We’ve probably looked at local from every side: social, brands/location, data/analytics, mobile, search, marketplaces and community. Through it all, some truisms have developed about local:
1. Facebook should be part of every solution. And Google generally is.
2. Vertical beats horizontal for better search and content
3. Location-specific search drives the most transactions, especially for brands
4. Video has been reborn and is key to SMB search. BIA/Kelsey says that more than 1/4 of SMBs will have video this year
5. Small businesses like one-stop sales solutions
6. Local advertisers are branching out, but many remain loyal to traditional media
I’m looking to catch up with industry trends and the various local communities at two upcoming conferences: Local Search Association’s Local:2020 event in San Diego Feb. 27-March 1, where a strong program of industry leaders will gather at the Loews Resort on Coronado and take a search/directory point of view; and Borrell’s Local Online Advertising Conference at The Grand Hyatt in New York March 4-6, which covers the bases, but from a vantage point coming out of local media sales (you will see hundreds of local media leaders there – it is the industry’s biggest gathering).
Either way, a lot of digital dollars are being pumped into the industry now. Borrell estimates that we’ll see $80.7 Billion from local digital in 2017. Per Borrell’s research, targeted banners make up 60% of the digital revenue; untargeted banners represent 9%; paid search represents 14%; and video represents 4%.
I exchanged some email with Gordon Borrell about what his vision for this year’s summit (full disclosure: Gordon and I put together Borrell in 2002-2005). He’s especially psyched about the major collaboration with Facebook. There’ll be four sessions on working with Facebook — there is bound to be very useful info.
Gordon is also excited about the boom in video. Video is “heading skyward,” he notes. Tremor Video VP Lauren Wiener — IAB’s current chair — is keynoting The top leadership of several mega-verticals will be speaking at the event, too. The gold star list includes Realtor.com CEO Ryan O’Hara, TrueCar CEO (and former AutoTrader head) Chip Perry and Home Advisor President Craig Smith. I always learn a lot about what is really happening from Perry and Smith, and am eager for a look at O’Hara’s report card and vision for Realtor.com, which has really taken off this year under NewsCorp.
I’m looking forward to both events, and frankly, travelling to two great cities and former hometowns: San Diego and New York. (Gordon also has agreed to give a $200 discount for Local Onliner readers: Use code “LO 200”).