Category Archives: Conferences

YPG’s Julien Billot at BIA/Kelsey New Orleans: Digital is Key to Revival

In true disruptive technology style, YPG is separating digital sales from print sales to allow the company to grow overall even as print continues to decline, noted YPG CEO Julien Billot, during a keynote at Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing in New Orleans Sept. 22.

Billot noted that YPG has been leaking revenues, with revenues now 3X lower than in 2008. Growth will not come from existing customers, but must come from new customers. “Ninety percent of its customers still have print products. Meanwhile, “50 percent of non-advertisers do not believe YP is a credible digital brand nor feel that their customers use YP platforms,” said Billot.

To turn things around, Billot is plotting three phases of “resetting,” which he says is different from “transformation.” Between now and 2018, there will be a “return to growth” focused on stand alone digital. The final phase will be dedicated to accelerating growth, with a sustainable digital business — one that is focused as much on media as on sales.

“We are much more in the media business today,” he noted. Much of the resetting will be oriented towards new branding to change the way that people think about YP, he added, noting that he will budget Can $25 Million for the next four years to achieve this goal.

Acxiom ‘s Scott Howe, BIA/Kelsey New Orleans: ‘Almost Any Data Can Be Helpful’ for SMBs

“Not all data is created equal, but almost anything can be helpful,” said Acxiom CEO and President Scott Howe, who keynoted at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing in New Orleans Sept. 23. Now they can choose among connection speed, day part, geotarget, behavioral — or ideally, a multi-variable segment. If they can mix and match with a multi-variable, SMBs can see a lift approaching 6950 percent from unenhanced efforts.

“For so long, only thing SMBs could do to monetize was search, direct mail… things that allowed them to go a little granular… but they could not do what big guys did. Now they can,” said Howe. “But multichannel marketing works and should be a priority in your efforts. The best marketers know they need to do everything.”

Howe noted that SMBs are “nervous about this stuff” and often withdraw. But for digital resellers, it should be all about “test and learn, test and learn.”

Marketers can’t do anything, however, unless they get consumers to give permissions. Howe is confident that such permissions will be forthcoming. “Consumers want to have a voice,” said Howe.

40th Speaker Added for SMB Digital Marketing, Sept. 22-24, New Orleans

The lineup for our SMB Digital Marketing event in rockin’ New Orleans has got to be considered one of our strongest ever.

We’ve just confirmed our 40th hand picked speakers for the event, which takes place Sept. 22-24 in New Orleans.

In addition to SMB leaders who have previously announced (i.e. from Google, Facebook, Sprint, YP, Yelp, ReachLocal, Acxiom, Groupon, NOLA Media Group, Mercury Payments and more), we have now confirmed a great set of additional SMB leaders — each driving the local SMB space in new ways. These include:

Mike Deluca, SVP, Hearst; CEO, Local Edge
Del Humenik, COO, Dex Media
Stu Wall, CEO, SignPost
Jon Wuebben, CEO, Content News
Amanda MacNaughton, CMO, PromoJam (Orange Soda)
Mike Lazarro, Head of Planning , Perka/First Data
Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association
Tom Kenney, President, Verve Mobile

Each of the speakers has been hand-picked by the BIA/Kelsey analyst team. Check out the full agenda here.

Will we see you in New Orleans? You may register here.

Coming to New Orleans? More Top Speakers Announced for SMB Digital Marketing, Sept. 22-24

We keep adding and adding to the lineup for our SMB Digital Marketing event, which takes place Sept. 22-24 in Rockin’ New Orleans (yes, we are trying to top last year’s super event in Austin). We’re boasting 32 industry leaders for the event now, and expect to end at 40+. Among our new adds are:

• Julien Billot, CEO, YPG
• James Croom, General Manager, Google My Business, Google
• Peter Curzon, Business Development, Yelp
• Tim Williamson, CEO, The Idea Village
• Neal Polachek, Board Advisor, Buzzboard
• Matt Graves, CDO, Infogroup
• Faith Murphy, Director, Channel Management,Yahoo

These leaders add to an already steller lineup featuring Acxiom CEO Scott Howe; ReachLocal CEO Sharon Rowlands; Groupon’s VP of Local Dan Roarty; Facebook’s Joseph Devoy; Sprint’s SMB GM Karen Noel; Booker CEO Josh McCarter; and Kevin Ryan, author, Taking Down Goliath.

Let’s highlight a few more of our sessions:

• A powerhouse newspaper SMB panel featuring NOLA Media Group Publisher Ricky Matthews; The Houston Chronicle’s CRO Warren Kay; and Morris Communications’ Steve Gray
• A great local search session with Search Influence CEO Will Scott and Matchcraft SVP Brad Petersen
• A deep look at SMB loyalty programs with Perka cofounder Rob Bethge and Mercury Payments SVP Randy Clark.

Check out the full agenda here. Each of the speakers has been hand-picked by the BIA/Kelsey analyst team. Will we see you in New Orleans? You may register here.

Just Out: Hot Agenda for LIL: SMB Digital Marketing (September 22-24, New Orleans)

On the heels of last year’s Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing show in Austin, we’ve just announced our agenda for this year’s big event in “The Big Easy”: New Orleans.

Our initial slate of Keynotes include:

Acxiom CEO Scott Howe
ReachLocal CEO Sharon Rowlands
Google’s SMB Revenue director Steve Espinosa
Facebook’s Leader of SMB/Product Insights Joe Devoy

Additional Featured Speakers:

Sprint’s Karen Noel, GM, Small Business
Groupon’s Dan Roarty, VP of Product Marketing

Also at the event: Search marketing leader Kevin Ryan. Ryan will be debuting his new business best seller, “Taking Down Goliath: The Digital Marketing Strategy Guide for beating competitors with 100 times your spending power.”

More great speakers (We’ll end up with 40 or more):

Yelp’s Darnell Holloway, Sr. Manager, Local Business Outreach
NOLA Media Group’s Ricky Mathews, President
Morris Communications’ Steve Gray, Director of Strategy and Innovation
The Houston Chronicle’s Warren Kay, CRO
ForwardLine’s Craig Coleman, CEO
Search Influence‘s Will Scott, CEO
BizHive’s Kim Feil, CEO
Wanderful Media‘s Doug Kilponen, COO
Perka’s Rob Bethage, Co-Founder and VP
Booker’s Josh McCarter, CEO
Agendize’s Alf Poor, President

Will we see you down in New Orleans? Check out the full agenda here. Also, we’ve extended our early sign up discount through July 4. Please register here.

Facebook’s Ted Zagat at Street Fight: 6 Key Trends in Local

Facebook has made huge strides in local the last couple of years, driving significant geotargeted mobile revenue and integrating efforts with hundreds of thousands of SMBs. Speaking at Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco today, Local Product Marketing Manager Ted Zagat said the company is building its local efforts base on six key trends.

The first is personalized marketing, which provides for targeted campaigns that are 91 percent accurate. The second trend is mobile, which accounts for 59 percent of Facebook revenue – up from zero just two years ago.

“Everything at Facebook is mobile first, with mobile engineers integrated in every product team so we can think consistently across every platform,” said Zagat. Twenty two percent of all mobile time spent is spent on Facebook and its sister company, Instagram,” he noted. “That’s bigger than all the others combined. It is mind boggling how fast it is happening and the broader implications for every business.”

The third trend is to follow local best practices, including use of analytics. Major advertisers have done very well with Facebook by posting rich photo posts, which provide an 8x median return on ad spend. Small local advertisers should “try to do exactly the same thing,” said Zagat. They need to move from physical engagement to reach,” he said, noting that the counter intuitive wisdom that clicks don’t matter; actions do.

“There is zero correlation between online clicks and ROI,” said Zagat, citing a Datalogix study showing that 89 percent of people who saw a Facebook ad and then bought aproduct in the store did not click on the ad. The fourth trend is Reputation, which to a small store, represents brand awareness. It is really important but progress still needs to be made in this area. “We haven’t figured this out,” said Zagat.

Trend 5 is to engage in light weight communication, such as mobile messaging. The U.S. is limited in its adoption of light weight services such as What’s App due to legacy pricing practices of the mobile carriers. But countries such as Spain and Brazil are showing the way. “Businesses frequently communicate with their customers via mobile messaging,” he said Trend 6 is location based marketing, which Facebook is leveraging via its “Nearby Friends” feature.

YP’s David Lebow at BIA/Kelsey: No More National Local Wall

The wall between national and local marketing is falling with tech-empowered consumers able to find their information wherever they want it, noted YP EVP David Lebow during a keynote at Leading in Local: The National Impact in Atlanta. “Traditional media companies are the only ones keeping up that wall.”

YP is very much a company in transition, like Gannett, Hearst and others, noted Lebow, a longtime media and online leader with recent stints at AOL and Internet Broadcasting. Like the others, YP’s real and clichéd task is “to grow the growing side of the business in excess of the declining side of the business. It never changes.”

“The question is: how can we be the Google of local search?” asks Lebow. “In order to do that, we need to innovate at the pace of the market.”

There is no question that YP should be pursuing local search. “We don’t want to be in directory. One is a $2.7 billion segment growing at 3 percent, while the other is a $29.8 billion segment growing at 7 percent,” said Lebow. But it is critical to attack the market in a broad way. YP shouldn’t be a content play within a vertical, like a Zillow or a WebMD, he said.

A core focus of the local search effort needs to be in SMB presence management. “Businesses really need to be found,” Lebow said. And that’s where the convergence of national local comes in. “The SMB says it needs leads and loyalty. National says it needs measurement, analytics and reporting. The needs of national and local businesses are coming into one.”