Category Archives: Geotargeting

Centro: Boost Demand Side Ads With Full Program, Not Just Programmatic

Chicago-based Centro, which helps provide targeted ad solutions to 13,000 publishers – 4,000 at any given time — says it is refocusing on providing publishers with complete Demand Side solutions that integrate first party data targeting, hyperlocal mobile tools, digital extensions and cross-channel capabilities.

Publishers increasingly want to provide greater reach for their advertisers than they can provide from their own-and-operated (O&O) properties, said Centro SVP Katie Risch and VP John Hyland in a discussion with BIA/Kelsey. “O & O solutions are becoming a smaller share of the mix.”

Centro DSP for Publishers, the new product offering, provides a wide range of mobile, display, video and social campaigns directly through Centro’s platform. An increasing amount of these efforts are automated. “Revenue is going towards self -serve,” said Risch and Hyland. “People don’t go back after they start with self-serve.”

To be sure, programmatic – an automated process of planning and placing ads on the platform – represents a big part of Centro’s evolution. Centro has committed 18 buyers specifically to support programmatic. But programmatic needs to be supported with other pieces.

“We are in an early iteration of programmatic,” said Risch and Hyland. It helps to “close the loop.” But “it doesn’t do enough to support the demand side of the business, which is critical for local targeting. The biggest challenge is how to drive demand. There has to be a human layer; a set of KPIs.”

Centro’s Brand Exchange, for instance, has enlisted 1,400 publishers. It allows auto dealers and other SMBs to call on the company to meet their needs for local inventory. With such services, “we are providing a cohesive media strategy, along with first party data.”

At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Top Takeaways

The third version of BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL just wrapped last week in Dallas, following our 2014 NATIONAL event in Atlanta and our 2013 event in Boston. Taking twists and turns as it develops, the topic of “national marketing, local targeting” is one that increasingly relies on digital, which represents a significant share of the $67.1 billion in spending that is forecast for national local by 2019.

Thanks very much to our 64 speakers, hundreds of attendees, sponsors and GoLocal Award finalists for participating with us in Dallas. What are you takeaways from Bia/Kelsey NATIONAL, Ver. 3? Here’s my personal top takeaways:

1. The time is now for National Local, but the industry still needs to catch up. BizHive’s Dave Walker, in a great keynote, cited CMO Council research noting that 57 of CMOs say that local programs are important, but only seven percent of CMOs have a successful program in place.

2. It is critical to leverage social media. The average Facebook user is on 41 minutes day, and national brands have an opportunity to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp and other social media to develop real scale for local franchises. As U-Haul’s Elnora Cunningham noted, U Haul can give its dealer network direct feedback from over five million reviews. Given all this, SpeakEasy CEO Mike Orren tweets: “So no, Mr. Client, we don’t recommend abandoning the platform.”

3. ‘Closing the Loop’ on attributed marketing should be highly prioritized. As Geary’s Karen Kovaleski noted, marketers need to think across media and organizational boundaries to bring customers to a transaction decision. Google, for one, is actively working on this capability. Google’s Brendon Kraham highlighted a PetSmart case study in which 10-18 percent of search clicks can be tracked back to instore visits.

4. The rise of programmatic sales represents a breakthrough for National Local. Automated selling represents a break-through that local needs to reach users on a targeted, hyperlocal basis. But it needs to be carefully handled. As Sightly’s John McIntyre noted during Rick Ducey’s Programmatic SuperForum: “In the end, programmatic is stupid. It is a (simply) a go-get, go-fetch tool.”

5. All National Local strategies must focus on optimizing Mobile’s micro moments. Just as broadcasters have focused on day parts for different types of marketing, national local marketers must really begin thinking about the different types of activities that people are doing when they look at their mobile phone. Google says that people are looking at Android phones 150 x a day.

6. Platforms can bring local franchisees in line, and also liberate them. As Christian Ward from Yext notes, brands are “schizophrenic” from top to bottom, with the national brand representing one thing, and each local outlet representing something else. Getting “local stars to act like choir boys” is one goal of the platform companies.

7. Going deep on vertical expertise is essential. It isn’t one size fits all in national local. Richards Group’s Rod Ulrich noted that “consultative sales rule,” and that his agency has added a library of vertical materials and a librarian to assist in the effort.

8. The sales structure for National Local must be carefully tailored. The old days of sending someone to Detroit or New York twice a year doesn’t make sense anymore. The Dallas Morning News, for instance, told us that its team of 10 national reps is now down to 2. But national touchpoints remains even more vital, via timely contacts, use of networks and other capabilities.

9. A real role remains for local media and directories. Local newspapers and Yellow Pages still play a real role in targeting locally – and regionally. But it is important to understand and tailor those strengths. The national usage of The Dallas News, for instance, is more than half driven by Dallas Cowboys.

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56 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 56 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, VCA (Animal Hospitals) 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.