Posts Tagged ‘conference’

LSA|14 Speaker Spotlight: Gian Fulgoni, comScore Co-Founder and Chairman

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gian Fulgoni, chairman and co-founder, comScore.

Today’s Speaker Spotlight features Gian Fulgoni, co-founder and chairman of comScore.  Gian will be a keynote speaker for the 2014 Local Search Association Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, and we are really looking forward to his session.

Gian brings a wealth of insights from comScore’s massive research database and will provide some local data points that we can all learn from. After all, research can provide the edge that helps marketers avoid trends and follow ROI.

We got a chance to ask Gian a few questions about his upcoming session for LSA|14 and here is what he had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
I’ll be reviewing consumers’ path to purchase and how it’s being impacted by both digital and legacy marketing. Of particular importance is the role of mobile devices.

What about your session are you most excited about?
I’m fascinated by marketing insights that are gleaned from data and sharing that learning.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
While digital is changing marketing in fundamental ways, it’s important that we also understand “the truths that transcend change.” It’s all too easy to forget the lessons of the past in today’s rapidly-changing digital world and in my session I want to serve as a transition agent who bridges the digital and legacy worlds. You might call me “the keeper of the flame.”

For more on this year’s local advertising event of the year, visit

LSA, hibu at Massachusetts Municipal Association and Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns Conferences

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Promoting our industry among policymakers in 2014 started with two conferences in New England in January.  With participation by hibü at both, we had an exhibit booth at the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) conference in Boston, MA.  A week later, we were at the Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns’ in Warwick, RI.  When we share details of, our environmental record, and how we boost local economies, we make important gains with local lawmakers whom otherwise may support bills restricting our industry.  In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island – both states where our industry has faced legislative hurdles – we were pleased to be greeted warmly and feel that we made a good impact with local leaders.

LSA Public Policy Manager Gene Wilk and hibü Environmental Relations Manager Matt Krug at the Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns conference.

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.

Illinois Municipal League Conference in Chicago with Dex Media, hibu

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Paul Kiefer of Dex Media, Matt Krug of hibu and I have been at the Illinois Municipal League conference in Chicago speaking with aldermen, trustees, mayors and other city officials about Yellow Pages and the the industry’s consumer choice program: We estimate we have interacted in varying degrees with approximately 500 city officials from across the state including many suburbs of Chicago.

It was a very lively conference with significant interest and traffic in the exhibit area. The industry and our opt-out site received very positive responses from almost everyone we talked to and many expressed an interest in promoting the site. We also heard repeatedly from most people that they do continue to utilize the print directory, but appreciate the opt-out option for their constituents.

This conference was extremely productive and should help our efforts to stay ahead of any attempts to legislate phone book delivery in the state of Illinois. A big thanks to all of our participating publishers that help sustain these efforts.

At the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities with YP, hibu

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In downtown Hartford at the six-story Connecticut Convention Center, LSA took another great opportunity to reach out to local officials to let them know about our industry’s importance to local business and our commitment to consumer choice.

At the 31st annual convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), our exhibit booth was staffed by Matt Krug of hibu and Charlotte Shepherd of YP as well as LSA’s Gene Wilk and myself.  The day-long event featured many notable speakers including Governor Dan Molloy.  In addition to the great speakers, many city councilmembers and other municipal employees made their way through the large exhibit hall where we had several productive one-on-one conversations with local leaders.

L-R: Matt Krug (hibu), Gene Wilk (LSA), Charlotte Shepherd (YP) and Wesley Young (LSA).

LSA at the International City/County Management Association Conference with hibu, Dex Media

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

For the second year in a row, LSA attended the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) conference and it was well worth the return trip.  Composed of city and county managers, ICMA is made up of a key group of local leaders and decision makers.  They have the ears of city councils and county commissions throughout the country, so building a relationship with them is a great investment of our time.

Holding their 99th annual conference at the Hynes Convention Center in the heart of Boston, hundreds came through the large exhibition hall where LSA promoted our industry’s consumer choice program as well as our importance to local businesses.  Most of the attendees were from the United States but we met several from Canada as well as a few from other countries such as Denmark and New Zealand.

At our booth this year was Matt Krug of hibu, Sarah R. Wilson of Dex Media and myself.  We spoke to many of the attendees and they were very receptive of all that our industry has to offer.

Matt Krug (hibu), Sarah Wilson (Dex Media), Gene Wilk (LSA)

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.

See you at the First Ever SoMoConf!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Over the next few days, local media leaders will be arriving in Chicago for our first ever Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! conference.  In partnership with Borrell Associates and the Local Media Association, we have assembled some great speakers from the leaders in social and mobile like Facebook, YP, xAd, Google, comScore and many more.  We’re definitely looking forward to learning, sharing and networking in the windy city!

Many have made the decision to join us for what is going to be a great conference focused on monetizing the many tools found in the social and mobile space.  We are looking forward to seeing the latest best practices, research, analysis, case studies, strategies and trends that are helping companies make more money with these tools.

If you’re charged with growing social and/or mobile revenues at your local media organization, then you don’t want to miss this conference.  We’ll be live blogging throughout the conference here at Local Search Insider and live tweeting via @LocalSearchAssn using hashtag #SoMoConf. Be sure to follow us and join in on the conversation. See you in Chicago!

LSA at the California Resource Recovery Association Conference

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Local Search Association’s Manager of Public Policy Gene Wilk, hibu’s Matt Krug, Dex Media’s Danna Bissing and YP’s Jim Troup have been exhibiting at the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) Conference (see picture below) this week.  They are there to discuss industry initiatives supporting sustainability and consumer choice related to Yellow Pages phone directories.  

There has been at least one inquiry, and probably others who wonder and haven’t spoken up, about our role in the litigation involving San Francisco and Yellow Pages delivery.  These conferences offer both the opportunity to share and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to consumer choice as we promote our opt-out site and support its operation with our own resources.  As we seek partners and local officials to help us get the word out about the opt-out site, we prove that the industry is genuine in following through with the substance of our messaging.

We will continue this effort at a number of conferences for local government officials including the League of California Cities Annual Conference in September, and at the National League of Cities Conference in Seattle in November.

hibu’s Matt Krug, Dex Media’s Danna Bissing, YP’s Jim Troup and LSA’s Gene Wilk

LSA’s Gene Wilk with Ferris Kawar, Recycling Specialist for the City of Burbank.


Find Out What a Text Message is Worth at SoMoConf

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, returns to blog on the Local Search Insider.  He is ranked in the top 2% among Gerson Lehrman Group’s 150,000 consultants worldwide and is quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Ad Age, Forbes and other publications. He has appeared on CNN and other TV and radio programs discussing trends and forecasts for local media.

Dick Larkin has discovered a magical number for text messaging, and it is $5.71.

Larkin started in 2011 with a simple plan to sell text-messaging to SMBs.  Two years later, CloseBy Text Marketing has raked in $4 million and given his yellow pages company invaluable information on how to make mobile work for smaller businesses.  Eventually, he discovered the magical $5.71.  More on that in a minute.

Larkin is executive vice president of sales for American Marketing & Publishing, which publishes 513 community directories branded as HomePages, mostly in the Midwest.  He’s one of the most knowledgeable sales professionals when it comes to SMBs. He’s one of about two dozen speakers who will evaporate the hype and describe what works at the ground level – and what doesn’t – during the Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! conference Aug. 21-22 in Chicago.  (I’ll be attending this conference, one of the better ones I’ve seen this year on the social and mobile opportunity. Check out the agenda.)

Back to Dick Larkin.  He said the $4 million came as the result of a “hard stance” to actually sell a low-price/high-interest program to SMBs instead of making it value-added in a print contract.  The determination to put a price on text messaging may seem perfectly logical, but the brain of a typical print or broadcast sales manager doesn’t usually work that way.  The manager is more apt to either ignore the product (“it’s too cheap for my reps to bother with”) or would throw it in as value-added to make the print contract more attractive.  Instead, the directory reps sold it for $995.  An easy add-on.

Larkin said AMP began learning “an enormous amount … on what messages work.”   There’s a price point (below $20) that “will have vastly better return” for the SMB.  And they found that there’s a very small window of opportunity with recipients:  within 30 minutes of when you want them to purchase something.

“Text is very, very transactionally driven,” Larkin said.  “The easier it is to make a small purchase, within a short time frame of when you want the customer to take action, the better.  The text message is going to be read within 3 minutes of sending, so the content better pack a punch.”

So now for that magical number.  What AMP discovered after sending 20 million messages was that, on average, SMBs participating in the program make $5.71 in sales from each subscriber per text message sent.   In other words, a merchant with 100 subscribers will generate $571 on average every time they send a broadcast text message.

I don’t think I need to write anymore, and I do think Larkin’s session will be very well attended indeed.