place on board the Ambassador yacht for a few hours of cruising the coast.  Sponsored by Thrive Analytics and Local Market Launch, this will be a great way to make new connections while taking in the beautiful scenery of Southern California.

Findability: Discovery and the Real Value of Content in Local Search
While enjoying breakfast, hear about the differences between consumers looking for a specific branded product, service or provider versus consumers looking without a product, service or provider in mind. The latter is how the vast majority of searches take place and represents a true growth opportunity in local search online and also the vast majority of the searches taking place. Local Market Launch will explore what content is important, how to produce it, who in or outside the organization should produce it and where it should be distributed to address this market opportunity.

For more details, visit our Agenda Page – and if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

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From 60 to 16: Announcing Our Ad to Action Awards Finalists

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In order to support and encourage innovation in Last Mile Advertising, last December we launched the Ad to Action Awards, a competition designed to bring forward the most creative and effective new local advertising products that drive calls, clicks and store visits for local businesses.

By the end of our submission period in February, we had received 60 outstanding entries across our eight awards categories. Just last week, our judging panel – which included a diverse and notable group of industry experts, analysts, media and practitioners – completed their evaluation of these great innovations.

Today I’m pleased to announce our Ad to Action Awards finalists. The awards winners will be announced at our 2014 Local Search Association Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. on April 28. Following the announcement ceremony, our awards winners will be treated to a private lunch with our featured speaker Steve Wozniak. In the weeks and months following, they will receive our industry’s support in successfully going-to-market.

So without further adieu, here are our finalists:

Business Listings  

  • Local Listing Manager™ by Rio SEO: “Rio SEO’s Local Listing Manager software is the only available solution that can deliver unlimited optimized local business data via bulk feed or API to all the major search engines and data aggregators, including Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Maps, Infogroup® Expressupdate, Neustar® Localeze®, Acxiom™, Factual™, Yext, Yelp, Facebook, FourSquare, TomTom, MapQuest, Niche Social Networks, and other online local data aggregators.”
  • TruPoint Synchronization Technology by Local Market Launch: “TruPoint Synchronization Technology is a scalable dashboard solution that enables a business to create, maintain and monitor digital presence across the local search ecosystem and includes complete digital syndication of enhanced data to the top data aggregators providing access to 400+ channels.”

Mobile

  • GeoCookie by Thinknear: “The GeoCookie focuses on identifying location context, categorizing location categories, and storing data in a usable format that can be accessed in real-time, which requires an incredible amount of scale and processing power.”
  • SmartFencing Technology by xAd: “SmartFence technology utilizes xAd’s proprietary 1st party search data, along with SmartLocation verified accurate mobile app inventory, to dynamically shift mobile ad impressions to the most relevant, real-time locations.”

Social Media

  • Likes for Lives by Search Influence: “The ‘Likes for Lives’ program is a Facebook fan building initiative that encourages targeted audiences to ‘like’ your Facebook page in exchange for a donation to a choice of non-profit organization benefiting breast cancer awareness/research.”
  • Support Local: “SupportLocal is applying the social graph to the oldest and greatest factor in making life’s daily decisions – word of mouth – by enabling people to give and get local business recommendations from the people they know and trust.”

Print

  • Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum: “SMG’s dynamic tool generates ranking reports that help determine the best directories to advertise in based on client’s KPI, new and existing locations, rural vs urban, budgets, proprietary zip code level data, and custom publisher negotiated discounts.”
  • Community Magazines by hibu: “This 32-page magazine (16 pages of local articles / 16 pages of ads) targets individual communities and provides hyper-local content and information specific to each market.”

Vertical Specific

  • Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum: “This solution leverages real-time weather event triggers such as cold temperatures and natural disasters to serve relevant hyper-local messaging via online ad formats.”
  • Lead StreamTM by Marquette Group: “Lead StreamTM for Insurance offers three packages that cover a range of offers including listing management, social, online directories, reputation management, local paid search, microsites and display.”

Video

  • TargetView by Sightly: “Target View dynamically generates hundreds of scalable, affordable, localized video ads for all locations in a brand’s network, using clients’ existing creative or assets from our library and stock sources.”
  • StudioNow: “StudioNow is a global marketplace matching enterprises with video content creators through a powerful web-based platform that helps all types of businesses produce affordable, custom video that’s hyper-local, high quality and scaled to their needs.”

Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce

  • MyTime: “The MyTime website or mobile app allows users to find a business, check availability, read reviews, and book appointments in seconds. With over 90 categories of services and 2 million businesses, MyTime is targeted to appointment-based businesses with fixed prices.”
  • Dynamic Hyper Local Leads Bundle by YP: “The hyper-local bundle was the first combined offering of the latest Mobile Advertising Targeting, Internet Yellow Pages with OLA Category Sponsorship targeting, with simple flat rate priced Print YP coverage, and advertising performance measurement for the industry.”

Implementation

  • AdMax® Local by The Search Agency: “AdMax® Local is a fully automated search engine marketing solution that enables small businesses to benefit from high quality and profitable local search campaigns by producing, managing and reporting on hyper-local, optimally structured, highly relevant and performance-focused SEM (AdWords, AdCenter) campaigns.”
  • Call Conversion Optimization™ by Kenshoo: “Through integrations with leading call tracking providers and a proprietary matching algorithm, Call Conversion Optimization™ is able to track calls at the paid search ad placement level and automatically adjust keyword bids to increase performance based on metrics like call length and quality.”

Interested in finding out who will win this year’s inaugural competition? Join us at LSA|14 in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, when we announce the winners. Register today!

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Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Ecommerce

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According to a study conducted by UPS, 70% of online shoppers prefer to shop their favorite retailer online.  The growing popularity of online shopping has completely transformed local retail and just as big brands have developed robust ecommerce platforms, small retailers are seeing the value as well.

The online shopping space is becoming a great way to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds.  In a recent blog post, LSA’s Wesley Young discussed delivery alternatives for online purchases that lower the cost for consumers, and also have the capability of generating in-store visits, creating another opportunity to sell.

Here are some compelling ecommerce stats that have major implications for local retailers:

  • 94.6% of SMB ecommerce websites lack a shopping cart, prohibiting them from transacting business on the website. (vSplash)
  • Among consumers surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online within the last six months. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Half of consumers believe the best thing retailers can do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping channels. (Accenture)
  • According to a Q4 2013 study, 73.2% of visits to online shopping sites come from PC users, as opposed to 14.6% and 12.2% from tablets and smartphones, respectively. (Monetate)
  • Half of respondents said it was important for retailers to offer in-store pickup for online purchases. (Forrester)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

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LSA|14 Kicks Off with Sessions Featuring Sightly, YP, Chatmeter, Urgent.ly and more!

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We’re just 25 days away from the start of the 2014 Local Search Association Conference in Huntington Beach, California!

Our three-day, jam-packed agenda focused on all things local begins on Sunday, April 27th with a full day of group activities, Idea Lab sessions, and an opening cocktail party.

Group Activities (7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
Given the beautiful scenery and plethora of things to do in SoCal, we are helping coordinate a variety of optional morning outdoor activities.  You will have the opportunity to take advantage of a round of golf, surfing lessons or a bicycle tour along the coast.  These are great opportunities to get some exercise and make for a fun way to hold a business meeting with colleagues or partners.

Idea Lab Sessions (12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
The Idea Lab sessions are intimate, smaller focus groups that dive into topics that are impacting the local space. Bring a pen and paper because these sessions are sure to provide you with the strategic and tactical insight you have come to expect from our event. Sessions include:

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

  • 4 Ways Reputation Management Drives Growth and Profitability (The Berry Company, Chatmeter, VendAsta Technologies)
  • Taming the Content Monster (Amdocs)

1:20 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.

  • Big Brand to SMB: Maximizing ROI with Customized Local Strategies (YP, Balihoo, Mediative, Market Authority)
  • The Ins and Outs of Starting Your Own Digital Agency (The Search Agency, Beyond Private Label, Search Influence)

2:10 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

  • The Advantages of Being Vertical (Wanderful Media, Urgent.ly, BuzzBoard, Opus Research)
  • What’s Your Multi-Screen Local Video Strategy? (Sightly)

Opening Cocktail Reception (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
After you get your blood flowing from the morning activities and you stimulate your mind at the Idea Labs, join the rest of the conference attendees in the Grand Foyer East for a fun, informal night of drinks, food, a live band and more opportunities to network.

Sunday will provide a good mix of insights, networking and excitement and will be sure to start the conference off right.  For more details, visit our Agenda Page – or if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

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Managing Local Listings to Drive ROI for National Brands

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Please join LSA and Rio SEO for an exclusive webinar presentation next Thursday, April 10 from 2 pm – 3 pm EST.

Multi-location businesses, especially national brands with thousands of locations, struggle to manage the accuracy and consistency of their local business information.  Yet, using local listings to drive search traffic has proven to deliver the lowest cost per acquisition in the search industry to date. During this webinar, Rio SEO will share the processes used and the results seen by big brands that are managing their local business listings in bulk.

Rio SEO Local Search powers store finder software, mobile store finder software, and local business listing management software. They offer Automated Local SEO services to multi-location businesses allowing them to optimize, distribute, and claim their local listings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, Infogroup® expressupdate, Neustar® Localeze®, Acxiom™, Factual™, Yext, Social Networks and other online local data aggregators. Based in San Diego, Rio SEO is among the largest independent providers of SaaS based, local SEO automation solutions and patented SEO reporting tools. Customers include brand marketers, retailers, and digital agencies. For more information about Rio SEO contact them at 858.876.3010 or visit them online at www.RioSEO.com.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!

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Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Social Media

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Given the limited advertising budgets of SMBs, the reason more and more of them are starting to use social media as a marketing tool is the potential reach these platforms allow without the need to spend big.  These social outlets are becoming a popular way for brands and local businesses to connect with, inform and reward followers and fans.

In addition to organic reach, many of the most popular social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) offer paid advertising opportunities with the capability to target very specific audience segments.  These targeting capabilities are powerful on these platforms, especially when trying to reach local consumers.

Here are some compelling stats that show how the impact social media is having on consumers and local marketers:

  • Close to 6 in 10 global consumers say that friends’ social media posts influence their purchase choices. (IBM Institute for Business Value)
  • 56% of millennial local consumers said that they have interacted with social media in the past 6 months at some point in the purchase funnel. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • 94% of SMBs said they use social media for marketing and 61% said that social media helps them gain new customers. (LinkedIn)
  • Of online adults, 71% use Facebook, 18% use Twitter, 17% use Instagram, 21% use Pinterest and 22% use LinkedIn. (Pew Research)
  • Facebook has about 25 million active small business pages. (Facebook)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

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