Our flagship event, ILM West, is next week in sunny Los Angeles (weather forecast: in the 70s). We have a bulging attendee sheet, and 47 hand-picked thought leaders on stage. Here’s my personal cheat sheet on some of what’s happening:
Innovation: We’ll leave that up to IdeaLab CEO Bill Gross, our opening keynoter. Gross invented the auction system for buying search advertising, and as head of IdeaLab, the industry’s first incubator, has come up with one winning idea after another. We also hear a lot about innovation that investors are spending on from former TicketMaster CEO Sean Moriarty.
Next Steps for Media and Directory Players: Digital is here and the impact on traditional media has been felt. The question we have: how big a role are the traditional leaders going to play? We’ve picked YP CEO David Krantz, NAA Chairman and Dallas Morning News Publisher James Moroney III and UT San Diego President Mike Hodges to share their insights with us.
Sales Transformation: Arguably, the hardest part of local is reaching local businesses. That’s also where the growth is. We’ll be looking at new directions for sales and services in keynotes from CityGrid Media CEO Jason Finger – his first major appearance in his new role. Finger, the founder of Seamless, is one of the industry’s deep thinkers. We’ll also have deep discussions with ReachLocal Chief Product Officer Kris Barton; LocalEdge CEO Jeff Folckemer, ex Berry exec Kathy Geiger Schwab; and SmugCloud CEO (and former Yell CDO) Mark Canon.
Social’s Impact on Local: Social is grabbing time share from other media. But how is it best leveraged at the local level? It is a surprisingly unanswered question. We’ll get some meat on it in several ways at ILM. There is obviously the keynote from Facebook ‘s Global SMB leader Dan Levy. We’ll also dig deep into driving local consumers in a top session with Universal Studios SVP Doug Neil and Eventful CEO Jordan Glazier New ways to leverage social will be heard in discussions with three top innovators: Hearsay Social VP of Product Mark Gilbert; MoonTide Media CEO Todd Klawin; and Payvment SVP of Marketing (and former MerchantCircle exec) Darren Waddell. We’re expecting to really learn something about social/local at ILM.
Deals (And Loyalty) Act II: New customer acquisition has always gotten the lion’s share of marketing resources. But the rise of big data and card linked programs has pushed loyalty to the fore like never before. Now we have a blend of promotions, including coupons, deals and loyalty. A lot of it merges in the new “offer cloud.” We’ll hear from a number of top players in the space at ILM West, including FiveStars CEO Victor Ho; Closely CEO Perry Evans; ValPak President Michael Vivio; Savings.com CEO Loren Bendele; DataSphere SVP Gary Cowan; Constant Constant/SaveLocal VP David Gilbertson and Second Street Media CEO Matt Coen.
New Directions for Local Search: It isn’t just about keywords anymore. Search has been fully integrated into broader advertising programs, and is also a key driver of mobile and maps revenue. And with the development of Product Listing Ads, it has become a major force in retail. We’ll have a keynote interview with Google Channel Partners GM Todd Rowe; and in depth discussions with retail search leaders, including Wanderful Media CEO (and former MerchantCircle CEO) Ben T Smith IV; Kenshoo Local Director Paul Wicker; and Where2GetIt CEO Manish Patel. And you won’t want to miss some real insights presented by three top search experts “Before the Bell” on day 1: Local SEO Guide’s Andrew Shotland, Search Influence CEO Will Scott, and eLocal Listing CEO Tim Judd.