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DDL ’08: The Recap

By: 5 May 2008

Thanks to all who attended and participated in last week’s Drilling Down on Local conference in Seattle. The show was a large success. Here is a recap of coverage from the TKG blog in case you missed any posts.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
The final day of the Drilling Down on Local conference featured a keynote by Merrill Brown, of MMB Media. Brown is an industry guru with a history of developing groundbreaking media strategies and operations. Among other things, he has been Editor-in-Chief then SVP of MSNBC.com. He also created Court TV along the way. (read more…)

Drilling Down on Local ’08: AOL Reinvests in Local
AOL may have trouble on several fronts, but it still gets millions of users and it intends to fully leverage them at the local level, per Chris Spanos, Director of Search Verticals, who was speaking at Kelsey Seattle. “Given its scale, local just hasn’t been getting fair share.” (read more…)

More Local Video: Fox Enters the Picture
Fox Interactive Media will launch a self service video ad tool, according to the company’s stations group GM Ron Berryman. He announced the product, known as FIM AdStore, from the stage at DDL on Friday. This will be geared towards local and national advertisers that wish to create video ads and then bid on CMP inventory on FIM properties. (read more…)

Drilling Down on Local ’08: More from Google and Cars.com on Verticals
Google is a collaborative partner with all verticals, and generally speaking, has no interest in competing with them, per Adrian Madland, Google’s head of automotive strategic partnerships, who was speaking at Drilling Down on Local ’08 (a session also covered by TKG here and here). (read more…)

Drilling Down on Local ’08: Yahoo!’s Michael Yang on Verticals
If you believe at all in the “marketplace” vision of next generation commerce, it is hard to dispute that Yahoo! remains front –and- center as a verticals factory. This core strength of Yahoo!’s is especially important to note in the wake of Microsoft’s pullback from acquiring the company. What accounts for Yahoo’s focus on verticals is the critical “engagement of advertisers and publishers” in areas they wish to target, noted VP Michael Yang, who runs autos, real estate and now health for Yahoo! (read more…)

Call Genie at DDL: Location Relevance the Key to Mobile Search
Today at DDL, Call Genie Director of Product Evolution Gary Galinsky pegged the lineup of mobile ad formats (SMS, pre-roll audio, post-roll audio, banner, etc.) as “interruption marketing.” The only way to skirt this is relevance, and like real estate, he says, the greatest source of relevance in mobile is “Location, Location, Location.” In mobile search, location comes ahead of primary decision drivers in other media, such as brand and price. (read more…)

On the Leading (Bleeding?) Edge With Verticals
The first day of the Kelsey Drilling Down on Local conference included a somewhat unusual panel with four entrepreneurs in verticals. They talked about the nuts and bolts of building truly local verticals. These vertical pioneers shared their war stories and loads of practical advice. Some of the commonalities to their experiences: (read more…)

Drilling Down on Local ’08: The Opportunity in Geo-Domains
Dan Pulcrano closed out Day 2 of Drilling Down on Local ’08 with a presentation to expose attendees to the wild west of the geo-domain space. Pulcrano, owner of numerous city sites such as Seattle.com and SanJose.com, argued that the geo-domain sites are poised to become a much more powerful factor in the local search ecosystem. (read more…)

Drilling Down on Local ’08: Online Shifts in Auto
During yesterday’s afternoon session focused on Auto at Drilling Down on Local ’08, the panelists nearly universally said U.S. automaker giant General Motors was the furthest along in figuring out how to leverage the Web. Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com, said that has not always been the case — Toyota used to be the leader OEM but has since ceded that post to GM. GM’s leadership on the Web did not do much for driving car sales, as Ward’s Automotive reported that Q1 sales were down more than 16 percent. (read more…)

A Primer for Selling to SMBs
Speaking this afternoon at at The Kelsey Group’s Drilling Down on Local conference in Seattle, Kurt Weinsheimer, GM for Local Marketing Services at Spot Runner, offered a simple set of rules for effectively selling to small businesses. (read more…)

Online Real Estate at DDL: Think Agents and Age
The winners in online real estate will be those that partner with brokers and agents to be part of their businesses, said Jamie Glenn, Trulia VP of product development, during a real estate panel at DDL. Selling clicks and leads won’t be enough.Diversified information sources and tools for home buyers and sellers will also be needed as more entrants appear and compete on features and utility. (read more…)

Driving Relevant Content to Targeted Consumers
There is a tendency for speakers at a large conference to want to sell (they would say “educate”) the audience about their companies’ products and services. I know I’m guilty of it. Nevertheless, it is refreshing when a person making a presentation focuses exclusively on the session topic.At The Kelsey Group’s Drilling Down on Local conference in Seattle, one of the two dozen sessions was titled “The Revolution in Classifieds.” (read more…)

Google Says It’s All About Partnering
A leading auto vertical and Google sat on stage together this morning and provided some insight into how they might coexist. Cars.com President Mitch Golub made clear that sales and customer service will serve as an effective firewall that will prevent his operations from being disintermediated by Google. (read more…)

Zillow’s Rich Barton: Age of Verticals Just Beginning
Zillow.com’s founder Rich Barton used the analogy of the explosion of verticals to the storming of the Bastille and the strong desire for consumers to take control of the decisions in their lives, especially those with big financial implications. (read more…)

Yellowbook.com’s Pat Marshall Talks Partnerships
In an executive interview today with the “Father of IYP,” Pat Marshall, Yellow Book‘s chief new media officer talked about his re-entrance to the IYP space and what Yellow Book is looking for new business partners.In all fairness, Marshall, who was previously head of Idearc’s (the former Verizon) Superpages.com, said he didn’t want to return to the IYP space, but rather wanted to get back into local search. (read more…)

Building Hyperlocal Content in Seattle
In a session called “The Online City: Close Up on Seattle” here at Drilling Down on Local, The Seattle Times’ Patricia Lee Smith reiterated a point made earlier by the LA Times’ Rob Barrett, which is that online newspapers cannot compete on technology. The only way for newspapers to carve out a unique position online is to leverage not just unique local content, but also unique local understanding. (read more…)

Live From DDL: LA Times’ Rob Barrett
The Drilling Down on Local conference kicked off this morning with a presentation and conversation with Rob Barrett, the LA Times’ VP of Interactive. The underlying theme was how the Times is reengineering its online product to be … an online product. What it is now, Barrett admitted, is mostly a “dump” of the content that appears in the print paper (similar to the model we see at most online papers). This not only fails to take to heart the way online users consume content, but also has a geographic scope that isn’t differentiated. (read more…)

Meanwhile, here is what others are saying.



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