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.”