The ‘Enterprisation’ of Local

When I first started writing about “local,” a long time ago, it was almost exclusively a small business concept. Brands and national retailers didn’t “identify” with the term. The “local online ecosystem” simply didn’t apply to them — in their minds.

Never mind that the vast majority of products and services were (and still are) purchased and fulfilled offline. But over the course of time and through the rise of mobile devices, the discussion has changed. Local (or location) is now just as much an enterprise concern and concept as it is an SMB issue.

Several factors have driven the “enterprisation of local”:

  • Consumer behavior (online to offline) has become more transparent to brands. Loads of research has affirmed this.
  • Google placed progressively more emphasis on local as mobile became the primary device category
  • Both Google and Facebook have steadily built out more and more local products and features
  • Many technology vendors that targeted SMBs directly shifted focus to “aggregators” and others that focused on enterprises have moved “down market” as well
  • The advent of location intelligence and the growing use of location data
  • Local marketing has been shown to be more effective for enterprises

Three announcements in the past 24 hours underscore the change in the market:

  • Pandora announced a milestone with Placed: the two companies have used location analytics across 400+ brand campaigns over the past four years, with strong results. Pandora said that “every brand” (in relevant categories) is now asking for location/offline attribution and analytics.
  • Factual announced yesterday that it had raised $42 million more in investor capital, brining the total to almost $110 million. It will use the money in part to accelerate growth in Asia.
  • Uberall, which competes with Yext, raised an additional $25 million and has acquired Navads. The acquisition helps Uberall expand its global customer base (by 800 brands across four continents) and will boost growth in North America.

Factual provides location data to large platforms and helps brand marketers with audience targeting, competitive intelligence, insights and attribution. Uberall has positioned itself as an holistic location management platform, including local reputation. Its primary targets are multi-location brands and franchises.

There are many more examples, but these three (coming in the same roughly 24 hour period) illustrate how location data and location-based market have become central enterprise concerns. This is not to say that “local” is any less relevant to SMBs than it was before.

In just one week in New York we’ll be at the Place Conference, which showcases enterprise uses of location intelligence in ways you won’t find in any other conference. Some key sessions on the agenda include:

  • Applied Location Intelligence: From Site Selection to Sales Management
  • Location & CPG: Real-World Insights into Sales
  • Two Great Tastes: Direct Mail and Mobile Display
  • What Nobody Will Tell You about Location Data
  • Location & Privacy: The Way Forward
  • Google on Measurement: Seeing the Whole Picture
  • Driving Retail Foot Traffic with Product Inventory Data
  • How to Find (More of) Your Best Customers with Location Intelligence
  • Pandora: What 400 Campaigns Taught Us about Location Attribution
  • The Buy Side: Where Promise Meets Activation

Also check out our companion, free agency/brand workshop with Google and PlaceIQ.

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