, 20 Nov 2014

Angie’s List, which has recently seen a deterioration in its stock as investors have lost confidence in its ability to grow its premium subscription and ad model, has announced that it has gone Mobile First. The changeover is significant because the company, which has nearly three million users, has continued to support a wide variety of media. Many years after other companies went all digital, for instance, Angie’s has continued to provide personalized phone referrals to its well heeled (and older) home owner customer base.

The move to mobile first is accompanied by the launch of a new mobile app, which offers “concierge level” help for consumers seeking to hire the right service and medical professionals. It provides research for providers; shop for specific home improvement services; and “SnapFix” a project, automatically assigning service pros to projects based on specifications.

“We studied our members’ behavior and directly asked them what they want from us,” noted a company press release quoting founder Angie Hicks. “As a result, we’re not just connecting them to highly rated service companies through a swipe or a click, we’re stepping into the transaction, improving their experiences start to finish.”

A press note added that the new efforts are “symbolic of the corporate shift from just providing highly reliable information to getting in the middle of transactions to make the hiring process easier and the results better, faster.”

We’ll be diving deep into the future of Home Improvement services with local digital leaders from The Home Depot, Thumbtack and Serviz on Day 1 of the Leading in Local conference in San Francisco Dec. 3-5. You may register here.

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, 19 Nov 2014

32 percent of mobile ad spend in the U.S. is from location targeted campaigns, according to BIA/Kelsey forecast data. But a question that keep coming up is how much of that is from SMBs, as opposed to national companies (brands, agencies, etc.), that do location targeted mobile advertising?

We examined this question at our September SMB Conference in New Orleans (video below). The answer: less than 10 percent. That can be expected, given mobile advertising’s still-nascent status, and the fact that SMBs tends to trail larger advertisers that generally have more resources and savvy.

But interestingly, this SMB share will grow to one third by 2019 — thus approaching the 36 percent SMBs hold in overall location targeted advertising. In other words as mobile local advertising matures, it will resemble the split seen in the overall local media pie (YP, radio, TV, online, etc.).

The SMB mobile adoption itself will come from 1. their own natural evolution to self serve, which is in turn supported by available tools like Google’s Enhanced Campaigns. 2. The efforts of local media companies like YP and Yelp to better push mobile advertising, and make a stronger case for it.

See the  video below for more. We’ll continue this discussion and many others at our Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media conference, only 2 weeks away in San Francisco. Hope to see you there.

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, 17 Nov 2014

Big Data is becoming democratized. That was an underlying theme at our SMB Digital Marketing conference. We discussed this in an on-site analyst roundtable posted last month.

To continue that discussion, we put together a highlight reel of conference Keynoters and their biggest conference takeaways when we were able to tackle them back stage.

“Increasingly, data [for] large advertisers are available to SMBs,” said Acxiom CEO Scott Howe. “Those that embrace it are going to be running all kinds of targeted advertising with much better results.”

See the rest embedded below.

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, 13 Nov 2014

The end of the year usually means a few things to us: the holidays; our annual predictions; and Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media, the industry’s flagship event.

This year’s event is especially hot — a 2 1/2 day extravaganza taking place Dec. 3-5 in San Francisco. More than 50 speakers have been recruited by the analyst team, and we’ve added some great extra-curricular activities, including a Tech Expo with top companies showing off their wares “Before The Bell” on Day 1; a Women’s Leading in Local networking event on day 2; and an International Roundtable.

Here’s our newest news: BIA/Kelsey Analyst Emeritus Matt Booth (currently CEO, Connectivity) is coming back to moderate one of two Executive Sessions with Google leaders. We’ll kick off with Managing Director of Global Channel Sales Todd Rowe, than go deep in conversations with Head of premier SMB partnerships Christine Merritt; Adwords Express Product Manager Francisco Uribe; Google My Business Senior Product Manager James Croom; and Global Business Leader for Google Shopping Max Frause.

We also have feature presentations set by YP CMO Allison Checchi; Deseret Digital Media CEO Clark Gilbert and President Chris Lee; Yodle CEO Court Cunningham; Pinterest Head of Partnerships Joel Meek; and Salesforce VP Randy Wootton.

We are also set with a great discussion between me and Business Book of the Year Winner Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. And then there are the feature presentations by First Data SVP Krish Mantripragada; InfoGroup CDO Matt Graves; and Go Daddy SVP Raj Mukherjee. And we’ve also got a great, seven company Superforum dedicated to local’s most important issue: “Make the Phone Ring.”ť

There’s so much more. Check out the Full agenda. Register here.

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, 13 Nov 2014

Marketing automation is a key topic in local advertising these days, as lots of tools previously reserved for large advertisers are becoming “democratized.” This is parallels the down market shift happening with big data, an underlying theme at our September SMB Digital Marketing show.

BIA/Kelsey analyst Abid Chaudhry will continue this discussion at our next conference — Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media — now just 3 weeks away.  We’ll be in San Francisco again this year and unpacking the marketing automation topic as well as many others.

“There have been lots of efforts to bring the high scale marketing practices of brands and agencies into local media,” says Chaudhry. “But there’s been varied success. We’re going to talk about the opportunities that still exist.”

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