SMB Marketing Predictions for 2017 from ReachLocal CPO Kris Barton

At the end of 2016 we asked members of the extended LSA community to tell us what they expect in 2017 for location-based marketing and media. We received a broad mix of predictions from over 50 industry professionals and compiled them into a free report.

Below are the predictions submitted by Kris Barton, chief product officer at ReachLocal: 

Social Advertising Will Be Key Pillar in Local SMB Advertising, Along with Search, Local Listings

Two factors will drive a significant uptick in SMB adoption of social advertising in 2017. First, Facebook is delivering more ROI-driven advertising programs, such as Lead Ads. ROI-driven programs will prompt SMBs to move beyond just creating a company page, and start integrating social ads into their lead generation programs.

The second driver is the maturation of Facebook’s channel partner programs. Knowing that local businesses simply don’t have the time or expertise required to effectively implement a social media advertising program, Facebook is focusing a great deal of effort on lining up channel partners and certified experts. These experts will be available to provide SMBs with the required expertise to effectively use Facebook advertising solutions.

Local Biz Will Think More about Closed Loop ROI

As SMBs begin to adopt lead management/marketing automation technologies, the metrics they use to measure success will evolve from “where did the lead come from” to “did the customer generate revenue for our company.” As lead management solutions gain widespread adoption at the SMB level, SMBs will begin tracking customers from lead source, all the way down to the transaction level and effectively close the ROI loop on their marketing programs.

Local Biz Will Focus on Improving 24-Hour Multi-Channel Engagement

With an increasing array of lead sources including online, email, chat, phone and in store visits driven from a variety of marketing programs such as organic search, paid search, social, direct mail campaigns or advertisements, local businesses are struggling to respond to inquiries. We expect 2017 to be the year that SMBs will finally put lead management/marketing automation to work to facilitate 24×7 lead response, engagement and management.

To access the more than 50 2017 predictions, download the report here.

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