Category Archives: Conferences

CardLinx Summit: Facebook Eyes Role in ‘Unlocking Commerce’

Facebook isn’t often thought of in terms of “commerce,“ a la retailers such as Amazon or financial institutions such as American Express, but it makes a strong case for itself as a company that “unlocks” commerce. Speaking at The CardLinx Association’s Mobile conference in San Mateo on Feb. 24, Facebook Head of Payments and Commerce PJ Linarducci joked that his “day job” is “collecting (payments) from two million advertisers a month to help them connect with their audience.” These involve payments in 55 currencies, with 800+ payment methods. One million transactions take place daily.

Is there is a clear link to commerce from Facebook’s base in advertising? Linarducci thinks it is fairly obvious. “Commerce is about information,” he said.

With placement on 95 of the world’s cellphones, and detailed profile and usage information on its users, commerce also extends the company’s broader social mission. “Payments are just a point in social; helping people get what they want,” Linarducci said. He suggested that many marketers might post offers instead of ads, if given the opportunity.

While Facebook does not appear to have moved forward with several tests involving virtual gift cards, prepaid deals and virtual credits, the company is actively exploring all its commerce options. For instance, it is currently highlighting buy buttons attached to ads, and classifieds for groups.

The big picture is to look at Facebook in terms of its access to audiences, its payments infrastructure and as providing world class tools,” said Linarducci. And commerce is happening on the site whether Facebook is directly involved or not. “People hack around the system to make commerce on Facebook — despite us not doing anything to help them,” he said.

Facebook’s PJ Linarducci

BIA/Kelsey National, March 25-27, Dallas: All Star Lineup, Program

The program for BIA/Kelsey National is building quickly, with many great new speakers, as well as a slew of conference “extras.” Taking place March 25-27 in Dallas, BIA/Kelsey National breaks new ground in the local ecosystem, exploring key trends and opportunities in local for national brands. BIA/Kelsey forecasts that national brands will spend $68 billion on local marketing by 2018.

More than 40 speakers are now slated to join the National program which is being co-chaired by Third Act Marketing CEO Gregg Stewart, our longtime go-to expert for national-local advertising . The event also features The GoLocal Awards, honoring the best in national brand marketing targeting local users; a Before the Bell Innovation Tour at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s Treehouse, which is sponsored by Speakeasy; a special edition of Demos and Drinks, showcasing some of the industry coolest technology; a Women Leading in Local session, featuring Happening’s Angela Giovine and Tina Paprone; and special evening events to be announced.

Key speakers just announced include Google’s Brendon Kraham, Director, Mobile Global Sales and Strategy; Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Daniel Eckert, Managing Director, Emerging Tech; YP’s Melissa Burkhardt, VP, Search and Yield; Valpak President Michael Vivio; The Weather Co’s Ryan Davis, VP, Local Platform; TvB’s Steve Lanzano, President and CEO; Mediavest’s Jason Dailey, SVP; Operative’s Lorne Brown, CEO; and longtime industry leaders Robyn Rose and Warren Kay.

These industry leaders join previously announced industry leaders including keynotes from Facebook’s Jon Czaja, Director, Small Business (North America); Geary LSF’s Karen Kovaleski, President and CEO; BizHive’s Dave Walker, Chairman; and Kenshoo’s Aaron Goldman, CMO. Other speakers include Grant Moise, SVP, Niche Markets, The Dallas Morning News; Ethan Selzer, VP, Retail and Regional Advertising, The Washington Post; Rick Hanna, CEO, Mspark; Travis Arthur, VP, ReachLocal; Corey O’Donnell, VP, Brand Management, Yodle; and C. Lee Smith, CEO, Sales Development Strategies (AdMall.)

Brand leaders joining us include El Pollo Loco’s Mark Belanger; Chick Fil-A agency rep Rod Ulrich (Richards Group); U-Haul’s Elnora Cunningham; Brooks Brothers’ Mike Walker; United Van Lines’ Keith Dailey (UniGroup); ServiceMaster’s Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling, VP and CMO; Rooms to Go’s Rob Crigler, VP, Digital Marketing; and All My Sons Moving & Storage’s Ormondo Gomez, CFO.

Tech and Agency leaders on the podium will include Advice Interactive Group’s Bernadette Coleman, CEO; Speakeasy’s Mike Orren, CEO; Where2GetIt’s Manish Patel, CEO; LocalBizNow’s Todd Webber, CEO; Simpli.fi’s Frost Prioleau, CEO; Location3 Media’s Andrew Beckman, CEO; MomentFeed’s Robert Blatt, CEO; Placeable’s Ari Kaufman, CEO; and SOCi’s Afif Khoury, CEO.

Will we see you in Dallas?You may register here.

Mark Your Calendars: BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL, March 25-27, Dallas

It’s here! We have just announced the agenda for BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL. which takes place March 25-27 in Dallas.

The NATIONAL theme is especially important this year. Local technology and services have reached a level where they have fostered major relationships with national brands and retailers. At IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting last year, we noted a poll by Operative that showed that local sales has now become the seventh most important revenue driver for CMOs. Our own BIA/Kelsey research shows that national players will spend more than $68 billion on local marketing by 2018.

We know this: Brands want to be part of this. Retailers want to be part of this. Franchisees want to be part of this. And so does local’s growing community of digital channel players and vendors. All of them will be front and center at the third edition of BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL, which we are co-chairing with 3rd Act Marketing’s Gregg Stewart (ex 15 Miles, TMP and Wahlstrom).

The agenda is now posted, with an initial slate of keynoters that includes Facebook’s Jon Czaja, whose portfolio includes the national franchise opportunity, where he leverages his experience at core national local leaders such as General Mills, eBay and Walmart; “Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google” author Aaron Goldman, Kenshoo‘s CMO, who shares his irreverent and critical take on search. social and mobile; and Geary LSF President and CEO Karen Kovaleski, who is spearheading national local strategies for such key brands as Bumble Bee, WD-40, Brooks Brothers and Ashley Furniture.

The brands themselves will be well represented at the show. The initial slate of brands at the event include key local targeting leaders from Brooks Brothers, El Pollo Loco, All My Sons Moving and Storage, ServiceMaster/American Home Shield and Rooms to Go.

Other speakers come from media leaders who are providing local solutions to national players, including Dallas Morning News SVP Grant Moise and Washington Post VP Ethan Selzer.

We’ll also hear from a number of top platform providers and agencies, including BizHive Chairman Dave Walker, ReachLocal VP Travis Arthur, Where2GetIt CEO Manish Patel, Simpli.fi CEO Frost Prioleau, SpeakEasy CEO Mike Orren, LocalBizNow CEO Todd Webber and Soci CEO Afif Khoury.

Anchoring the whole show is the second edition of our GoLocal Awards, honoring the best efforts from national brands and retaillers (and their agencies) in local. We’re just getting started. Watch this space for frequent updates.

Salesforce’s Randy Wootton at BIA/Kelsey SFO: Avoiding Local’s ‘Creepy Valley’

Marketers have lots of disparate information about consumers they are targeting, but if they don’t put it together in a consumer friendly way, it quickly becomes an offputting “Creepy Valley of Local Marketing” that is counter productive, said Salesforce VP RandyWootton in a keynote address at BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media event at San Francisco Airport.

Citing GoDaddy’s Blake Irving for inventing the “Creepy Valley” moniker, Wootton noted that “where it gets weird is when there are things that target you” and are really not consistent with good Customer Relationship management principles. It becomes especially worrisome in a mobile environment where there are no barriers.

The solution? Provide all services in the cloud, where several layers of services can be easily mediated. “The cloud is the democratization of the marketing world – although local marketers aren’t taking advantage of it yet. When you cross the creepy valley, you havea different relationship” with your customers,” says Wootton.

BIA/Kelsey SFO: Home Depot,Thumbtack, Serviz Weigh in on Home Improvement

Home improvement services is a wild new frontier that has just scratched the tip of its potential, according to segment leaders at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media event at San Francisco Airport.

“ServiceMagic/Home Advisor is (only) a couple of hundred million dollars. Angie’s has never made a profit. The market is ripe but no one is there yet,” said Home Depot Silicon Valley leader Anthony Roddio, who also serves as GM of the company’s Red Beacon contractor scheduling service. “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is repeat business.”

Roddio noted that a real opportunity for the industry is that many millennials have moved away from DIY. “For some, their idea of a home project is upstreaming iTunes in the living room,” he said. But Home Depot is traditionally geared around DIY. The company hasn’t done enough to develop ‘Do it For Me’, said Roddio.

Serviz leader Zorik Gordon, the former ReachLocal leader, said that the void in the industry is that the segment is not transparent. Serviz will move away from unreasonable 300-500 percent upsells, and provide price charts, and reviews; it will also assign contractors, said Gordon, who says the startup will move beyond southern California, where it launched in July, and will reach 10-20 cities by the end of 2015.

Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta noted that his company recently raised $100 million from Google and others. “What Google and others saw in us is that we have created a unique platform,” he said. “We have 600 unique categories.”

Thumbtack is taking a different approach than Serviz and The Home Depot’s Red Beacon in that it doesn’t assign jobs to service pros or collect money for jobs. Focusing on moving the money is “not the indicator” for the success of a transactional marketplace, he said.

Leading in Local Update: 50 Speakers Are Set (Dec. 3-5, SFO)

The end of the year usually means a few things to us: the holidays; our annual predictions; and Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media, the industry’s flagship event.

This year’s event is especially hot — a 2 1/2 day extravaganza taking place Dec. 3-5 in San Francisco. More than 50 speakers have been recruited by the analyst team, and we’ve added some great extra-curricular activities, including a Tech Expo with top companies showing off their wares “Before The Bell” on Day 1; a Women’s Leading in Local networking event on day 2; and an International Roundtable.

Here’s our newest news: BIA/Kelsey Analyst Emeritus Matt Booth (currently CEO, Connectivity) is coming back to moderate one of two Executive Sessions with Google leaders. We’ll kick off with Managing Director of Global Channel Sales Todd Rowe, than go deep in conversations with Head of premier SMB partnerships Christine Merritt; Adwords Express Product Manager Francisco Uribe; Google My Business Senior Product Manager James Croom; and Global Business Leader for Google Shopping Max Frause.

We also have feature presentations set by YP CMO Allison Checchi; Deseret Digital Media CEO Clark Gilbert and President Chris Lee; Yodle CEO Court Cunningham; Pinterest Head of Partnerships Joel Meek; and Salesforce VP Randy Wootton.

We are also set with a great discussion between me and Business Book of the Year Winner Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. And then there are the feature presentations by First Data SVP Krish Mantripragada; InfoGroup CDO Matt Graves; and Go Daddy SVP Raj Mukherjee. And we’ve also got a great, seven company Superforum dedicated to local’s most important issue: “Make the Phone Ring.”

There’s so much more. Check out the Full agenda. Register here.

New at ILM SFO 2014: Brad Stone, Author, ‘The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’

Local’s 800 lb. gorilla is always Amazon. It has already had a huge impact on retail via showrooming. Now it has invaded Groceries, and is heading towards Services. Plus it wants to provide a full range of promotional and fulfillment services for SMBs via Amazon Offers, Amazon Web Services and other services.

At Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media, which is Dec. 3-5 at the SFO Hyatt, we’ll talk up and down Amazon and its impact on local with Brad Stone, the author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” (We’ll probably get some copies as door prizes for audience members). Stone, who won the Business Book of the Year award for The Everything Store, also serves as Bloomberg Businessweek’s senior writer in San Francisco.

The show itself continues to build and build — it is likely to be one of the biggest yet.

Some of the highlights of the two-and-a-half-day show — out of many — include a keynote from Pinterest VP Joel Meek; two sessions dedicated to Google and its transformation of local; a VC session with Mucker Labs’ Will Hsu and Comcast Venture’s Michael Yang; a keynote from YP CMO Allison Checchi; a keynote from Yodle CEO Court Cunningham as Yodle preps its IPO; and a dual keynote from Deseret Media’s Clark Gilbert and Chris Lee, taking the lessons of disruptive media to heart in their remaking of the media company. Gilbert and Lee recently did a briefing for the BIA/Kelsey analysts – it was, by far, the most enlightening briefing for us this year.

We’ll also be presenting a great deal of cutting-edge BIA/Kelsey research, including findings from our exclusive survey of top loyalty executives, where we have worked to see what is working, what is not and where the momentum lies. Great insights are coming in. The Cardlinx Association has partnered with us on the survey, and Cardlinx head Silvio Tavres will be co-presenting.


Author Brad Stone, Recipient of Business Book of The Year