Archive for March, 2012

AT&T AdWorks Links Mobile Ads with Foursquare

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AT&T AdWorks, through mobile ad firm’s Celtra’s partnership with Foursquare, will let consumers check-in to the location-based social network via mobile ads served by AT&T’s network, according to a report in AdWeek.

As part of the unit, mobile ads featuring Foursquare will appear as regular mobile banners that call on consumers to check-in to local businesses. Consumers clicking the ads will be shown a map with nearby store locations, provided that the users has opted-in to being targeted by location (otherwise, the user will be asked to input their zip code). Consumers can then click on the store location they wish to go to for Foursquare information tied to that location including offers and tips. Consumers can also access Foursquare directly to check-in and click-to-call business locations.

I think this is another great example of leveraging growth in mobile and social to bring innovative new offerings to advertisers – and a useful tool to consumers as well. Read the full AdWeek story here.

Local Search Roundup: Relaunches, Twitter Debuts New Self-Serve Advertising Platform; Google Introduces Offers with Rewards Program

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Launches Redesigned Site and New Blog

Canada’s Yellow Pages Group is debuting a redesigned website for the company’s popular public application programming interface (API), which has enrolled more than 1,700 software developers since its launch in late 2010. The tool, which features YPG’s business database of 1.5 million business listings, has sparked the creation of 35 innovative web and mobile applications. One great example is Yellow Pages TV, a new application that allows viewers to access, share and map business listings on their television. Additionally, YPG is starting a new API Fanboy blog focused on fostering stronger relationships with the developer community to help developers reach their innovation potential.

Twitter Announces Self-Serve Advertising for Small Businesses

Twitter announced that a select group of small businesses can begin using its self-service advertising platform to share promoted tweets and create promoted accounts. The self-service platform, which Twitter developed with American Express, will initially include a $100 credit offering for free advertising to the first 10,000 businesses that are either American Express merchants or cardholders. Promoted accounts suggest a brand’s Twitter account to users who it believes might be interested in the brand, while promoted tweets leverage tweets that generate significant activity and highlights them in search results. Small businesses pay a fee when users follow their account or engage with their promoted tweet.

Google Introduces Offer Rewards Program

Google is testing an extension of its Google Offers program, called “Google Offers with Rewards,” which enables consumers who register their credit card and then use it during their purchase to receive automatic rewards at participating local businesses. The program is designed to provide a more comprehensive approach to offline purchase tracking as a means of helping connect the dots between online ads and offline transactions. Google Offers with Rewards will initially be available to customers who previously purchased Google Offers from a list of Bay Area businesses.

Final Thoughts on BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2012; Looking Forward to ‘Search Starts Here’ Next Month

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This morning wraps up a very successful BIA/Kelsey ILM East in Boston, with a final round of A-List speakers from across the country.  Opening with a series of interviews, Peter Krasilovsky, vice president and program director at BIA/Kelsey, talked with Merrill Brown, principal at MMB Media, Josh Fenton, cofounder and CEO of GoLocal24 and Zohar Yardeni, CEO of Main Street Connect.

Later in the morning, Ted Leonsis, vice chair of Groupon and an American Express Board Member, delivered a thought-provoking keynote address and answered questions from the floor.

The morning ended with the “SMB SuperForum: Focusing on Local Business Success” session, a great wrap-up of the key takeaways from the past three days. A group of leaders also demoed some of their innovative “top” sites.

Wishing you had been here? Join us in Boca Raton next month for the Local Search Association’s Conference – Search Starts Here, in partnership with BIA/Kelsey, April 21-24. Speakers from Google, SuperMedia, MapQuest, Dex One, Convergent Mobile and many other top local search companies will be there, and there will be plenty of opportunities to network.

Don’t miss this chance to gain valuable, actionable ideas in a beautiful setting. Book your hotel room before April 2 to get our terrific discounted rate! For more information, visit the conference website.

BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2012: Google’s Nitin Mangtani & Christine Merritt

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The afternoon sessions at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM East 2012 continued with Nitin Mangtani, CSO and program director at Google Offers, who spoke on the defining moments in commerce, commenting that local commerce is a zero sum game and one in which everyone benefits. He quoted a recent BIA/Kelsey study which found that 97% of consumers research products and services online before buying. Mangtani also described Google Offers fulfilling the five points of the purchase cycle through their Adwords Express, Places, Offers, Wallet and Punch’d services.

Christine Merritt, head of business development, channel sales North America at Google, discussed Google’s strategy of working with their partners to help local small businesses get the right level of help and service.  She explained how Google services “long tail” advertisers and finds ways to pair up high-touch advertisers with the right partners.

For more on the ILM East 2012 agenda click here, or follow hashtag #ILMEast on Twitter. Tomorrow looks like another great day in Boston!

Dex Asks Local Businesses, ‘How Findable Are You?’

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A new online tool from Dex One allows local businesses to determine their online search visibility among target consumers. The website,, lets business owners conduct self-assessments of their local online marketing techniques and provides a score out of 100 on how well they’re doing.

By asking local business owners to guage their activities in areas like SEO, paid search, online advertising, online reputation, and social media, Dex is helping local businesses think about what else they can or should be doing to succeed in the local search space.

This is a great support tool for local businesses looking for help improving their overall online traffic and visibility. Check out additional helpful local marketing tips at Dex’s “Marketing Matters” blog.

BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2012: Social SuperForum Sessions

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Neil Kataria, cofounder, president and chairman of newBrandAnalytics, is approaching ‘Social’s Big Data Moment’ with the montra “each customer is essentially a survey.” His company is able to provide its clients with a deep-dive into customer feedback and a comprehensive report card that covers a variety of categories.  newBrandAnalytics can provide competitive data by leveraging information that exists in the public domain of social media. See more about the upcoming ILM East 2012 speakers here or get analysis by going to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Media Watch blog.

Dr. Catherine Tucker, Douglas Drane Career Development Professor in IT and Management, and associate professor of marketing at MIT, did a brief presentation on ad testing with Facebook.  While large entities – picture the NBA – are doing well on Facebook, small businesses have yet to crack the code.  With consumer spending an average of 20% of online time on Facebook and 30% of the ad impressions online being generated by Facebook, this is a huge opportunity.  Dr. Tucker’s testing shows that it’s all about the targeting: it’s not about your endorsements, it’s about the your social network. But there is a cautionary note – don’t be too overt in mentioning the “friendship.”

As a side note, I’m looking forward to BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media event, taking place June 27, 2012 in San Francisco. Be sure to check it out!

BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2012: Michael Zimbalist, New York Times Co.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Michael Zimbalist, vice president of Research and Development Operations at New York Times Co., presented a fascinating view of the way his company is changing their processes to shift from just linking to other sites, to pulling data from sites such as DBpedia, GeoNames and Freebase to create a richer user experience. Zimbalist explained that his company was able to accomplish this by using mapping to identify “strong names” which allowed them to re-contextualize the existing data.  Zimbalist allowed that while it isn’t an easy task, it’s all about a publisher being willing to change their routine to achieve a new level of its offering.

For more on the ILM East 2012 agenda click here, or follow hashtag #ILMEast on Twitter.

BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2012: Tom Buono, Andy Slater Kick Off Morning Session

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BIA/Kelsey CEO Tom Buono opened up this morning’s session with an intriguing overview of a new product being offered to his clients – Media Ad View.  The service, which provides both “snapshots” of the marketplace and in-depth forecasts of ad spend categories, covers 12 types of media, 12 general ad categories and  digital information for 93 categories.  In addition, BIA/Kelsey clients can get data through geographic profiles by category.  Make sure to check it out!

Next up on this morning’s agenda was Andy Slater, vice president, Digital Agency Sales at Katz 360, who discussed the political ad spend and innovations in campaign communications. Slater estimated the 2012 ad spend at approximately $8 billion.  He went on to say that outreach has become far more sophisticated as campaigns are using more innovative ways to target the right audience. Using cookies to aggregate information about purchases, donations, geography, voter registration and other factors, online campaigning is rapidly becoming far more effective.

Slater also described how broadcasting is driving their audience and advertisers’ traffic to their websites to provide a richer experience through more robust and mature site offerings.

For more on the ILM East 2012 agenda click here, or follow hashtag #ILMEast on Twitter.

Blogging Live from BIA/Kelsey’s ILM East 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

There’s a large crowd attending BIA/Kelsey’s ILM East 2012 here at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, with estimates of more than 450 in attendance.

The buzz on the floor is about this afternoon’s session, including:

  • Keynote speaker – Leslie Berland, American Express – Senior VP, Digital Partnerships and Development
  • Scott Maxwell, OpenView Venture Partners – Founder and Senior Managing Director
  • Lisa DeSisto, Boston Globe – Chief Advertising Officer
  • Jeff Moriarty, Boston Globe – VP Digital Products

This evening, everyone is at the Networking Reception, sponsored by Microsoft Advertising, getting the latest and swapping stories. Check in here for the more information on ILM East 2012 and watch our blog for updates on the speakers and panels.

Mayor Wellington E. Webb: Time for Yellow Pages Publishers to Share Their Side of the Story

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wellington E. Webb, who served as Mayor of Denver from 1991-2003, understands that more needs to be done to educate local elected officials, businesses and consumers about the value of print Yellow Pages to local communities. He recognizes that a key component of that effort will involve raising visibility for our industry’s national consumer choice website,, which enables local residents and businesses to easily determine whether or not they want to receive directories. Here is the first in a series of posts by Mayor Webb on this topic.


My name is Wellington Webb and for more than ten years, I proudly served as the Mayor of Denver.

As you know, tens of millions of Americans of all demographics – in Denver and far beyond – depend on their local Yellow Pages to connect with local businesses and services.  I have seen firsthand how this helps consumers and this helps boost local sales.  These are things that we need to encourage right now.

In light of this, I am excited to be working with the Local Search Association to make sure that American businesses and consumers that use and depend on the Yellow Pages directory continue to have access.

For a few months now, I have been a part of a growing coalition including local search industry organizations and professionals, small businesses, and engaged citizens that are working together to educate people on the businesses and consumers that use the Yellow Pages today.

You already know that some activists are pushing regulation to stop delivery of the Yellow Pages.  Our hope is that through the coalition’s efforts, we can bring attention to industry efforts currently underway to reduce the number of unused phone books – and ultimately, avoid unnecessary regulation that would cost taxpayers money.

As mayor, I knew that I needed to know both sides of the story and worked hard to identify unintended consequences before supporting any particular piece of legislation.  Now, as a part of this growing coalition, I look forward to working with local elected officials and policymakers in cities throughout the country to make sure that they have both sides of this story and that they know about the commonsense solutions already out there that won’t cost taxpayers a dime.