Posts Tagged ‘BIA/Kelsey’

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: eBay Adapts to Blurring Lines Between Online and Offline

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A new retail is emerging – it’s consumer driven and technology enabled (mobile).  eBay is developing some services based on the blurring of the lines between online and offline search and purchases.  Online experience used to be about selection and competitive value, while offline was local and more about service and immediate availability.  But services like store pick up have merged the two experiences and consumers are taking advantage as shown by the 39% of eBay’s US customers who paid online and picked up in store.

eBay’s new service “eBay Now” takes the store pick up concept one step further: it utilizes private “valet’s” or courier services to pick up an ordered product from a store and deliver it to the buyer within 1 hour of purchase. The services aims to take advantage of local inventory available near the customer and utilize capacity in courier services.  The service is available in limited areas such as San Francisco and Chicago and will soon be available in Dallas and London.  eBay will also add scheduled delivery (delivery at a specific time) to the service soon.

Lessons learned by eBay in developing this service:

  • Customers value choice and control
  • Retailers have an appetite to partner for better technical capabilities and reach.
  • Technology is not enough.  Managing the end to end experience for buyers is critical.

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: 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.

Leading in Local: Yellow Media and YP Discuss Transformation to Digital Business

Monday, September 16, 2013

During a time when many customers have already or are in the process of transitioning to digital tools for local search, it was interesting to hear from two directory companies on how they are responding to this industry shift.  Paul Ryan, CTO of Yellow Media (Canada) and Darren Clark, chief product officer and CTO of YP, led the discussion titled, “The view from the CTO’s office,” at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference last week.

Darren talked about how today’s marketing decisions are often driven by new technologies.  Since branching off from AT&T, YP has brought their product and technology departments under one roof which has made it easier for them to grow their digital offerings. YP is experiencing 20% year over year growth in their digital business and the rate is even higher in mobile.

Similarly, digital makes up about 45% of Yellow Media’s business and they expect to be at 50/50 by the end of the year.  They are in the process of retooling their infrastructure to retain rich content of their SMB clients.  This is much different than their print products which are thrown out and replaced each year.  Having this rich content will allow Yellow Media to better design their products and solutions with the consumer in mind.

Darren gave a high level look at YP’s focus which is based around presence, performance and leads.  By succeeding in these areas, Darren thinks YP will be able to help SMB’s connect more effectively with their customers which has always been central to both of these publisher’s businesses.

In addition, while they both find partnering to be important for their businesses, a clear priority is growing their digital business.  Paul said that Google is losing share in Canada because of all the innovative options that exist for consumers, presenting a tremendous opportunity for Yellow Media.

The analogy stated by the moderator of the session to describe how these directory pubs are approaching their legacy products is that they are building a new house while the old house still exists.  To them, digital solutions are the future of local search and they are building their businesses around existing and emerging digital technologies.

Leading in Local: Game Mechanics Can Help Drive Customer Loyalty

Friday, September 13, 2013

I am at the BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local conference in Austin, Texas and I got to hear an interesting session Wednesday led by Seth Priebatsch, CEO of LevelUp.  Seth is an avid gamer and during his discussion I was surprised to hear how he is using game mechanics in his business in order to drive customer loyalty for his clients.  His company is a mobile payment platform with over a million users and 5,000 participating merchant locations and at the core of their business are three game mechanic techniques:

  1. Sunken Reward: Reward given based on visit to location or discovery which is proving to be more compelling than coupons.
  2. Progression Dynamic:  Completing an activity over and over again to gain rewards. This drives loyalty by reinforcing repeat customer behavior.
  3. Appointment Dynamic: Customers must return at a predetermined time to take action on a discount/deal. Potentially drives business during slow periods/seasons.

According to Seth, these techniques are often found in games that he plays and he saw an opportunity to use these techniques in the business world.  In addition, he shared some statistics that further support why it is no surprise that game mechanics are showing up in the business world. For instance, the average age of a gamer is 35 and 34% of heads of households play games.

Seth also talked about how credit cards typically charge a small flat fee per transaction, but technology and legislation are driving mobile payment transaction costs down to zero.  Having no transaction cost has been a differentiator for LevelUp’s success.

LevelUp trades the cost of moving money for transactional data, which creates opportunities for them to assist clients with insights mined from the data.  It was interesting to hear about transaction marketing and just how powerful the insights are in helping SMBs win more customers and get more revenue out of each one.

Franchisors Assert Significant Control Over Local Online Branding, but Also Provide Significant Funding

Friday, August 30, 2013

BIA/Kelsey hosted an informative webinar on August 21, 2013 highlighting results from its Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) study of 600 SMBs.  There were two enlightening points regarding franchise accounts:

  • On average, a franchisor pays 43% of a franchisee’s local online presence costs.
  • 51% of franchisees say their franchisors are “highly involved” in the social media presence of their local businesses.

Here are the slides from the presentation:

BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor Slide 1

BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor Slide 2 Source: BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor (LCM – Wave 17), Q3 2013.

Warren Kay, BIA/Kelsey’s new executive in residence, said, “Franchisors made a mistake in the early days by letting franchisees create a presence that sometimes competed with the corporate entity. Franchisors probably won’t allow individual locations to drive their brand message through social media. And, that’s good.”

In the past decade, there has been a decline in corporate support/funding for dealer/franchise yellow pages and local search programs. But this new information indicates corporations are willing to share in the cost of a franchisee’s local online presence, presenting a renewed opportunity for co-op funding. LSA’s co-op service bureau can be a great resource to agencies and publishers. For more information, contact Local Search Association’s Val Onyski by phone at 248-244-0731 or via email at

BIA/Kelsey will present more findings from Local Commerce Monitor Wave 17 at the September 11-13, 2013 Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing Conference at the Hilton, Austin, TX. For more information, click here.

Dex One Discusses Focus on SMBs, Digital Products at BIA/Kelsey’s Conference

Monday, March 25, 2013

I attended BIA/Kelsey’s “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference in Boston on March 18-20 and really enjoyed the terrific content and speakers.  David Sharman, Dex One senior vice president and chief strategy officer, was particularly interesting during his keynote presentation.

Sharman discussed Dex One’s growth opportunity — providing SMBs with the latest marketing services.  Using  more than 1,000 sales reps, Dex One is making strides to build on its long-standing relationships with local businesses.  While print still is an important aspect of the business, Sharman acknowledged the necessity of offering digital solutions that work for SMBs. To show its commitment to digital, Dex added digital expertise to staff and started to report digital revenues separately from print revenues.

Dex also has made some new partnerships with companies such as xAd, PaperG and Google to offer products that are fast, flexible and capital efficient.  Dex’s digital product portfolio includes SEM solutions, Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), SEO, and websites which have helped Dex’s digital business grow by 30% making it worth around $300 million. Sharman attributed much of the digital growth to product bundles, which have a renewal rate of about 70%.  Another driving force is the company’s Guaranteed Actions program, which is Dex’s commitment to deliver a certain number of leads across multiple media.

According to Sharman, Dex One still faces some challenges including finding new customers, identifying a way to soften the decline in print yellow pages revenue and being smarter with book distribution.

On the financial front, Dex reduced its debt by $1.8 billion, and the company has met guidance every quarter.  Regarding the merger with SuperMedia, Sharman said it provides “more runway to transition to a growth company,” and both companies are focused on delivering value to their customers.

BIA/Kelsey: National Advertisers to Boost Local Media Spend over Next Five Years

Friday, March 22, 2013

Local media advertising revenues will climb from $132.5 billion in 2012 to $148.8 billion in 2017, according to a new study from BIA/Kelsey. Interestingly, the firm predicts that national advertisers will make up a significant portion of that increase, accounting for nearly $51 billion of local media ad revenue by 2017.

“Local media has become a key channel, not only for local small businesses, but for regional businesses, national franchises and national brands targeting locally,” said Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “This is clearly seen in our tracking of market shifts in mobile, social, search, promotions, coupons and deals, native ads and sales transformation.”

Though increased focus from national brands could create more competition in the local advertising space for small- and medium-sized businesses, the additional investment will surely spur innovation, likely positive for all.

Visit BIA/Kelsey’s website for more insights from their newly released “U.S. Local Media Forecast

7 Key Takeaways From BIA/Kelsey’s ILM Conference

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In my Locals Only column posted today on Search Engine Land, I shared 7 key takeaways from BIA/Kelsey’s jam-packed ILM West conference last week in Los Angeles.

As we head into 2013, local businesses have some important trends to consider when developing their marketing plans. The ways in which consumers are both searching and finding local businesses are rapidly changing, and local businesses and marketers are quickly adapting to take advantage of new opportunities to drive business in the door.

Read my full column on Search Engine Land.