Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

LSA Member Innovation in Local: NinthDecimal

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today we hear from NinthDecimal (formerly JiWire).  NinthDecimal is a mobile audience intelligence platform building a comprehensive understanding of people by connecting their digital and physical lives. Ninth Decimal’s precision, scale, and advanced data science enables the most accurate understanding of audiences, providing clients with actionable insights and massive campaign reach that drive meaningful business results. The company brings mobile audiences to market through audience targeting, campaign measurement, insights and analytics – which drive continuous growth.

We caught up with Andrew Katz, national sales manager at NinthDecimal, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does NinthDecimal solve? How?
We connect local businesses with their target audience to drive brand awareness, foot traffic to their stores, and sales. This is accomplished through our mobile audience intelligence platform, Location Graph™. Location Graph allows us to deliver the right ad to the right consumer in the right “marketable moment,” motivating them to take action – from visiting a store to making a purchase – that increases brand awareness and revenue. Through the precision of our approach, we give local businesses the highest return on their marketing campaigns.

What makes NinthDecimal innovative?
NinthDecimal not only allows companies to connect with customers in ways not possible before, but it is also changes the way advertisers identify target audiences and connect with consumers. Our audience intelligence is based on data that matters – from offline purchase data, to devices used, to location and CRM data – allowing us to truly understand the consumer, predict their future behavior, and thus deliver target audiences that yield powerful results from marketing campaigns.

How does NinthDecimal make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
NinthDecimal’s audience intelligence platform is designed around the individual, allowing advertisers to engage with their target audiences on a true one to one level at scale across a billion devices. For consumers, instead of being served irrelevant ads, they are viewing highly personalized ads that are most relevant to their individual lives.

What is next in local?
We believe what’s next in local is bridging the gap between big data and SMBs. At NinthDecimal, we leverage big data to attain the most comprehensive understanding of consumers, helping local businesses connect with their target audiences on a deeper level than ever before. Because of the precision, accuracy, and scale of our data, we are able to help local small businesses engage with only the most relevant customers, and with meaningful messaging that induces an emotional connection – thus maximizing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

For more information check out the case study below, visit or contact Andrew at

Ninth Decimal & Microsoft Audience-Targeted Mobile Ad Campaign Case Study from Local Search Association

LSA|14: Reducing Complexity for Digital Ads With A Balance of Control and Automation

Monday, April 28, 2014

The “mobile is local” theme continued in this morning’s session with Ginny Sandu, senior product manager, mobile and local advertising for Bing Ads.

Sandu outlined Bing’s strategy as three fold:

  • Eliminate complexity for small businesses: Helping businesses transition from print to digital that removes complexity.
  • Enable local task completion: For most local businesses this means driving calls and walk-ins.
  • Measuring local ROI for SMBs: Providing tools for the SMB to measure the success of their programs.

“We could make things, easier, simpler, and cheaper for small businesses, however when the rubber meets the road, you want to make sure your advertisers are getting the ROI they are looking for,” said Sandu.

Recognizing that complexity is one of the biggest barriers to local businesses achieving ROI from a mobile ad spend, Bing has developed a new product called Bing Ads Express, which is currently in beta.

The Bing Ads Express concept employs a light, simple signup approach, with a pay-per-click model and no keywords to chose.  Despite the simplified approach, business can still target where they want their listing to show, the radius in which the business should appear in ads for users, what the budget should be, and the number of clicks a business can expect to receive.

This product is particularly appealing to partners who have clients with relatively small digital spends.

“If you have a client with a digital spend of a $150, you don’t want to spend four to five hours for them on it every week.  A lot of our partners expressed interest in something where the complexity is reduced.”

Sandu said that the key lesson for Bing has been striking the right balance between control and automation, and that they are taking lessons learned from Bing Ads Express to apply to the entire Bing Ads platform.

“People want automation but they want some bells and whistles that allow them to maintain control.”

LSA|14: LSA Adds Leadership and Insights to Better Serve Local Advertising Members

Monday, April 28, 2014

In his remarks earlier this morning, LSA President Neg Norton announced the addition of Ben Wood of Google, Andrea Cancro of Starcom MediaVest Group, and Katy Hunter of Microsoft to our board of directors.

Ben, Andrea and Katy represent the growing diversity of companies participating in the local advertising market, including listing management companies, digital agencies, mobile and social media companies, video service providers and web design and hosting firms. With their vast expertise and experience in local, these individuals will work closely with our existing LSA board to help deliver greater value and benefits to our more than 300 members around the world.

Here are their impressive bios:

  • Ben Wood, Director of Channel Sales Americas, Google. Ben runs the team responsible for selling Google AdWords, display, video and mobile products to small- and medium-sized businesses through partners in the Americas region. He has spent the last 16 years working in the local and national advertising industry and has wide ranging experience in print, digital and events sales and marketing.
  • Andrea Cancro, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Starcom MediaVest Group. Andrea is a seasoned communications veteran with experience in a myriad of categories, though finding her greatest passion in local and in retail. She is focused on performance marketing, and in leading SMG’s Local Spectrum and Halogen brands. During her tenure at SMG, she has led notable brands including Coca-Cola, Walmart, and Comcast.
  • Katy Hunter, Senior Director of Partner & Channel Marketing, Microsoft. Katy leads global marketing for Bing Ads. She is a 25-year Microsoft marketing veteran with broad leadership experiences, spanning from product planning to field execution. She is focused on delivering marketing solutions to small and medium sized businesses.

Additionally, Neg announced the debut of the LSA Metrics that Matter Database, a new platform that provides insights on real campaign results across local media platforms to offer a comprehensive view of local media performance.

The database is an easy-to-use, self-service tool that provides cross-media performance data that helps users navigate the local advertising market. The database will initially offer insights and reporting at the campaign and category level for mobile display, mobile search and print Yellow Pages advertising. Later phases will feature search, Internet Yellow Pages and other local media advertising results.

LSA members that contribute their own local media performance data for anonymous incorporation into the system will be granted access to the database. The database’s performance data and ROI calculator will be useful to local media providers by helping to improve their decisions on products, performance and growth opportunities. Additionally, advertising agencies will benefit from use of the data to engage new and existing clients, optimize client programs and evolve their offerings.

For more information on the Database, contact Jason Peaslee at If you’re here at our conference, you can demo the database with Jason in the Exhibition area.

You can read our press release announcing our board expansion and Metrics that Matter Database here.

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Defining Local: Last Mile Advertising

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

After interviewing executives from a range of advertising agencies, platforms and experts including R/GA, Sears, Twitter, Microsoft, YP, Groupon, Mashable and the IAB , we found that there is still a lot of confusion around what “local” actually means.  Overall, the feeling is that the local space isn’t clearly distinguishable from advertising as a whole, but there is a strong conviction that it could and should be.

This is where we believe “Last Mile” can bring some clarity.  In my blog post on Street Fight, I define the Last Mile Advertising space and explain the three pillars that make up this space: Seek, Discover and Consider.

Check out my full article at Street Fight.

Yell Appoints Scott Moore as First Chief Digital Officer

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back in May, Yell CEO Michael Pocock made news when he said, “digital will be approximately three quarters of our business by 2015, versus 25% as it is today.” Now Yell is further illustrating its commitment to building its digital business with the announcement today of Scott Moore, a former Microsoft executive, as the company’s first chief digital officer.

According to Yell’s press release, Scott will lead the creation and development of the U.K.-based company’s new generation of products and services that will enable small and medium-sized enterprise customers and their consumers to capitalize on the digital opportunity. His appointment demonstrates Yell’s strategy that will see the company transform its current print and online advertising business to become a leader in the emerging local eMarketplace, which will comprise of an innovative platform and digital portal where consumers and local businesses can connect and transact.

Scott, who will report directly to Pocock, will be based at a new Yell office to be opened in Seattle that will act as “a central hub to coordinate Yellow’s worldwide digital development activities.”

Scott comes from MSN where, as partner and executive producer, he was responsible for transforming Microsoft’s online consumer service and driving adoption of Bing, its search engine. Previously, he was senior vice president and head of media at Yahoo!, and has held senior roles at Microsoft businesses including, Expedia Travel, and

We congratulate Scott on his appointment and look forward to seeing the results of his work.

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In a move that is rocking the mobile industry, Google announced this week that it will purchase Motorola Mobility. If approved by regulators, the move will turn Google, which develops the popular Android software now used by 2 in 5 smartphone users, into “a full-fledged cellphone manufacturer, in direct competition with Apple,” according to the New York Times.

In a post on Google’s Official Blog, CEO Larry Page said that the acquisition will not change Google’s commitment to running Android as an open platform, which is currently used by popular manufacturers including Samsung and HTC. And while many of these manufacturing partners said they supported the deal yesterday, analysts recognize that relations could sour over time as if these companies begin to view Google as more of a competitor than partner.

The deal is raising widespread speculation about the future of mobile. Will manufacturers now shy away from Android and adopt Microsoft’s mobile platform? Are Nokia and Research in Motion (BlackBerry), both struggling manufacturers with a significant number of valuable patents, next in line to be purchased?

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the fallout from the Google-Motorola deal as it relates to our business, which has increasingly leveraged the Android platform in recent years to deliver browsing- and application-based local search offerings on mobile and tablet devices. Whatever changes take place, we’re   sure our members will be quick to adapt their offerings to provide the best local search experience wherever consumers are looking.

comScore: Smartphone Subscribers Up 8%; 2 in 5 Now Use Google Android

Monday, August 8, 2011

Last week, comScore released its quarterly mobile trends report, and the findings revealed some interesting takeaways related directly to our business.

The number of U.S. smartphone subscribers – those most likely to take advantage of our industry’s mobile directories and location-based apps – continues to rise at a rapid pace. Approximately 78.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending June 2011, up 8% from the preceding three month period.

Google Android, the most popular smartphone platform, continues to gain market share. Today, 2 in 5 smartphone subscribers (40.1% share) use Google Android, up 5.4% from the prior reporting period. Apple strengthened its #2 position with 26.6% share of the smartphone market, up 1.1%. RIM (Blackberry) ranked third with 23.4% share, down 3.7%. Microsoft (5.8%) and Symbian (2%) rounded out the top five, both down as well.

On a related note, a new study from Jumptap, a mobile ad network, found that smartphone platform use varies by geography. The study showed that consumers with Apple’s iPhone tend to congregate in the Northwest and Midwest, while Google Android users are more likely to be found in the South and Southwest. BlackBerry is dominant in a handful of states, including New York.

With the smartphone market growing fast – and ongoing shifts taking place in the different mobile platforms consumers are using (and where they are using them) – our industry needs to remain agile, and create and adapt future offerings to take advantage of areas of growth.

As our 2011 State of Local Search study showed, there is an expanding appetite for local content among mobile subscribers, with more than 77 million mobile subscribers now access local content on their mobile devices. The time is now to build offerings that will help local business advertisers reach this significant audience wherever and however they are searching via mobile.

Yell Group Announces Strategic Partnership with Microsoft

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here’s some exciting news that grabbed my attention: this week, the British local search provider Yell Group, which owns Yellowbook here in the U.S., announced that it is forming a new global strategic alliance with Microsoft.

According to the press release, the deal will allow both companies, to “[take] advantage of their complementary strengths and expertise in the delivery of innovative online advertising and business solutions to assist small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) reach and engage consumers.”

Components of the deal include:

  • Microsoft and Yell will capitalize on Microsoft’s various search platforms (including Bing and Yahoo! Search) by joining together to offer compelling search, mobile and local advertising solutions to SMBs. Bloomberg reports that business listing results on will now appear on Bing.
  • Yell will offer its 1.3 million customers across the U.S. (through Yellowbook), the UK, Spain and Latin America with the full suite of Microsoft’s SMB productivity and business software and cloud services, including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics DCRM and emerging SMB-focused communications solutions.
  • Microsoft will help Yell accelerate its new cloud-based services, which will provide Yell’s customers will access to these new digital offerings.

This new Yell-Microsoft partnership is yet another example of how local search companies are coming together to leverage one another’s strengths to deliver even more value for their customers. As we’ve seen, the linking of our industry’s established local sales teams with new technologies and advertising platforms is proving to be a major driving force for future opportunities.

DMS ’10: Microsoft Seeking Local Connections

Thursday, September 16, 2010

U.S. small business advertising will be a $15 billion opportunity by 2013, and Yellow Pages companies will continue to serve as an important channel in connecting local businesses with new offerings, said Randy Wootton, VP of Global Search and Online Marketplace for Microsoft Advertising.

Wootton noted that in the past, local businesses were limited to print Yellow Pages, newspapers, and radio for their advertising needs, and that they were only required to speak with sales reps a few times a year. Today, the local advertising space has quickly become overwhelming for local businesses, who are unable to make sense of the wide variety of opportunities available, everything from video and banner ads, to SEO and website development, and speak to dozens of sales reps to meet their needs.

Ultimately, local businesses need three things: trust, leads, and cost/ease, according to Wootton. He said local businesses are looking to make the advertising process simple again, save time and make money, and feel valuable and back in control of the world around them.

Wootton said the Yellow Pages industry will continue lead the partner pact as the “first-stop” for local business search because they are the trusted advisor that can help local businesses make sense of their advertising options. He called on the industry to take advantage of Microsoft’s advertising offerings, which with its partnership with Yahoo provides a large new audience for local businesses to reach.

DMS ’10: Yahoo’s Lem Lloyd: We Need to Tell the Local Story

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lem Lloyd, VP of North America Channel Sales at Yahoo, said that there is “tremendous interest” from advertisers in developing local marketing opportunities, but that the challenge remains for how the industry can “tell the local story in the right way”.

Lloyd said that Yahoo’s new partnership with Microsoft means the company will be able to provide more opportunities in the marketplace than it had previously and provide a real alternative to Google, which has long dominated the market.

Lloyd talked about how Yellow Pages companies are increasingly offering more digital products to their clients, and that Yahoo wants to work with those partners who think big, are interested in developing meaningful strategic relationships, and are willing to invest in training their sales forces. He also expressed satisfaction that partners are frequently asking to be active participants in Yahoo’s local strategy, whether it’s offering suggestions for how new products are designed or asking to be the first to sell a new offering.

Finally, Lloyd noted that now is not the time to come down on local pricing but to focus on better illustrating why local is important and valuable to advertisers.