‘National Brands, Local Marketing’: BIA/Kelsey’s Spring Event is May 7-9 in Atlanta

BIA/Kelsey, forecasting $52.9 Billion in national local spending by 2017, has unveiled its new Leading in Local: The National Impact conference, which will take place in Atlanta May 7-9.

The 2 ½ Day event is expected to be the largest gathering of national brands and local marketing players that has ever taken place. Brands, franchises, multi-location stores and others will be the focus.

We’re ready with national local’s top leaders, including Weather Company Global Revenue Officer Curt Hecht; Gannett/G/O Digital SVP Mark Marinacci; Foursquare VP of Sales Rob Wilks; Living Social SVP Mitch Spolan; AutoTrader Founder Chip Perry; YP SVP David Lebow; ReachLocal SVP John Gould; Yodle VP Corey O’Donnell; MediaVest EVP Maribeth Papuga; and many other leading innovators.

A number of speakers will be accompanied by top brands they are working with. The list already includes marketing leaders at brands such as Scion, Two Men and a Truck, Genghis Grill and PostNet. BIA/Kelsey is also holding The GoLocal Awards for brands, which will include an on stage presentation at the end of Day 2.

This isn’t your typical “local” event. It’s all new, it’s all important. And it’s all here. Register.

Hyperlocal Lives! Chris Jennewein On ‘Times of San Diego’

Chris Jennewein

The layoffs at Patch have been met around the industry as the latest sign that hyperlocal can’t work because of the difficulties in scaling content and ad sales locally while attracting a reasonable quorum of local readers. Hale Global, the new owners at Patch, don’t believe it. And neither do the hundreds of people who make up an extended hyperlocal community, including a number of ex- Patchers who remain at least personally committed to making hyperlocal work.

Chris Jennewein has been pushing the envelope in hyperlocal since the early days of Videotex at The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Since then, we’ve followed him as he lead a series of major initiatives at Knight Ridder Digital, The San Diego Union Tribune, The San Diego News Network, The Las Vegas Sun and most recently, as Southern California’s editorial leader for Patch.

Today, Jennewein launched The Times of San Diego. Is he The Man of LaMancha, chasing the Impossible Dream? I asked him a few questions via email.

Q: People think hyperlocal will never work. What did you learn about what does work?

The challenge with hyperlocal is to match the market size with the economic opportunity. Bigger markets simply have more opportunity. We think the San Diego metropolitan area, with a population of 3.2 million, is a sufficiently large opportunity and yet still local. In fact, in today’s world regional is probably local because people commute long distances and their personal and professional networks stretch far beyond individual communities.

Q: What have you learned about San Diego as a media market in terms of hyperlocal? Pros and cons?

San Diego may be farther along in regionalization that some older markets in America. San Diegans think they live in the entire metro area, not just La Jolla or Chula Vista or Carlsbad. So a regional news source is more likely to succeed here.

Q: Is this a model you can take to other markets?

I think this is a model that would definitely work in other markets, especially in the West, but our focus is solely San Diego right now.

Q: Do you think you are directly competing with other media properties at this point? Which ones?

We’re not competing with other media but instead going after what we call “unaffiliated local news consumers.” These are people who get news from a wide variety of sources on an almost serendipitous basis. Our goal is to provide this audience with essential local news and information in an easy-to-consume manner.

BIA/Kelsey Presents ‘Enlisting SMBs for Card Linked Offers’ at CardlinX Forum April 7

Local marketing has increasingly been about non-advertising channels, including Web sites, reputation management, social media, prepaid promotions and big data analytics. In recent months, much of our attention has been on the leveraging of card payment information before, during and after transactions – especially for promotions and analytics.

Card-linked offers and transaction marketing will only get more impactful as commerce transitions to mobile. As they say: “You are not what you search for, you are what you buy.”

With this in mind, a wide range of companies banded together last October in The Cardlinx Association to develop common standards and awareness for the space. Cardlinx is now set to launch a one day event April 7 at The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (before The Electronic Transactions Association conference.)

Cardlinx has developed a great lineup, including many industry leaders — some of whom you’ll recognize from BIA/Kelsey events. Some of the more familar “names” include Erik Jorgenson, Microsoft; Dom Morea, First Data; John Bax, Living Social;Eckart Walter, CardSpring; Patrick Grady, Deem; and Schwark Satyavolu, MasterCard.

BIA/Kelsey is also involved: we’re running a session entitled “Enlisting SMBs for Card Linked Offers.” We’ll pair some brand new BIA/Kelsey research with presentations from Ed Braswell, CEO, Edo Interactive; Doron Friedman, CEO, SpotOn; and Kevin Lewis, Director, Strategic Solutions, First Data.

Cardlinx is giving BIA/Kelsey community members $100 off registration prices. Just write “BIA/Kelsey” in the comments section when you register,and it will be taken off the fee.

Street Fight’s Local Data Summit: The Impact of Data on Local

The impact of data on local marketing was Topic #1 during Street Fight’s Local Data Summit today in Denver. Speakers addressed the wide range of data issues that have begun to enhance local marketing and shift local marketing – and even diminish the spending and influence of marketing.

Mobile is the real driver of the new environment. The new era of big data is largely spurred by the technology in the phone, especially radios, said Qualcomm’s Aidoo Osei. In the near future, it will be further driven by sensors in stores , such as Apple’s iBeacon. The combination of in phone tech and in store sensors will create a “continuous user experience,” added Intel’s Greg Turetsky.

Turetsky said the data environment will be greatly impacted by the growing role of indoor intelligence, such as the sensors, which can react to consumers as they walk by with personalized promotions. Just last week, indoor got a huge boost when the FCC mandated that the e911 system should be upgraded to include indoor as well as outdoor. Commercial applications for indoor sensors should follow, he said.

But technologists can’t get too far ahead of themselves. Even at the Local Data Summit…not a single member of the audience said they had yet used iBeacon.

Other views focused on the nascent efforts to leverage location. Major progress has been made since some of the technology began rolling out in 2012, said Placed’s David Shim. It used to be entirely experimental, said Shim. But now brands are coming in with predefined problems. “They ask: can you solve the problem for me?”

Many data issues directly relate to mobile marketing – especially in terms of audience measurement. It used to be all about projecting audiences based on panels, said PlaceIQ’s Drew Breunig. But now—thanks to the influx of mobile users – “ we have populations. And we have the computing resources to deal with the data coming off the populations.” Breunig noted the new environment is enormously richer to today’s focus on geofencing, which tends to underdeliver.

Media Execs: ‘Local’ Sales Are 7th Most Impactful Revenue Issue

Localizing ad campaigns via geo targeting and local sales is increasingly important. At BIA/Kelsey, of course, the importance of localization for digital ad sales is an article of faith.

Local Sales are not, however, part of the “A” list of impactful issues for media executives. In a poll of media executives attending Operative‘s Op/Ed 2014 event last week in Palm Desert, Local Sales ranked 7th out of 11 features that impact revenues.

It ranked as less impactful than Effectively Scaling Ad Ops; Changes in buying/RFPs; Consultative Selling; Mobile Monetization; Ineffective Technology; and Cross-platform Selling. Video Monetization; Third-party Data; Buy/Sell Automation; and Real-Time Bidding ranked lower than local.

IAB Presenation 2014_2

ForwardLine: Taking a Big Data Approach to SMB Marketing (and Capital)

Small business marketing management and back office operations haven’t had much cross over. Perhaps Intuit has worked to marry them together; so have Microsoft and Web.com. Until recently, that was the extent of it.

Now we’re seeing a new batch of companies volunteering to work with SMBs as both marketing helpers and business managers. The rise of online scheduling has made such a marriage much more logical. So has the extension of web site presence management, and leads management.

ReachLocal and GoDaddy, for instance, have crossed the line – in different ways – to eliminate the silos separating marketing and back office ops. Another approach is being taken via ForwardLine. The ten-year old, 60-person company is primarily known for short-term SMB loans and payment processing – and has cleverly linked the two businesses for many customers. Roughly one quarter of ForwardLine’s customers are restaurants. Other large categories include salons, dentists and drycleaners.

CRO David Teichner tells us that ForwardLine is a natural partner because “capital is a key ingredient for SMB growth.” Furthermore, many SMBs renew their relationship with ForwardLine when they need money for new equipment; a new ad campaign; or other reasons. “More than eighty percent of our customers come back for additional funds when a new opportunity comes their way,” says Teichner.

Recently, ForwardLine began structuring strategic partnerships with companies offering services to SMBs. ForwardLine offers its partners data on credit card sales volume and other sales data to give insight into what makes SMB owners tick. This allows ForwardLine’s partners to offer up tailored services for SMBs and demonstrate the ROI.

Teichner, who came to ForwardLine in 2013 from Yowza, a mobile coupons company, adds that “small business owners want to grow their business. They need capital, which ForwardLine provides, but they also want effective marketing services that they can measure. We provide a convenient source of client-side visibility, so that SMB marketers and other service companies can demonstrate the value they are adding.”

IAB Leadership Meeting: Facebook, NY Times Defend Native Advertising

Native advertising — the insertion of contextually relevant advertising amidst other content — is viewed with suspicion by much of the ad community, which sees it as unscaleable, and perhaps the opposite of its drive towards programmatic (automated) sales.

During the Summary Panel today at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, one hypothesis by moderator Terry Kawaja, CEO, LUMA Partners, playing devil’s advocate, was that “agencies cannot create the volume and quality of native content necessary to populate every native ad.”

New York Times Executive VP of Advertising Meredith Levien, rising to the bait, strongly disagreed. “Good native advertising puts the onus on the reader to decide whether to engage or not,” she said, noting that The Times, Buzzfeed, Forbes (her former employer) and others have set up native ad areas that are clearly differentiated from other content, and highly successful. “It’s not like we have (columnist) Thomas Friedman writing for Pepsi,” she said.

Facebook VP of Ad Products, Monetization and Atlas Brian Boland, a keynoter at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM show in December, vigorously defended native advertising – not surprisingly, since Facebook is banking heavily on it. Native advertising, when combined with personalization, provides unprecedented value, he said. “People are going to a place where they want to discover what is important to them. It creates an opportunity for people to be excited about what they see.”

Boland noted that Facebook has recently been criticized for pushing the envelope with native advertising by having video ads. But critics should have done their homework, like Facebook has, Boland said. He noted that it did reams of testing and research, and the feedback has shown that the video ads are totally engaging viewers.

Going forward, Facebook is developing a set of formats to enable people and advertisers to express themselves via native advertising on every platform – especially mobile. Boland acknowledged, however, that such formats are better suited towards larger media concerns. A handful of publishers will similarly see how things evolve, he said. But it remains “a challenge for midsized publishers.”