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LSA Members in the Business of Local: The Search Agency

Today’s member spotlight is with The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. The company is one of the US’s largest and fastest growing search marketing firms – named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™.

We caught up with Ben Gibson, global managing director of The Search Agency’s award winning solution AdMax Local, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does The Search Agency solve? How?
Delivering quality local marketing solutions to small businesses has proven challenging: clients with low budgets provide small margins. With most organizations using a traditional ‘agency model’ (using high-cost, skilled labor to manage campaigns) the low margins left a choice to either run campaigns at a loss, or to provide a poor quality of service and results. With our knowledge of search, sites and local, we knew there was a better way to drive both results for local businesses, and profitability for intermediaries, through abandoning the agency model and using a revolutionary new programmatic approach.

The result is AdMax Local, a fully automated SaaS platform designed for traditional media companies, marketing agencies, media resellers, franchisors and other businesses looking to add search engine marketing and websites to their service portfolio or improve the performance and profitability of their existing SEM business. AdMax Local’s automation reduces operating costs by up to 90%, and so frees businesses from being forced to choose quality search campaigns over profitable campaigns. For the first time businesses have an alternative to the traditional Agency model of SEM management, and are now able to automate all aspects of an SEM campaign–from sales, deployment and account creation, to bidding and management—while still running high-quality, hyper-local campaigns.

What makes The Search Agency innovative?
We’ve been in the search business for a long time and we know what it takes to make search marketing truly work month over month.  We’ve ‘baked in’ years of know-how into our platform.  The combination of best in class engineering together with a deep bench of experts from the largest search agency, gives us a tremendous edge for marketing innovation.

But knowledge alone is not enough; we have a core principle within the business that there is always a better way; as such we encourage taking a new approach to solve the new problems our partners and clients face. The result is our proprietary automation platform that flies in the face of the traditional agency model, and provides a new, programmatic way of delivering quality local marketing solutions.

How does The Search Agency make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
Time is of the essence for local business owners.  They have no time to work through complex marketing techniques and they also do not have time to wait for advertising to work.  Paid search is the most effective, immediate method to change the stakes for a local business. We make search marketing a viable, effective advertising method for local businesses.  The result: more actionable leads in the form of phone calls, form fills and in store visits.

These are the types of leads that deliver immediate, meaningful results for the small business. We help the local merchant to use the most effective marketing techniques with the parameters of smaller budgets and highly targeted geographies. Sustainable results for local business are the reason why our Channel Partners experience tremendous retention of their local business customers.

What is next in local?
We see two key trends: more automation and better use of data to bring actionable insights to small business and their intermediaries (Channels).  

Our mission of delivering measurable results aligns with these trends.  By using automation to take away the complexity of digital marketing, we give our channel partners a cost effective means to deliver business changing results to their local business customers.  The use of automation and programmatic marketing will dramatically change the way local business gets new customers.  Data will become the central strategic component for local business to get ‘the edge’ in their geographic market.

As customers search in micro-geographies, local business need a highly relevant digital presence to that customer at that moment.  Data will help direct a relevant presence, while automation will make it real at the moment of truth, when and where the customer is searching.

For more information, please contact admax@thesearchagency.com or click here to learn more about AdMax Local. Also, AdMax Local was a winner in last year’s Ad to Action Awards. Check out the webinar presentation of the solution below.

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