Tag Archives: ILM West

ILM West Opening Keynote: IdeaLab’s Bill Gross

Mobile and local is in the middle of a “perfect storm” of opportunity that represents a “once in a generation opportunity,” noted Internet legend Bill Gross, CEO of IdealLab, who provided the opening keynote at ILM West today in Los Angeles. “There has never been a better time to be in mobile and local,” said Gross, one of the most prolific developers of new companies in Internet history, with four IPOs to his credit.

Gross said that new technologies typically take about a decade to become new paradigms. The movie camera, for instance, never become a hit until it was possible to edit movies. “Then a whole new story- telling capability came about. That is where we are with mobile and local.”

New technologies typically begin modestly. With mobile, “we’ve ported the billboard and the TV screen down to tiny proportions.” But so much more is possible. Mobile devices should be seen as “super computers on our bodies.” The operating paradigm is “Mobile = Local = Me.”

“Give me exactly what I want right now and what is relevant to me,” Gross said, about what consumers want. “Tell me exactly what I want.” Companies that provide these services are best suited to “conquest customers” with promotions and other lead generation tools. Small companies are especially well suited to compete because they are “more nimble. David slays Goliath.”

There is especially strong opportunity with mobile advertising, adds Gross. “Mobile advertising runs with the law of physics. ‘Nudging’ costs (of consumers) is magnitudes lower because their bodies are nearby,” he said. “Proximity equals probability.” Mobile ads performs 5-18 times better than banners.

Gross also notes dayparting is “super powerful” on mobile. All the attributes of mobile together suggest that mobile advertising will reach usage and expenditure parity with other advertising within five years, and could surpass other advertising within 10 years. Today, 13 percent of usage is mobile, but just one percent of ad spending is mobile.

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New Local Execs Added at ILM West (Dec.4-6 in LA)

Our ILM West conference, which is being held Dec.4-6 in LA, continues to build in a big way, with new speakers and sessions that reflect the dramatic changes in the Interactive Local Media marketplace (and the breadth of BIA/Kelsey research.)

We’ve recently added some very key players, including Gannett Digital Marketing CEO Vikram Sharma, who’s set to give our opening keynote; Facebook’s Dan Levy, who runs the search giant’s SMB efforts; and Google‘s Todd Rowe, who runs Global SMB Channel Partners. Sharma, Levy and Rowe are added to a keynote lineup that also includes David Krantz, CEO, YP (formerly AT&T Interactive); and Jason Finger, CEO, CityGrid Media.

Sharma is ideally suited to open ILM West. Gannett now touches on almost every aspect of the new marketplaces environment. Its stable of services now includes BLinQ, the social media giant; ShopLocal; DealChicken; Clipper Magazine and its latest acquisition, KeyRing, a mobile loyalty program.

How about our featured speakers? New adds include Kris Barton, Chief Product Officer of ReachLocal; Michael Vivio, President of Cox Target Media; Loren Bendele, CEO, Savings.com; Ben T. Smith IV, CEO, Wanderful Media; and Elnora Palms Cunningham, who runs the search effort for U-Haul. Expect to see several more national advertisers announced in coming weeks as part of our National/Local Advertiser Superforum, which focuses on the ROI in local digital marketing. Register here.

ILM West Keynotes:
Vikram Sharma, CEO, Gannett Digital Marketing Services
Jason Finger, CEO, CityGrid Media
Todd Rowe, GM, Global Channel Partners, Google
David Krantz, CEO, YP
Dan Levy, Director Global SMB, Facebook

50+ Featured Speakers, including:
James Moroney III, CEO, The Dallas Morning News
Doug Neil, SVP, Digital, NBC-Universal
Elnora Cunningham, Director, Search, U-Haul
Victor Ho, CEO, FiveStars
Ben T. Smith IV, CEO, Wanderful Media
Mike Hodges, President, UT San Diego
Dave Galvan, CEO, The Learning Annex
Michael Vivio, President, Cox Target Media
Jordan Glazier, CEO, Eventful

Top Takeaways from ILM West

We’ve wrapped ILM West in San Francisco this week — another terrific show. Lots of great stuff. Thanks very much to the 50+ speakers, 32 sponsors, nearly 600 local leaders and various #ILMWest Tweeters who participated.

Now our attention is focused back on our research and analysis… and to ILM East March 26-28 in Boston, featuring an initial lineup that includes the great Ted Leonsis (here’s his Wikipedia entry), Jason Calacanis (CEO, Mahalo) Michael Zimbalist (dean of NY Times research), Jay Herratti (CEO, CityGrid), Michael Silberman (GM, NYmag.com); Charlie Kim (CEO, Next Jump); and Merrill Brown (Carnegie Fellow, co-founder MSNBC, Court TV, etc.)

Our goal with all the shows, of course, is to provide “context and contacts” for executives, entrepreneurs and investors building the local space. The testimonials now pouring in make us think that we were quite successful.

Internally, insights from ILM thought leaders, and the show’s in-depth research will definitely help the analysts from our six research programs shape the next waves of local innovation. Here are some of my personal takeaways:

1. No expectations of a runaway local winner. Some years, we think we’ve ID’d the next big thing. But this year, nobody really thinks that Facebook, Groupon, Living Social, Yelp or FourSquare is going to disrupt and run away with the entire market. This is one fragmented space. Google remains the only wildcard.

2. Time to rethink digital and traditional media separation. The New York Times, Washington Post, Morris and others have re-integrated their prints and online units. They’ve seen the light from Digital First. It gets better. The San Diego Union Tribune just named Mike Hodges, its digital leader, as president of the entire operation. But as Clark Gilbert points out, it is still important to delineate where it makes sense to integrate, and where it makes sense to keep operations separate.

3. Hail to the Phone! Or at least, to phone calls. As Marchex’s Matthew Berk brings up, the technology aids for search and discovery don’t point to replacing phone calls for leads. They point to reinforcing and supplementing phone calls. “The explosion of mobile is about being call-ready,” he notes.

4. There’s life in video and audio formats as add-on channels. We heard a lot from broadcasters at the show (i.e. Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman). What really struck us is what a great local promotional add on they are to Internet verticals (i.e. IHeart Radio). That’s mostly what they are.

5. We’re all in the games business – at least, a little bit. Kara Swisher disagrees, but games are being deployed in many walks of local, with new demographics, added frequency and stickiness. Just looks at what GrubHub is doing. It is something that leads providers learned years ago.

6. The deal platforms appear to be interchangeable, with little changing costs. We’ve been impressed by the development of white label deal platforms. But it was kind of shocking for us to see several major media outlets give so little credit to their platform providers.

ILM West: Google Exec Jeff Aguero Discusses Local Efforts

Google’s local efforts have grown tremendously under the direction of Marissa Mayer, and now encompass a wide range of products, including Google Maps, Google Places, Zagat, Google Offers, and Get Online a new SMB initiative.

At ILM West this week in San Francisco, Head of Local Consumer Marketing Jeff Aguero provided a rich portrait of Google’s thinking on local. “We are ten percent of where we are and where we need to be,” says Aguero. “There is so much that needs to be done.” He adds that Google is eager to work “closely with partners to create a rich opportunity” for all.

“The local experience is mostly disconnected,” says Aguero. “It is not consistent across user experience,” whether people are engaged in researching, finding, experiencing, reviewing, or sharing. Google’s goals are ultimately to “get more local searches, more customers, more reviews, better content, higher engagement, and more businesses online.”

Local is obviously an important part of Google’s core search business – 20 percent of desktop search is now local- oriented. But local is “fundamentally about places. Any type of action; how does it get there; how do you share what I am doing about my experience (i.e. photos, check-in); how do I save money on a deal?”

Within Places, Place Pages is a major effort. Currently, there are 50 million, dynamically generated Place Pages worldwide. Of these, eight million have been claimed by the business themselves. “It is the greatest catalog of place data on the Web,” notes Aguero.

The big trend is the convergence of Place Pages and Host Pages. “They have the same type of audiences in different ways, “ he says. “The functionality of both entities are likely to converge.”

Expanding ratings and reviews is also clearly a major initiative. Google Places is now getting more than a million ratings per month.

Mobile, meanwhile, is in the middle of it all. “Fifty percent of maps usage is mobile,” Aguero points out. “Mobile search usage has surpasses desktop usage on holidays. “People are using mobile phones as guides to the real world on an ongoing basis. Recently, the company introduced TalkBin, which leverages mobile to provide real time customer feedback.

Google Latitudes, a check-in product, is also is getting a lot of attention, and already has 10 million users. “It is not just how many people are enjoying and sharing products,” says Aguero, noting that Latitudes has been greatly enhanced by the introduction of Google Plus social circles.

And then there is Google’s Get Online initiative, a partnership with Intuit that lets SMBs claim a place, update information and provides a free web site. Get Online started in Michigan and is now in 14 states. New tools will continue to be added, says Aguero. “We need better toolkits for businesses.” Recently, the company introduced Adwords Express, which lets businesses set up an AdWords program in ten minutes.

ILM West: Next Directions in Deals Space

It’s obvious that the deals business is going to quickly move to a broader set of offerings. But how? That was the question posed today at ILM West in San Francisco.

Belo Interactive GM Joe Weir noted that deals remains a great space to be in. Demographics of Belo’s deals are dominated by college educated women with a lot of disposable income — deals users extend many missions for Belo, he noted.

But CBS Local Media President Ezra Kucharz said that deals need to change because merchants and consumers are fatigued. Email open rates are declining significantly. And merchants want a higher revenue share.

Kucharz’s solution is to provide a richer experience embracing SoLoMo (social local media) and segmenting deals differently. CBS is adding experiential deals that may be once in a lifetime experiences; aggregating deals; allowing consumer to rate and review deals.

Some things he would like to do, however, aren’t necessarily going to be easy. For instance, he might like to add more deals from big national brands, but “they are being tight with deals,” he says.

Experiential deals have also been embraced by Thrillist, a site that is geared towards young men, or “dudes,” as VP Mike Rothman call\s them. Thrillist has developed experiences such as micro brew pub beer crawls. But these are hard to scale from market to market; What works in New York doesn’t necessarily work in Detroit, says Rothman.

The most extreme position on deals was taken by Michael Tavani, co-founder, ScoutMob. The idea of “Daily deals make us cringe internally at the office,” he says. ScoutMob is a mobile service based entirely for on the go mobile users. Its customers have no idea where they are having dinner that night, and they don’t want to pay in advance for deals, he says.

The company, which considers itself a “reverse FourSquare,” takes $3 or $4 commissions for customers that it points to merchants. Instead of printing out deals, customers simply show the deal coupon on their phones to merchants.

New at ILM West: Google, Facebook, SoLoMo Day +++

ILM West is shaping up to be one of the great ones. Taking place Dec. 12-14 in downtown San Francisco, ILM West really reflects a sea change in local marketing from advertising to the new hybrid model of advertising and commerce (i.e. prepaid deals, reputation management, mobile app sales etc.).

We’ve made some big additions since our last update, starting with Google and Facebook. These add to the existing lineup, including our “rock stars” (Clear Channel CEO and industry legend Bob Pittman AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, Media News Group/Journal Register CEO John Paton and Deseret Media and former Harvard Business School Professor Clark Gilbert), and major sessions on deals, offers, verticals and the whole spectrum of local trends.

We will pursue three unique angles on Google at ILM West:

1- The local efforts, under Marissa Mayer’s local team. Jeff Aguero, head of local marketing, will present on everything local, from Zagat, to Google Places, to the Big G’s new “Get Online” program for SMBs. These strategies have really developed since this summer.

2- The global reseller effort. Global Channels head Todd Rowe will engage in an in-depth conversation with BIA/Kelsey President Neal Polachek on all his efforts.

3- Google Mobile. Mobile and Local Search exec Surojit Chatterjee will provide insights into this critical area for Google as part of our All SoLoMo morning on Day 3.

We’re also going deep with Facebook at ILM West. Facebook’s new local leader Matt Idema is our afternoon keynote on Day 2, with a lot of new details and a progress report on the local and vertical strategies. On Day 1, we are also taking a special look at working with Facebook’s platform with execs from Trada, Oodle and Kenshoo Local/Social weighing in. Eager but not sure how to play with Facebook? You will be when ILM West is done.

The SoLoMo event on Day 3 itself is going to be quite the cornerstone for ILM West. Curated by the research teams from our Social Local Media and Mobile Local Media programs, SoLoMo features top line data; and indepth and fresh looks at SoLoMo implementations from leaders at Google, AT&T Interactive, Zaarly, PayPal, XAd, JiWire and AppStack (Steve Espinosa’s new project.)

You can see the full agenda here. And register here.

Remember: We are making a donation to the SF/Marin County Food Bank for all registrations that come in by Thanksgiving.

ILM West Update: We’ve Added Great Speakers, Great Sessions

We’ve been having a lot of fun putting together the ILM West conference December 12-14 in San Francisco.

As noted in our Webinar yesterday (slides here), the conference has really come together with cutting-edge speakers, important research, and the introduction of several great sessions, including a major focus on SoLoMo (Social-Local-Mobile) on Day 3.

You already know about our keynotes and lead speakers, which include Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman, AllThings D‘s Kara Swisher, Entertainment.com CEO Dean Debiase, Cox Target Media CEO Michael Vivio and Dex Media CSO David Sharman.

Some new adds to the program include a special session on targeting local consumers and merchants with Yahoo’s targeting manager Jeff Minich, and LocalYokel Founder Dick O’Hare. We also have a great panel on the next wave of Deals with CBS Local Media President Ezra Kucharz, Belo Interactive GM Joe Weir, Thrillist VP Mike Rothman and Local Offer Network CEO Dan Hess.

And then there is our deep dive into verticals, featuring an A list group of vertical executives, including eBay U.S. Classifieds GM Larry Illg, Avvo CEO Mark Britton, Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney and Trulia CEO Pete Flint

We’ll also have in-depth sales interviews with Yodle CEO Court Cunningham and Google Global Channels Sales head Todd Rowe. And a great look at best practices for working with Facebook featuring Trada CEO Niel Robertson, Oodle CEO Craig Donato and Kenshoo Local GM Sivan Metzger.

And that’s just the tip of the ice-berg. This is a major, two-and-half day event full of learning, networking and insights. There is much more to come. You can register here.