Category Archives: National Local

54 Speakers Set for BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL, March 25-27: Cars.com’s Mitch Golub Added

The BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL show is now fully in place, with 54 speakers set to define the cutting edge in national brands and local marketing. The show takes place March 25-27 at The Dallas Westin. Just added to the program: Internet visionary Mitch Golub, who leaves Cars.com today after successfully developing it into a $1.8 Billion enterprise that has, along with AutoTrader.com, helped define all the best practices of working with the world’s most aggressive national and local marketers (the car manufacturers and car dealers.)

Also added: key brands defining the best in vertical marketing. Dental One Partners and Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning have now been added to a lineup that also includes leaders from Brooks Brothers, UniGroup (United Van Lines), Rooms to Go, All My Sons Moving & Storage, El Pollo Loco, U-Haul International, Nestle TollHouse Café, and The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Announced earlier: keynotes from Google’s Brendon Kraham; Facebook’s Jon Czaja; Bizhive’s Dave Walker, Kenshoo’s Aaron Goldman, Geary LSF’s Karen Traversi Kovaleski and The Weather Co’s Ryan Davis. There are also key sessions with thought leaders such as YP’s Melissa Burghardt, The Washington Post Co’s Ethan Selzer; The Dallas Morning News’ Grant Moise; Meredith Corp’s Pam Taylor; and TvB’s Steve Lanzano.

The program also marks the debut of key new BIA/Kelsey data on franchise marketing from our Local Commerce Monitor survey. And last but not least, we’ll be doing Dallas right, with two Best of Dallas receptions; a “Before the Bell” Dallas Innovator Breakfast at the Addison Treehouse sponsored by Speakeasy; Two social breakouts, including National DEMOs and Drinks and Women Leading in Local; and an After Hours Country Casino sponsored by Local Site Submit and Moon Valley Software.

Check out the full, 2 ½ day agenda. You may register here.

Cars.com visionary Mitch Golub is set for BIA/Kelsey National

Expert Insight: Gregg Stewart on National Brands, Local Marketing

Advertising expert Gregg Stewart is the CEO of Third Act Marketing and co-chair of BIA/Kelsey’s National event March 25-27 in Dallas. He has specialized in localizing national brands since 1985 and has previously served in leadership capacities at Wahlstrom, TMP and 15 Miles. Some of the brands he has advised include FedEx, GE, Hilton Hotels, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, United Van Lines, Brooks Brothers, Farmers Insurance, Target, Bank of America, Aspen Dental, and ADT.

Local marketing used to be an after-thought for national brands and retailers. What’s changed?

In the early days, brands relied solely on their sales channels (dealers, agents, franchisees) to do local marketing for them through co-op advertising programs. Now, brands have taken a lot of the responsibility for local marketing on themselves.

Why?

The emergence of digital media has accelerated the need of brands to take control at the local level. Digital requires very specialized resources. It is also highly fragmented and nuanced. It isn’t just two or three things, like newspapers, radio, TV, Yellow Pages and direct mail. Now, there can be 25-30 media options per market.

It is definitely more complicated. But is it better?

If you do it well, it is an opportunity area. Digital certainly has a direct impact on a lot of businesses and verticals. The brands and sales channels that have not embraced digital have seen their market share fade. One example of a brand that has done it right is GEICO. Many insurance brands have a huge local infrastructure, with thousands of agents. But they have not yet leveraged local. GEICO has a centralized organization. But it has embraced the opportunities that Internet and mobile present to get very hyperlocal and target their ad messages specifically to individual markets of opportunity.

We tend to think in simplistic terms about winning the “brand” account. There are actually several aspects to local marketing for brands.

Marketing brands locally is much more complex than direct response focused brands. Many brands have multifaceted sales forces/channels including dealers, agents, franchisees or branches. Dealers tend to be multiple brand focused. Franchisees are usually single brand and are dedicated to that brand locally. Agents can be captive, or they can be independent and sell local brands for verticals such finance and insurance. And branches tend to be company owned like Starbucks and Enterprise Rent a Car. Stitching together brand advertising that is locally targeted needs to leverage these sales channel complexities.

As brands take more control of digital marketing, how will the traditional agency business be impacted?

There is a transformation occurring. Large agencies tend to do things like they have always done. They always hawk TV first; move a lot of dollars; and get paid a small percentage of these media buys which maps up to large amounts of revenue for the agency. That’s their best margin opportunity. It is very mechanized and cost efficient for them. But a $5 million digital campaign targeted locally will involve lots of legwork, with a lot of different ad sizes and overall, a lack of standardization. While the rewards are great, there is lots more “heavy lifting”, and labor costs are much higher. It is highly nuanced. Local specialists including Where2GetIt and Location 3 are focused on these aspects.

You are co-chairing BIA/Kelsey’s National event. Why should brands and marketers join BIA/Kelsey’s local community at this event?

The BIA/Kelsey events really stand out for their content and networking. You get to rub elbows with many of the leading innovators in the market. You don’t get that at the mass shows. I’m looking forward to contributing to BIA/Kelsey’s thought leadership on this one, and providing an opportunity for marketers to learn tactics to help them use digital to become more specialized and strategic.

Gannett’s Key Ring: Integrating Circulars With Loyalty Programs


Gannett’s acquisition of Key Ring two years ago was something of a head shaker. Was the media giant diving into online loyalty marketing, an area mostly dominated by financial institution-related companies? Two years later, more light has been shed on the Key Ring acquisition.

Key Ring is a mobile app that lets consumers electronically enter their loyalty card in in one digital location. In this regard, it is like Constant Contact’s CardStar. What we’ve learned is that Gannett is using the App to drive targeted traffic to its big box and retail circular advertisers from ShopLocal, the sister G/O Digital brand.

CEO Chris Fagan tells us Key Ring, which has 15 full time employees, now provides circular content from 160 retailers. Of these, 90 are providing exclusive content via ShopLocal. Offers can be triggered on user cell phones by geo location or via in-store beacons. You might access “Here is what is on sale at Target” for instance. Consumers can use it to explore and discover what is nearby.

The ShopLocal ties makes it possible to scale all the merchant and brand relationships without having to deal with each merchant and brand – a major barrier for other companies, says Fagan. The app also incorporates 65,000 coupons a month from Clipper Magazine.

What Key Ring really brings to the table is enormous scale. Fagan says the App has a surprisingly high 11.1 million customers. Active users may access it five or six times a month, with the more steady users not only accessing circular content, but the site’s shopping lists. These consumers have really high retention and recurring usage, says Fagan.

Interestingly, the majority of the customers are driven organically by good consumer press and other sources, he says. For instance, the comapny recently got a good mention in Good Housekeeping Magazine that really drove usage. Gannett’s cross media ads in USA Today and on its TV stations have been helpful, but not especially critical.

Zillow to Buy Trulia; Will Pursue Twin Brand Strategy

Zillow is buying Trulia, its chief rival, for $3.5 Billion in stock. The two companies – both nine years old — have a lot of overlap currently. But after the deal closes in 2015, they will seek to develop two differentiated marketplaces for real estate-related information, which includes house sales, rentals, mortgage and related national and local advertising.

As the acquiring company, Zillow would focus on “top of funnel” awareness advertising. Trulia, meanwhile, would focus more on specific agent-related, final purchase (or rental)- related advertising. According to ComScore, Zillow attracted 83 million unique visitors in June, while Trulia attracted 53 million. Roughly half of Trulia’s visitors do not visit Zillow.

The proposed purchase price, roughly $70.53 a share, represents a 25 percent premium over Trulia’s current stock price. Combined revenues from both companies could produce $721 Million in 2015 under present conditions, according to estimates by Benchmark Research. Separately, the companies estimate $100 million a year in cost savings by eliminating redundancy. Under terms of the agreement, Trulia CEO Pete Flint will report to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

In our view, the primary goal of the acquisition isn’t to build the one-two punch of differentiated real estate sites, or even to maximize cost savings from eliminating overlap. Mostly, it takes Trulia out as a rival company, and per GeekWire, it also ends apparent merger talks between Trulia and Move.com, the #3 Real Estate site that controls the NAR’s Realtor.com site. (It also isn’t the first time Trulia has considered selling itself. Google apparently was interested in buying the site in 2009 when it was pursuing a major listings effort).

Over the next several years,the effort to differentiate the two sites make more sense than to collapse them into one brand. Such a strategy would be reminiscent of what AutoTrader.com has accomplished with KBB.com; The Weather Co. has accomplished with Weather Underground; and what Match.com has accomplished with the purchase of several dating verticals.

Winning national advertising dollars is especially viewed as a key growth area. Zillow has budgeted $45 million in marketing dollars this year to accelerate that effort. Zillow, perhaps best known for its controversial Z-Estimates, sees a unique advertising market among speculative home browsers, targeting everything from landscapers to auto companies. Trulia, meanwhile, has been less controversial than Zillow in the Realtor community and might be a better brand for Realtors to work with.

Will there be anti-trust issues? Both Zillow and Trulia tend to draw from Realtors and brokerages that are digitally minded in their advertising. Zillow head Rascoff, however, suggests that the market is nascent and represents less than 3 percent of the $12 Billion market in real estate advertising.

We don’t know about that. The reality is that the two companies actually tie up a great deal of the linkages between real estate advertising and distributors, such as the search engines, local media companies and others. But ultimately, it probably falls short of real anti- trust concern.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff at a recent BIA/Kelsey conference

UBL, MomentFeed Partner to Leverage ‘National Local’

In the mobile era, listings are increasingly useless without context. Businesses need to be found via LAT/Long; and they need to shape their business identity using all the tools at their disposal. In recent years, it has gotten even more complex with the addition of social media, content marketing and other channels.

No one has emphasized these realities more than UBL CEO Doyal Bryant. Hence UBL’s newly announced global partnership with MomentFeed, a provider of a digital marketing platform that connects brands and consumers at the local level for top brands ranging from 7-Eleven and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to JCPenney and The Home Depot.

Together, UBL and MomentFeed are seeking to establish a new mobile social anchor for business search and discovery. Besides the Enterprise customers both companies are working together on, they will be working with UBL’s SMB channels to integrate social media with its presence and profile management.

BIA/Kelsey talked this week with UBL CEO Doyal Bryant and MomentFeed CEO Robert Blatt to get their perspective on why this partnership will be compelling.

“When we began (several years ago), it was all about the website,” said Bryant, who noted he has already sent “thousands” of customers to MomentFeed. “You built a profile and focused on being found and having it all sync correctly. But it’s changed due to what is happening with social media and fragmentation.” The change has become “core to the business,” he said.

MomentFeed’s Blatt seconded the thought. It is amazing how much we have moved from the search paradigm of 18-24 months ago,” noted Blatt. “Now search has moved to mobile devices. It has moved off the browser onto the App.”

“Your top priority is suddenly claiming your Google Plus page, and making sure the Facebook Local Page is running, and that there is a place page for each location on your website,” said Blatt. “And that there is accurate and engaging content and interaction for all three places between suppliers and retailers at both the national and local level. That’s the future of digital shop and marketing.”

Blatt feels that MomentFeed’s partnership with UBL allows businesses to get the best of both worlds. They can help businesses “do the job” on Facebook, Google, Foursquare, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp (and soon, Bing), as well as the multitude of listing networks that are often vertical market specific, such as restaurants and travel.

Looking forward, the focus will be on the engagement piece. MomentFeed has taken a lead in turning Instagram into media, for instance. “We let businesses do it, curate it, and then send a follow-up letter,” he said.

Tracking business results via analytics will also be key. It all leads to a linkage between marketing activity and business results, said Blatt. The company will correlate the marketing activity around a location with the revenue and foot traffic at that location.

Analytics Take Center Stage: Where2GetIt Acquires Brandify

Analytics are moving center stage for many “platform” companies previously anchored in features such as maps, search, deals, store location, directions, listing updates and enhancements.

The trend – a real one — was reinforced today by Where2GetIt’s announcement that it has acquired Brandify, the Washington D.C. area based provider of analytics for 26,000 local businesses.

Brandify provides feedback on digital marketing efforts based on 200 + variables, including reputation, local SEO performance, social engagement, competitor benchmarking, reviews and comments, business listing analysis, and locator traffic. Where 2 Get It envisions Brandify “bridging the gap between its online and offline features” with “real time local insights.”

Where2GetIt CEO Manish Patel, in a discussion with BIA/Kelsey, said that many of the company’s multi location customers — ranging from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shops to Hunter Douglas shades — have been asking for a more comprehensive solution.

“They are faced with knitting together a patchwork of point products and services to protect their brand, improve visibility, local listing management, and local monitoring,” said Patel. Brandify “scores” their effectiveness in key areas, and makes it easier for them to determine how effective they’ve been.

While Brandify will continue to be developed as a standalone service for small and medium businesses, it will also be integrated into Where2GetIt’s platform for national brands and multi-location services, Patel added.

Where2GetIt CEO Manish Patel is presenting a DEMO today at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local: The National Impact in Atlanta

Yodle Launches Centermark for National Local Entities

One of the hottest trends in local marketing is “National Local,” which accounted for 32.1 percent or $42.5 billion of the $132.5 billion spent on local media advertising in 2012. BIA/Kelsey projects that national’s share of local ad spending is expected to grow to nearly $51 billion by 2017. While sometimes obscuring “local local” marketing efforts (i.e. SMBs), the rapid rise of Mobile, effective Geo Targeting and marketing automation has permitted local to scale in unprecedented ways for national brands, franchises and retailers.

Yodle, for one, has been really zeroing in on maximizing its national local opportunities. The company provides marketing services to 40,000 local businesses, including a wide swath of national providers, such as Merry Maids and Miracle-Ear.

Today, the company announced the formal launch of its Centermark suite for such national local players. The suite has been launched as part of The Yodle for Brand Network division – as of July, its revised name for national local services. “Not all brands are national, and many national organizations don’t view themselves as brands,” noted SVP Fred Voccola, in explaining the new name.

Centermark’s various features include local SEO, social, local mobile and scheduling services. It has been in beta for the past six months with 2,000 customers, including franchisors, manufacturers and multi-location operators.

Voccola explains that the company’s primary goal with Centermark is to provide a consistent local Web infrastructure that provides better SEO and ultimately, conversion rates and ‘actionable business intelligence.’ It is not just to understand what the revenue was. We’re interested in what lead sources were used,” and external factors that may have contributed to a sale or other type of engagement, including left field factors that defy conventional wisdom, such as interest rates or weather, he says

More critically, the use of suites like Centermark can strengthen the bond between national brands and their local entities, says Voccola. At BIA/Kelsey, we have observed that weak online and mobile offerings from brands have caused many franchisees to take control of their own marketing activities, often with mixed results. That probably doesn’t serve anyone’s goals.