LSA15: Local Make or Break in the Next 24 Months

In the penultimate session at LSA15, a panel of experts discussed the key near-term developments that will impact local and mobile marketers most directly in the next 18 to 24 months.  Panelists Bernadette Coleman of Advice Interactive Group, Dema Zlotin of Rio SEO, Manish Patel of Where2GetIt and Mark Dixon of NinthDecimal discussed some of the latest issues impacting the space.

There was unanimous agreement that mobile is now.  Two panelists are experiencing rates of 50-60% of traffic coming from mobile.  Knowing that mobile is used so prevalently means that your content must be optimized for mobile and emphasize truly local content – not just name, address and phone number but reflect unique content that doesn’t appear to be from a template.

On the other hand, there is a danger in operating in silos. In other words, separating marketing strategies or roles and not integrating what you do. For example, thinking or planning mobile separately from desktop, social or video campaigns leads to inefficiencies and a lack of a streamlined strategy.  Another example would be to plan location campaigns separately from branding.  Get away from thinking of “_______ marketing” and back to thinking of the basic goal of plain vanilla marketing.

This extends to organizational charts.  Having a chief of mobile or chief of social can create barriers to streamlining.  Marketing departments must also work closely with IT departments given the importance of technology in executing marketing plans or campaigns.

Today’s marketing service also requires significantly more engagement than before.  In the past, marketing tasks such as updating store location on a website or planning ad campaigns in traditional media required less frequent engagement with the client.  Social media, mobile devices and the real time nature of media consumption by consumers means reputation management is a daily marketing task.

Taking advantage of mobile will depend on two main drivers:

  1. As was discussed earlier in the conference, mobile has opened the door to much improved targeting as well as great accessibility to the use of targeting.  Location is only one way of targeting.  Information and data gathered from mobile devices is revealing very personalized profiles of users and providing accurate predictors of consumer behavior. Programmatic is also helping create scale in ability to target,  although for small businesses, self-service tools may be more well received.
  2. Measurement and connecting online-offline ROI.  Mobile makes attribution possible and business owners are demanding demonstrative evidence that marketing efforts are paying off.

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