#LSA18: Thriving in the New Local Marketplace

There’s never been a better time to be part of the marketing world. We’re in the midst of a digital transformation that is changing the way we live, play, do business and shop for products and services.

We’re communicating in new ways and, as a result, companies are connecting with customers in new ways.

Think about it: What used to be print (think newspaper and direct mailers) is now largely digital (from social media to online searches). In fact, at Vivial helping our customers — primarily small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — reach their customers through digital and mobile messaging channels has surpassed traditional print methods.

And data reveals just how dramatic this shift in behavior really is: According to Google, the average consumer references 10 sources before making a purchase, and 67 percent of a consumer’s purchase journey is done digitally.

Because being a student of our industry is the only way to stay ahead of it, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to learn something new and also share best practices with others.

Today, our CEO and fearless leader, Jim Continenza, did just that. He joined forces with hundreds of marketers in the Windy City at the Local Search Association’s 2018 conference, The New Local Marketplace.

During the Leadership, Competition and Change Session, Continenza and Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insights with LSA, explored the digital transformation and how businesses can compete in this brave new world and meet the needs of their customers.

In this session, Continenza provided an overview of Vivial’s transformation over the last few years to meet the changing needs of its customers. This included Vivial’s transformation from a print-based company to a digital one, the internal infrastructure that has been so important in that transformation, its unique marketing platform and mobile first, not mobile only philosophy.

Continenza also shed some light on Vivial’s approach to the build, buy or partner dilemma that most businesses face at some point in their lifespan. He discussed the challenges and lessons learned through the dozen acquisitions the company has made over the last five years and how this growth strategy has allowed the company to solve real business issues for its clients. For example, the acquisition of mGage allows the company to bring mobile messaging to SMBs.

I think everyone in attendance at LSA18 can agree managing multiple channels and marketing partners is cumbersome, and business owners don’t have time to take on one more thing. This session definitely provided some great insights for businesses of all sizes on how they can more effectively manage their digital marketing programs in the new local marketplace.

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