Archive for the ‘BIA/Kelsey Events’ Category

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: The New Local Search

Friday, December 13, 2013

Local search is such a rapidly evolving part of the local advertising space.  Here are some interesting quips from a panel made up of Raj Nijjer, senior director product management at GoDaddy; Gideon Rubin, CMO at Local Market Launch; Will Scott, CEO at Search Influence; Andrew Shotland, Principal at Local SEO Guide; Azim Tejani, Chief Revenue Office at YaSabe; and Taylor Treese, CEO at Media Traks:

 Q: What are the most dramatic changes you’ve witnessed this year?

Azim – YaSabe has seen an incredible shift in the Hispanic community to mobile.  Mobile use has increased from 30% to 70%.  Yes, that’s not a typo: 70%. Hispanics are 15% more likely to have mobile phone than the normal consumer.

Will – The need for SMB’s to diversify marketing away from just Google organic search results is so much greater.  Yelp has taken a big bite out of Google’s market share.  The definition of SEO is changing and now includes presence on social media and third party sites.

Gideon – There is a change in attitude and awareness by the SMB’s of their need to be online. They may not understand all the products, but they know it is needed.  There’s also a priority change in search – it isn’t just about SEO and ranking anymore.  Rather, the importance is in being (online) where your consumers are searching.  Local ranking is the key.

Q: What should SMBs be focused on in local search?

Gideon – Only 1 ½% of SMB’s submit a business description which hurts when a consumer is doing a discovery search for a product or service as opposed to a company specific search.  Whichever search is being performed, the need is to be found.  Businesses need to be concerned with business listings being complete because they really serving as a de facto landing page.

Raj – Many companies not optimizing for brand.  So GoDaddy is working on optimizing for 3 things through their SEO service: category of service/product, brand, and location.  Customers also are often searching by neighborhood, not by city.  So businesses are requesting that local names/neighborhoods be included in listings but not all directories or search products can accommodate that.

Will – People forget that Google did the Venice update (Nov. 2012) that makes search results much more locally optimized and focused.  Content is key.  Companies that don’t generate content are getting destroyed and agencies that don’t generate content for their clients are getting destroyed.  So how do we address this problem? Develop content – it isn’t hard.  It doesn’t have to be long or complicated.  Just original and relevant.  You are being rewarded for frequency and for being social.  Content might just be a check-in.

Azim – Agree – content needs to be authentic.  YaSabe focuses on Latin culture, food, fashion.  These are things that are social content.  There are some topics that aren’t social – e.g. divorce lawyers.  Engagement such as comments and likes do affect SEO.

Will – Sponsored posts (paid posts) should drive greater traffic which will greatly affect SEO.

Taylor – Lifestyle content like spas, health tips, diets all do well on social search.

Q: Updating directory listings – is there a one size fits all package?

Gideon– Recommends businesses use Factual, Axciom, Infogroup and Localeze as a total syndication solution and also claim their profiles through services like Local Market Launch.

Azim – YaSabe found that only 20-25% of SMB’s had a FB page and only about 10% had active engagement.  Hispanic business numbers were higher – about 20% more.  Conjecture is that the number is higher because of the Hispanic culture’s emphasis on local community.  Mobile also has a greater amount of social engagement so with the higher percent of Hispanics that own mobile devices, it makes sense that there’s a greater percentage of Hispanics that are engaged socially.  20% of US community is Hispanic, but only 5% of advertising spend is targeted at Hispanics.  Seems like a good opportunity for growth.

Q: What do you think about enhanced campaigns?

Taylor – Google’s enhanced campaigns cannot be targeted by device.

Q: What will happen in the space in the next 6 months or 1 year?

Azim – Innovations in discovery and the ability for businesses to get more info out about themselves

Raj – Greater emphasis on international business (for GoDaddy)

Will – Diversification is key; social signals and engagement; and more content is needed.  In 2014 everyone will become a publisher.

Taylor – Businesses and the agencies that help them can’t just focus on search engines. There are so many other ways that businesses are found like on FB or smaller niche sites

Gideon– Digital is only 18% of market space so that’s still small. Basic things haven’t happened across the market, but that will change. There will finally be market penetration for fundamental digital tools.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: Groupon Interested in Being More than Daily Deal Site

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today 500,000 merchants work with Groupon. While that sounds like a big number, Groupon sees much greater opportunity in the space with 30 million local businesses out there.  And while Groupon is best known for its daily deals, it is interested in becoming much more than that.  As we’ve heard so many times at the BIA Kelsey Conference, Groupon is seeking to leverage its existing business into leads for other marketing services.  Sean Smyth, SVP of partnerships at Groupon, acknowledged that in order to reach their goal of becoming a platform as opposed to an event based service, it must work with other companies in the local space.

What spurred this service expansion?  It was Groupon’s experience with daily deals as a demand vehicle.  Merchants would use Groupon to drive demand for their services, but Groupon was in many cases too successful creating fulfillment issues for the business.  In order to help avoid problems like this, Groupon had to learn the business of those they were helping, and in some aspects, it had to know the business better than its owner since the merchants had often demonstrated an inability to forecast the impact of its offers. In learning the business, Groupon discovered there were so many other inefficiencies that existed within small business, many of which were areas where Groupon felt they could help.

Another driver for change was the realization that the daily deal product provided limited engagement with the merchant.  While 50% of merchants that run a deal on Groupon followed up with a second deal, that still only constituted a single digit number of engagements.  Groupon wanted to work not on driving single events, but on something that could be a constant service, a platform.

So, Groupon acquired Breadcrumb to expand its services.  Breadcrumb is a restaurant tool and an investment in the future to improve Groupon’s value chain.  Breadcrumb is on its way to being the operating system for local businesses to provide services like POS, payment services, and a reservation platform.

But as they build the supply side of their business (now a marketplace of 65,000 deals per day just in N. America), Groupon is again looking at the demand side, and that is where partners can help.  They have a partner program – a global platform where partners can incorporate or add Groupon offers and deals into their own marketing tools or services to reach consumers.  It will be interesting to see if Groupon can successfully expand the service that made it so popular.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: The Social Media Impact for SMBs

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Joel Hughes, SVP of Strategy and Emerging Businesses at Constant Contact shared some interesting research regarding social media.  For instance, 6 of the top 10 channels used for advertising and promotion are digital channels. All 6 of the digital channels are owned media and 4 of these 6 are social media.  4 of 5 SMB’s use social media to engage with customers and 96% of SMBS handle social media in-house.

But a large portion of SMB’s are failing at social media marketing for a variety of reasons:

  • Lack of time to create engaging content and respond
  • No time to learn effective strategies
  • Lack of paid social media marketing strategy

So SMB’s are looking for help to get started and are looking for someone to handle social media campaigns for them.  So again, there is a significant opportunity for agencies and marketing companies to monetize that need and help SMB’s with their social media marketing.  But marketing agencies need to remember social posts alone are not the only goal –  social media is a means to gain engagement with customers whether it be sharing updates on your business, getting fans to share information about your business with their friends, or to promote a sweepstakes competition that might be used to add email addresses to your contact list.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: Utilizing LinkedIn to Sell

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Koka Sexton, senior social marketing manager at LinkedIn share some interesting numbers and data:

  • 75% B2B purchases are influenced by social
  • 57% of buying decisions are made before sales rep involvement.
  • 97% of the time cold calls do not work.

The most successful sales reps do 3 things:

  • Find the right people
  • Lead with insights
  • Leverage relationships

Professional networking sites like LinkedIn help sales reps with these 3 things and they claim that the #1 factor for driving high sales rep performance is using social media in critical communications channels. LinkedIn defines social selling as follows:

  • Leverage your social brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights, and relationships
  • And they offer these 4 Actions to maximize results from social selling: 1. Build your Profile 2. Develop your Network 3. Gather Insights 4. Contribute Insights

Doing these things to build your network will help you gain credibility with potential clients and help you sell successfully.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: Leveraging Weather in Ad Campaigns

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Denise Chudy, VP at The Weather Company, talked about how The Weather Channel engages with consumers on local weather information and how businesses can use weather information to adapt ad campaigns.

People look at weather 300 times a month.  Branding is certainly important to get consumers to go to The Weather Channel, but they also work with Yahoo, Google, and others to provide weather information to them.  Many consumers still want old fashioned email notifications each morning so they make sure they meet demand whether the information is provided via push or pull notifications.

The Weather Company also helps apply weather information to ad strategies.  Many products are seasonal or weather dependent (e.g. Tires sales in the Fall increases 5% based on specific weather conditions).  In Chicago, NY and LA tire sales increase in the fall when there is more rain than usual.  So when there are conditions that spur consumer action, ad campaigns can take advantage of that.

Another example is soup sales in the Spring increase 10% in Dallas when there are more clouds and rain; in Chicago when there are more clouds; in Boston when there is higher humidity and in LA when lower humidity.  So consumer behavior is not necessarily logical but the info provided can help adjust appropriately based on measurable conditions.

Also, ad creatives can be adapted to weather – salad graphics in restaurant ads when it is warm and soup when it is cold.  These are just a few examples of how marketers can use circumstances and conditions to help better target and adjust ads to increase ROI.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: Leveraging Location to Increase Effectiveness of AdWords Campaigns

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

94% of all consumers have searched for local info. About half call or contact a store and just under 30% make a purchase. Here’s some tips from Google’s Brendon Kraham, director of global mobile solutions and product strategy, on how you can leverage location specific strategies to increase the effectiveness of your ads when allocating spend resources on Google AdWords.

  1. Optimize for your customer’s locations. Adjust bids for Adwords for high and low performing areas. In other words, pay more for Ad results sent to mobile phones in specific locations where your customers are. Combine keywords + location to optimize the performance of your ads.
  2. Increase foot traffic to your business. Bid in incremental amounts based on radial distance from your store to target consumers nearby.
  3. Engage customers at places of interest.  Adjust bids based on high performing venues e.g. at airports for travel related services.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: The Role of Digital Agencies in the Local Space

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A panel made up of Jeff Folckemer, president and CEO, LocalEdge and SVP, Hearst Newspapers; Jean-Philippe Gauthier, COO, Mediative; and David Hughes, CEO, The Search Agency, spoke of the role digital agencies play in the local marketing space and how to make it work.  Key points made by the panel include:

  1. Relationships and service matter.  Increasing touch with clients reduces churn rates by 3-4 points.  Relationships equate to trust which helps differentiate the agency from self-service or call center products.
  2. Use technology to reduce costs.  Make sure you provide a solution for as broad a range of digital products as possible.  Make sure you make a sufficient margin: 30% is the sweet spot – anything less is not enough.  Folks that want agencies will pay for the service.
  3. Local is critical – Google can’t talk to every local business.
  4. Traditional media still plays a part – Google acknowledges that traditional media adds a 30-40% lift to Google media.
  5. Training on digital is necessary.  One panelist trains their sales team 50 weeks a year.
  6. Incentivize digital sales.  One panelist penalizes traditional media sales if insufficient digital sales are made.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: GoDaddy Looking to Grow SMB Offerings

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blake Irving, GoDaddy CEO, shared many of the changes that GoDaddy is implementing to become more than just a domain name company.  There’s no question they have had incredible success with that core business: 50% of all new domain name registrations worldwide are with GoDaddy.  In the US, that number is even higher at over 60%.  But in serving over 12 million SMB’s (9 million in US) they are looking to expand how they serve those customers, and some of their goals provide insight into the trends that are impacting the interactive local media space.

  1. Small businesses often struggle with promoting their identity.  To help with brand recognition they seek domain or website names that closely mirror their business name, but the limited number of domain names with the .com top-level domain (TLD) can make that a challenge.  With the expansion by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) of TLD’s, many more names are now available.  GoDaddy just this week added 13 new TLD’s available for domain name registrations.  They are also in the process of creating an after-market platform (think eBay) for “used” domain names.
  2. The reputation or identity behind the brand is perhaps most strongly tied to a business’ website, so GoDaddy offers website building services.  However, Blake recognized that an SMB’s digital identity goes beyond its name and landing page.  It is also critical to build your digital identity on other platforms where customers find you like on Facebook, through the yellow pages, on review sites like Yelp, and other search venues.
  3. Platforms like Yelp, YP and Google are shortening the search and discovery process for customers.  The path to purchase from discovery of a product/business to the purchase itself is being done in one step or click via vertical offerings that take away opportunities that used to exist to influence a selection.

In offering products including business applications, SEO management, email and CRM services, web design, and with expansion into 60 new markets in 2014 covering 30 different languages, it’s clear that GoDaddy is looking to take advantage of the shortened purchase process.  They have a huge self-generating pool of leads built up from the initial transactions where consumers secure a domain name.  In other words, you should view GoDaddy as a major competitor for those advertising dollars coming from SMB’s.

Leading in Local: Measurement of Video Engagement is Conversion, Not Views

Monday, September 16, 2013

Online video ad spend is growing so fast that Forrester predicts it will grow in the U.S. to $5.4 billion by 2016 (from $2.0 billion in 2011).  Yet the percentage of SMBs using video is virtually nonexistent.  During their panel at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference last week, Valentine Matrat, global video lead of SMB video at Google/YouTube, Olivier Katz, CEO of Blue Pixel Media, and John McIntyre, CEO of Sightly, gave their insight into the tremendous opportunity for SMBs in online video marketing.

The panel set the stage with some statistics about video ad consumption saying that over 50% of web traffic on a mobile phone is video content and 40% of online video watch time is on mobile.  Given the consumption of videos on mobile phones, Valentine said that SMBs have the opportunity to reach people right where they are.

All three of the panelists had some valuable advice when it comes to developing video content for SMBs.  They said to:

  • Share a clear concise message.
  • Make a strong impression.
  • Have a call to action.
  • Create content, not commercial.
  • Localize the ads.
  • Generate detailed reports for clients.
  • Know your target audience.
  • Be responsive to feedback.
  • Act as an expert.
  • Refresh ad content.
  • Use automation to manage bids and budget allocations.

For me, the biggest takeaway from the panel is that SMBs are looking for conversions from their video content and a way to track engagement.  Just seeing how many views a video has is no longer enough. SMBs want to know who is watching, how did they react and what the conversion rate is of the video ads they push out.  This requires a much more sophisticated approach to video advertising.