Archive for the ‘Research & Data’ Category

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: ROI

Friday, August 29, 2014

While having a clearly defined and accurate return on investment (ROI) is extremely important to marketers, one study shows that 3 in 4 marketers around the world report problems or challenges when trying to calculate ROI.  While tracking ROI on some media types is easier than others, smart marketers are finding innovative ways to do this.

From coupons, call tracking, promo codes and various types of online analytics tools, there are many solutions for helping calculate ROI.  Furthermore, with the proliferation of mobile devices, the ability to follow a consumer both online and offline will be instrumental in developing better ROI data for online advertising.

Here are some stats highlighting various media and the ROI they deliver:

  • Brands averaged a sales lift of more than $6 for every $1 spent on radio ads. (Nielsen Catalina Solutions)
  • 9 in 10 marketers are seeing either improved (42.7%) or steady (48.3%) ROI on Google over the past 6 months. (Ad Age/RBC Capital Markets)
  • While only 15.5% of SMBs reported using Facebook ads to advertise and promote their business, they gave it the highest combined ROI of “Excellent” (10-19x spend) and “Extraordinary” (more than 20x spend) compared to other social platforms including YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Global marketers have ranked email and SEO as the top two channels for ROI three years in a row. (Econsultancy/Adestra)
  • While only about 3 in 10 marketers say mobile marketing is producing ROI for them right now, another 51% believe it eventually will. (ExactTarget)

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

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: SoMoConf Takeaways

Friday, August 22, 2014

As many of you know, we hosted the Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! Conference alongside the Local Media Association and Borrell Associates this week.  With an agenda featuring social and mobile powerhouses like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YP, ESPN and others, the insights were powerful.

In addition to hearing from these social and mobile pros, we also got to hear about some money making strategies and case studies from local media organizations that have successfully navigated the social and mobile landscape.  From mobile apps to social media management, local media professionals are finding a variety of innovative ways to solve the SMB’s marketing woes.

While it wasn’t easy, here are our top 5 takeaways from the event:

  • Not all social media metrics are insightful. For instance, engagement might not mean performance because when looking at article shares on LinkedIn, people actually share articles before they read them. (LinkedIn)
  • Marketing mix matters a lot.  One case study showed that by allocating 16% instead of just 1% of an awareness building campaign budget to mobile, one cell phone developer would have increased overall campaign performance by 12%. (Mobile Marketing Association)
  • The average consumer spends around $500 during the holiday season and there is already a huge opportunity to capture ad dollars during this time of year. (Bing)
  • Digital engagement is almost completely uncorrelated to offline sales. (Facebook)
  • When looking at 10K mobile campaigns, there was a 2x increase in click-through rate (CTR) on campaigns that were geo-targeted. (Thrive Analytics, SMG Local Spectrum)

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

Infographic: Consumers Turning to Mobile & Various Combinations of Local Media in Last Mile

Monday, August 18, 2014

Consumers are using vastly different combinations of local media to inform their purchasing decisions and mobile devices are changing the way consumers interact with local information.  According to our latest edition of the “Local Media Tracking Study” conducted by Burke, between 2012 and 2013, computer/laptop usage for searching for local products and services decreased while mobile phone/smartphone and netbook/tablets both increased.

The study includes interviews with 8,000 U.S. adults conducted online and by phone. The infographic shows that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices when seeking, discovering or considering local business information.  With that being said, businesses need to develop integrated advertising and marketing strategies that span across devices.

For more commentary on the study, check out our post on Search Engine Land or take a look at the infographic below:

Consumers Increasingly Turn to Mobile & Varied Media Combinations in Last Mile from Local Search Association

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: CMOs

Friday, August 15, 2014

Digital technologies have led to many new marketing solutions and analytics tools and are making the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) job much more complex. Still, many are moving fast to invest in these tools in order to better target and measure advertising and marketing efforts.

According to a Korn Ferry study, about 8 in 10 U.S. CMOs expect their companies to increase the use of predictive analytics and big data tools this year.  As a result, today’s CMO needs to be versed on technologies that continue to develop, with new tools popping up regularly.

Here are some stats that give a look into the CMO’s perspective:

  • Within large companies (companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue), 81% now have a chief marketing technologist role, up from 71% just a year ago. (Gartner)
  • The top concern of 34% of CMOs is the creation of sustainable and engaging customer relationships and improving the customer experience. (Korn Ferry)
  • Just 35.7% of CMOs feel that they can prove the short-term impact of marketing spend quantitatively, and 28.6% feel they can prove the long-term impact. (Duke Fuqua School of Business)
  • 1 in 4 CMOs cite a lack of critical technology or tools as their chief barrier to digital integration. (Accenture)
  • Prediction: Innovative CMO and CIO pairs will throw out the rule book when it comes to IT’s support of marketing. (International Data Corporation)

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

The State of Local Programmatic: 100 Local Media Execs Weigh In

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from Amber Benson, vice president of marketing at is an advertising technology company that simplifies digital advertising through the use of unstructured data.

There is no denying the gap between publishers that want to take advantage of targeted solutions and fully integrated cross-platform programs, and local advertisers who faithfully hold to their knowledge of their buyers and what’s worked before. What is interesting is just how wide that gap is and how best to bridge it.

Forrester Consulting recently interviewed more than 100 digital publishing executives in 29 designated market areas (DMAs) and found that education is the key to local programmatic success. The study highlighted what is needed for local programmatic to take off in a way that gets targeted messaging to consumers, and better ROI to advertisers and publishers.

The report from Forrester will be profiled in a joint webinar with titled, “The State of Local Programmatic: 100 Local Media Execs Weigh In” on Thursday, August 14 from 1 – 2 pm ET.  But before that, here are some highlights from the study:

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of, April 2014. 

  • More than half of local publishers (53%) sell full cross-platform integrated solutions.
  • Nearly 70% of publishers use a DMP to create data-driven advertising programs, such as audience extension.
  • Sales and ad ops teams see high minimum campaign spend (47%) as the primary barrier to local advertisers adopting programmatic, closely followed by a lack of perceived or measureable ROI at 42 percent, showing that to local advertisers, ROI is king.
  • Publishers cited sales training (65%) and technology implementation (63%) as challenges faced during the implementation process, highlighting the need for education to keep up with the rapidly evolving space.
  • Interestingly, 31% of publishers questioned about local programmatic challenges cited the need for something new entirely – a specialized analytics staff to keep up with changes as they happen.

Interested in learning more? Register today for the webinar. Attendees will also receive a full copy of the report and some unique insights into how local publishers and advertisers can be successful and raise the ROI on small data, high volume campaigns.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Daily Deals & Digital Coupons

Friday, August 8, 2014

While the daily deal craze has somewhat settled down over the last few years, there are still strong supporters of this marketing tactic.  And with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices, digital coupons are becoming more widespread and offer conveniences that paper coupons can’t.

Some marketers find that daily deal websites are ideal for introducing new products, brands or businesses to the market. People tend to be more willing to try something new if there is a deal attached to it, rather than pay full price for something they aren’t sure about.

All in all, people like discounts and here are some stats on how daily deals and online coupons are functioning in the marketplace:

  • 53% of SMBs said daily deals are the most effective technology tool in attracting new customers. (Constant Contact)
  • 80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial, in the near future. (Social Media Examiner)
  • More than 70% of digital coupon users will use a mobile device to redeem a discount in 2014. (eMarketer)
  • When asked about unplanned purchases, 21% stated they bought from daily deal websites and 28% claimed they buy products they had never bought before from daily deal websites. (Ryan Partnership)
  • 68% strongly believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a retailer’s brand. (RetailMeNot)

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

Infographic: Number of SMBs with Mobile Optimized Websites Increases by Over 75%

Thursday, August 7, 2014

While there have been many studies documenting the lack of mobile optimized websites among small businesses, a new study from Constant Contact illustrates the contrary.  After surveying over 500 SMBs, the study found that SMBs with mobile optimized websites jumped from 34% in 2013 to 60% this year, a 76.4% increase.

In addition to becoming mobile optimized, SMBs are engaging in mobile advertising as well.  Around 21% said they advertise through mobile devices, with another 23% saying they have interest in doing so in the next six months.

What’s interesting is the way SMBs are going beyond marketing and advertising on mobile devices and using them to work more efficiently.  For instance, 61% of respondents use mobile storage apps, 58% use scheduling/calendar apps, and 51% use financial managements apps to help them manage their business.

Check out the infographic below or download it here.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Paid Search Advertising

Friday, August 1, 2014

When it comes to reaching consumers, paid search ads offer a great way for local businesses to target based on location. For this reason, this type of ad pulls in tons of ad dollars around the world.  According to a study by ZenithOptimedia, global paid search spending is expected to reach $55.7B this year.

In addition to targeting based on location, marketers sing the praise of paid search ads because they allow control over everything from keyword triggers to the time of day the ads appear in search results.  Best of all, the most common form of paid search ad runs on a pay per click (PPC) model, meaning advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad.

Here are some stats that give a glimpse into the current state of the paid search ecosystem:

  • Google accounts for 84% of the world’s paid search market share. (Covario)
  • 85% of retailers said search marketing (including paid and SEO) was the most effective customer acquisition tactic. ( Research)
  • Computers (desktops, laptops, etc.) captured 72% of total paid search clicks in Q4 2013, with phones pulling in 17% and tablets accounting for 11% of total clicks during the quarter. (Kenshoo)
  • Mobile devices will account for 50% of all paid search clicks globally by December 2015. (Marin Software)
  • Five of the top personal luxury companies spent nearly $22 million on Google AdWords desktop and tablet text ads across their brands in 2013. (AdGooroo)

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

More Connected Devices Means More Consumers Searching Online for Local Businesses

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Even in a world where Google’s influence has turned the company into a verb, the number of consumers conducting online local searches is still growing.  According to BrightLocal’s 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, “more people are searching for more types of businesses in 2014 versus 2013.”

Source: BrightLocal

As you can see from the chart above, almost all of the business verticals included in the survey grew in the past year.  The most notable exception is restaurants, which saw a nearly 10% decrease in searches. BrightLocal says this is more a reflection of the respondents and isn’t any cause for alarm.

The other verticals that saw a decline from 2013 include Tradesmen and Accountant/Solicitors, however, the decline for each was negligible. On the other hand, the verticals that saw some of the most growth include Hair/Beauty Salons, Gym/Sports Clubs and Realtor/Surveyors.

Overall, the most searched for businesses fell into what BrightLocal called “lifestyle” businesses which refers to restaurants, general shops, clothes shops, hair salons, etc.  These businesses are visited more regularly by more people and therefore harvest more local searches.

This trend of more searches across more verticals aligns with growing adoption and usage of digital technologies.  As smartphones and tablets proliferate – particularly tablets which saw shipments increase 52% in 2013 – the Internet is becoming more accessible and, therefore, so is local search. As you can see in the graph below, the world is getting connected.

Source: KPCB estimates based on Morgan Stanley Research and ITU data.

Given the already impressive penetration of these connected devices, online “findability” is absolutely critical for any business and its importance will continue to grow as device adoption does.  And this isn’t just for the up-and-coming, tech savvy consumers that are 18-24.

An Ofcom report found that the number of people over 65 using tablets jumped from 5% to 17% between 2012 and 2013. Similarly, according to a study we released this year with Thrive Analytics, older generations — including Boomers and Seniors — are embracing mobile as a local shopping companion.

Connected devices are increasing in number around the world, are being used by all age groups and are offering a plethora of ways for consumers to find, connect with and select local businesses.  If nothing is certain except death and taxes, the need for businesses to get online is not far behind.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: In-Store Purchases

Friday, July 25, 2014

Despite the growth of e-commerce and online shopping, in-store purchases still reign supreme. For that reason, according to a BIA/Kelsey study, SMBs voted in-person interactions as “excellent” lead sources more than any other lead source, except for calls, which received a comparable amount of votes.

The Internet and other digital technologies have transformed the way consumers make purchases – and that’s not because they can make these purchases online. Instead, these technologies are giving consumers the ability to conduct extensive research that allows them to be more informed about the products or services, price and availability.

Here are some stats that show how in-store purchases are still driving local commerce and the digital technologies that are helping facilitate these transactions:

  • Two-thirds of total local purchases (65.9%) are still being purchased in-person. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Digital currently influences 36% of in-store sales, a figure forecasted to rise to 50% by the end of 2014. (Deloitte)
  • Nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices turned into purchases, with nearly 90% of those purchases made in a physical store. (comScore/Neustar Localeze/15 Miles)
  • Four out of five Yelp users visit before spending money, and 93% say that visiting Yelp leads to a local purchase. (Nielsen)
  • 21% of Pinterest users, 30% of Facebook users and 17% of Twitter users said that they have bought an item in-store after sharing or “favoriting” an item. (Vision Critical)

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