Category Archives: Conferences

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.”

Living Social Looks Beyond Deals for its Brand Partners

“Deals are very, very powerful for many brands,” but the deals themselves only represent part of the overall opportunity that brands have in working with deals companies and their millions of local customers, said Living Social EVP of National Retail Mitch Spolan, who keynoted today during Leading in Local: The National Impact in Atlanta.

The operative question is how do you activate and bring to life a brand’s strength? asked Spolan. It doesn’t always include a deal. In many cases, email, Facebook and Twitter can target local customers with messages – in fact, Living Social regularly achieves 12 percent coverage in given markets using the wide range of social media and commerce tools at its disposal.

The company is mostly focused on providing an “integrated experience” that tie brands to Living Social customers. For instance, Living Social provides local specific experiences as part of its brand promotion deal with Miller Coors’ Redd Apple Ale – and “Miller Coors is not selling its products on Living Social,” said Spolan. Consumers are also not going to be buying a Hyundai Santa Fe on Living Social – but Hyndair finds real value in working with Living Social.

Living Social “experiences” that are sponsored by brands include a kayaking adventure in Denver, a pirate cruise in San Francisco, a Blues and BBQ part in Atlanta; urban biking in Philadelphia and emerging artist festivals in Washington DC.

The company’s base of customers are often larger than brands can achieve on their own, added Spolan. A campaign with a restaurant chain such as Outback will be marketed to larger group than Outback would otherwise have. If brands do want to do a deal or sell an item , however. The volume is potentially huge – or in Living Social parlance, a “Stampede.” Bed Bath & Beyond, for instance, recently sold 378,000 vouchers for an in-store deal.

Wanderful Media at LSA: Ben Smith on its $14.5 Million Raise, Facebook

Wanderful Media, which has been tasked by the newspaper industry to remake the circular industry in the mobile social era, has raised a new round of $14.5 Million. Altogether, the company has raised $50.5 Million since its September 2012 launch.

The company is primarily known for Find&Save, which relaunched one year ago. It now serves 500 affiliate sites, including all Top 50 DMAs. Find&Save provides geo-targeted distribution of offers for 375 retailers and 150,000 retail locations. While iPhone and iPad apps have been Find&Save’s initial focus, an Android version was launched today.

Speaking at the Local Search Association meeting today in Huntington Beach, CA, CEO Ben Smith said the company is set to put the new money to work. Upwards of $10 million will be committed to app distribution and “making sure people are installing our apps,” he said.

“It’s much like managing your SEO – it’s not trivial and requires significant investment,” said Smith. He added that mobile customers typically only use 10 apps on a frequent basis. “The better way to approach mobile is to consider geo/location data as a way to augment and craft customized marketing messages,” he said.

Facebook integration is also key to “tying it all together,” added Smith. “We get the geo/location data from the mobile app – but Facebook provides the demographic context required to make the data acquired by Wanderful actionable.”