Posts Tagged ‘CityGrid’

Experts Predict Success When Taking Verticalized Approach to ‘Local’

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New, useful ways of locating local business information are popping up on a regular basis, making the local search and advertising space a much more competitive environment.  Specialized tools like OpenTable for making restaurant reservations and ZocDoc for scheduling doctor appointments are examples of some of these new ways consumers are finding and connecting with local businesses. Some experts predict that the publishers and advertisers who take a more verticalized approach to local markets will find more success than those who take a broad based approach.

During the 2013 Search Starts Here Conference, industry analysts, leaders and influencers discussed the importance of catering to verticals as opposed to trying to take on everything “local.”  Here is what they had to say:

‘Searching Beyond the Engines’ with Kenshoo Local

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Please join LSA and Kenshoo Local for an exclusive webinar presentation next Thursday, May 23 from 2 pm – 3 pm EST.

While a large portion of traffic still comes from search engines, today’s technology landscape has seen many other viable sources of traffic emerge. Mobile applications, online directories, and regional websites offer opportunity for not only organic traffic, but also paid advertising. During this webinar, learn how local businesses are taking advantage of both sides of this market to maximize exposure to customers. See and hear how CityGrid and Kenshoo Local have partnered to offer a scalable, cost effective local marketing solution that fits side-by-side with paid search efforts.

Kenshoo Local is a digital marketing software solution designed specifically for organizations managing high volumes of locations, stores, small businesses, dealers, franchises, or other entities. From onboarding and development to optimization and reporting, Kenshoo Local makes it easy to mass-manage hundreds or thousands of search engine marketing campaigns and local listings at scale. Multi-presence advertisers, SMB marketing providers, technology platforms, agencies, and publishers use Kenshoo Local to automate their programs and improve performance. Kenshoo Local is an operating unit of Kenshoo, a global leader in premium digital marketing technology directing more than $25 billion in annual sales revenue for clients such as Deluxe, Geary LSF, Havas Media, Haystak Digital Marketing, OMD, Performics, Possible, Resolution Media, Sears, SIM Partners, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Walgreens, and Xcite Media Group.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!


‘Search Starts Here’: Backstage Interview with CityGrid CEO Jason Finger

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

CityGrid CEO Jason Finger spoke with us backstage about his views on the future of local, the importance of verticals, how to successfully compete against Google and Facebook, and more.

Click here to read our post on Jason’s fireside chat with Neg and Greg.

‘Search Starts Here’: CityGrid Fireside Chat with Neg and Greg Sterling

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jason Finger, CEO of CityGrid, sat down for a fireside chat with Neg Norton and Greg Sterling to talk about how the company is succeeding in the competitive local market.

Greg started the session by asking Jason about a comment he made backstage – that local doesn’t really mean anything.  Jason explained that the term “local” is extremely broad.

“Generally speaking, when people are attacking the local space, they are doing it broadly.  The world is moving more toward specialization.”

Jason said that CityGrid’s strategy is to focus on key verticals.

“One of the challenges we’ve faced is we tried to be all things to all people … Trying to orient our business … so when people go to Citysearch, the page people see is agnostic across verticals … We want to be comprehensive and focused in a handful of verticals”

Jason pointed to Seamless, OpenTable, and ZocDoc as destinations that own their categories by staying focused in their core vertical.

“UrbanSpoon has an offering that is competitive with OpenTable.  We know first hand of the challenge of competing with a business where the brand signifies the entire category.”

CityGrid’s strategy isn’t to look just at industry verticals, but group together clients by what they need.

“Instead of looking only a restaurants or doctors, we’re looking at categories where there are similarities or commonalities across categories.”  Examples might be where people want clicks or others want phone calls.

Looking to the future, Jason believes the field is wide open.

“I think that local is a hot sector right now.  No one has really cracked the code on local.”

CityGrid announced today a new partnership with Kenshoo.

Borrell: Local Search Companies Lead Rankings for Top ‘Traditional to Digital’ Transformations

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Borrell Associates

Earlier today, Borrell Associates released the findings of its new “Local Online Media: 2012 Revenue Survey.” The survey analyzed 6,284 local online operations in the U.S. and Canada and online ad-spending forecasts in 513 U.S. digital marketing regions (DMRs). Borrell found that traditional local media companies are rapidly making the jump to digital and are seeing a growing share of their revenue come from digital ventures, with local search organizations heading the pack.

Digital ‘Morph’ Rates

Local search companies are leading traditional local media organizations in growing their shares of total gross revenues from digital sales. Yellow Media, YP, hibu, Dex One, and SuperMedia represent five of the top ten traditional media companies with the greatest shares of digital to total revenue.

Borrell Associates

Borrell notes that if current trends continue, digital ventures could contribute half of company profits to these traditional media companies within the next five years.

Changing Behaviors

The study found that consumers are increasingly willing to pay for online content, including directory information. We’ve seen the pay model adopted recently by newspaper websites (notably the New York Times and the Washington Post), but Borrell found that online directories like Angie’s List are experiencing success with charging customers to access listings and reviews as well.

Angie’s List saw a 66% increase in paid subscriptions for 2012, with 250,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone.

Local Search Ranks High, But Challenges Remain

Borrell also ranked the top local online marketing companies in terms of 2012 revenue. Local search companies dominated the list of top performers with YP, Yellow Media, CityGrid Media, Dex One, Hibu and SuperMedia all placing in the top 20.

But traditional media local search companies still face obstacles to overall growth.  While Yellow Pages directory companies are growing at a strong rate in digital, as a whole, many are growing at a slower rate than industry average given the decline in print revenues.

The biggest opportunity the report found for future local online ad revenue was in the loyalty space. Borrell found that while local businesses are ramping up promotions focused on attracting new customers and driving traffic, they aren’t doing much to retain those customers for the long-term. Borrell suggests local marketing companies help businesses create tailored programs to keep customers coming back.

The Borrell report offers a vast array of fascinating insights on the local advertising industry and how traditional media is adapting to changing consumer behaviors. To access the full survey, visit Borrell’s website.

LSA Annual Conference Welcomes Influential Speakers from Google, Groupon, YP and more

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The speakers and panelists coming to our 2013 “Search Starts Here” Conference in Las Vegas include experts, veterans and thought leaders from all areas of the local search space. The biggest names in digital, mobile, social and print media will discuss many strategic and tactical topics that are driving the local search industry forward.

In addition to the great keynote speakers from Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes Groupe), Facebook and CityGrid, here are some more exciting subjects and speakers you can’t afford to miss:

SMB State of the Union
Greg Sterling (Opus Research)
Neal Polachek (Industry Observer)

Making Transformation Happen
Paul Plant (Radicle Consulting)

What’s Working in Mobile
Tim Garcia (Moasis)
Dan Hight (xAd)
Tae Kim (Google)
Michael Rubin (YP)

State of the Industry
Bill Dinan (Telmetrics)
Neg Norton (Local Search Association)

Print Directories in a Multi-Platform World
Matt Centofanti (YP)
Eric Webb (Marquette Group)
Dave Wolf (Linkmedia 360)
Emil Morales (TNS)

Sales Differentiation in a HYPER Competitive Selling Environment
Bob Sanders (AXIOM)

Building the “Local Commerce Operating System”
Ethan Anderson (MyTime)
Dave Gilbertson (Constant Contact)
Sean Harper (Groupon)
Bob  Gregerson (hibu)

Finally, as announced earlier, we also have some great workshops and breakout sessions with Yelp, Yext, edō, Supermedia and many more.

To learn more about all of our impressive speakers, visit our Speakers Page and don’t forget to check out the agenda for all the great content planned for the conference.  Register today and we will see you in Vegas!

CityGrid CEO Jason Finger to Speak at LSA Annual Conference

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We are pleased to announce our third and final keynote speaker for the “Search Starts Here” conference: Jason Finger, CEO of CityGrid.

During our fireside chat with Jason, he will discuss the current environment and future of “local” including merchant product offers and the investment landscape.  In addition, he will give a glimpse of what’s to come for CityGrid’s properties such as Citysearch, Urbanspoon and Insider Pages.

CityGrid is one of the largest content and advertising networks for local and small businesses.  Jason oversees the entire ad network in addition to all of CityGrid’s owned and operated websites that include,, and

Prior to CityGrid, he cofounded SeamlessWeb in 1999 and was responsible for growing the company’s presence to 22 cities throughout the U.S. and London.  SeamlessWeb was acquired by Aramark in 2006 at which time Jason was responsible for setting and executing corporate strategy for 260,000 employees in 19 countries.

In addition to his success at CityGrid and SeamlessWeb, Jason has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year by the Corporate Executive Council of New York, and to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list of leading young executives.

Don’t miss out on this great discussion with Jason. Register for our conference today!

Day 2 at the BIA/Kelsey ILM Conference

Thursday, December 6, 2012

After a “musical” networking event Tuesday night that kept everyone entertained, Day 2 of the BIA/Kelsey ILM Conference kicked off yesterday with several strong presentations, including an interview with Google’s Todd Rowe and a keynote by CityGrid’s Jason Finger.

My favorite panel, “Search for It! Local Online Retail Innovation,” featured a great group including comScore’s Matt Archer, Where2GetIt’s Manish Patel and Kenshoo Local’s Paul Wicker. In just a half hour, the group discussed key insights into this year’s holiday shopping figures and product listing ads (PLAs).

To provide some context on where things stand in the online shopping space these days, here are some quick facts:

  • The 2012 shopping season is off to a great start, up online sales up nearly 17% year-over-year.
  • PCs still leading the way for online shopping, according to Archer.
  • Cyber Monday sales have leapfrogged from $484 million in 2005 to $1.4 billion this year!
  • Research shows that sales via mobile and tablets are gaining quickly, with tablets dominating the evening hours, as shoppers use them from the couch or in bed while watching TV.
  • Mobile apps dominate access for most of the leading pure-play online retailers, with Amazon and eBay topping the list.

Wicker, who in a past life worked as a YP sales rep, described how his time in the job led him to love working with SMBs. He said he wants to help SMBs better understand the value of PLAs. Wicker talked about how Kenshoo Local has developed an algorithm to help SMBs increase the impact of their PLAs, noting that beta tests so far have showed positive metrics in terms of cost per call and ad effectiveness.

Patel said the solution for SMB advertisers is to embrace the online ecosystem by claiming their locations and verifying the consistency and accuracy of their data. He said no matter the size of one’s local business or number of locations, each one should have its own website to ensure accurate local content and optimized search results.

The panel closed with an interesting discussion of the ways to attract service companies to employ their own version of PLAs – or in this case SLAs: service listing ads. While all agreed that strong e-commerce capabilities are a requirement, the group felt that SMBs have a long way to go in that area.

The panel did a great job of leaving the audience wanting more, and several folks lined up to chat with the panelists at the session’s conclusion.

Are You Registered for ILM West?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


It’s time to register for Interactive Local Media West, the BIA/Kelsey event at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, December 4-6.  As always the meeting features a strong agenda and decision makers from around the country will be attending.  Local Search Association members get a special rate!

The initial line-up of ILM West speakers includes:

Jason Finger, CEO, CityGrid Media
Dave Galvan
, CEO, The Learning Annex
Jordan Glazier, CEO, Eventful
Victor Ho, CEO, Five Stars
Mike Hodges, President and COO, U-T San Diego
David Krantz, CEO, YP
Scott Moore, CDO, hibu
Doug Neil, SVP, Digital, NBC-Universal

Click here to find out what attendees say about recent BIA/Kelsey meetings.

I’ll be there blogging about the speakers and panels, and networking with influencers in the search community.  So register now!  Hope to see you there!

Blogging Live from BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media Conference

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It’s exciting to be in beautiful San Francisco today for BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media meeting.  A number of great speakers will be here during the all-day event. Some of the big names that caught my attention include:

  • Google Mobile leads Surojit Chatterjee, Head of Mobile Search Ads Products, and Brendon Kraham, Global Mobile Sales Product Strategy
  • Mike Ghaffary, Director of Business Development, Yelp
  • Mok Oh, Chief Scientist, Paypal
  • Chris Folmar, Director of Mobile Development, SuperMedia
  • Mihir Shah, VP, Mobile, Groupon
  • David Kurtz, VP, Publisher Network, YP
  • Anna Martinez, VP of Technology, CityGrid
  • Heidi Browning, Senior VP of Strategic Solutions, Pandora

I’ll be blogging throughout the day and I’m looking forward to talking with the attendees.  More to come as the day progresses!