While 2010 has been lauded as “the year of local,” it has also seen an influx of interest and spending by national brands to drive neighborhood-level store traffic. These initiatives have taken diverse (and sometimes highly publicized) forms: Gap’s deal-a-day offer through Groupon, Best Buy’s mobile check-in experiments with Shopkick, and a host of real-time inventory providers (Google Product Search, Milo, NearbyNow) allowing retailers to engage customers at the apex of purchase intent.
Geomentum VP Casey Squier told the ILM:10 audience that, as a byproduct of this hyperlocal focus, national brands are “turning to large agencies to put together a local program that can be understood by C-level execs that resonates throughout the entire organization.”
That’s exactly what Geomentum hopes to do for its clients when it officially launches the new technology in March 2011. Spawning from traditional agencies, it allows its client to do store-level planning by layering their sales data on top of Geomentum’s 2,000 data points about local neighborhoods. Retailers can then alter their media mix accordingly to better reach customers where they live and buy.
Ultimately, this should foster higher-quality lead generation, which is exactly what Marchex is touting to agencies through its performance-based pay-per-call platform. Scott Greenberg, Marchex senior VP of strategic development, stressed that as online and mobile advertising becomes more complicated, merchants of all sizes still demand the simplicity and measurable quality of phone calls.
Marchex’s platform allows resellers to create and distribute ad content for its clients across a pay-per-call network. Because performance governs the business model, businesses pay only when the phone rings. While Greenberg reports that the platform is largely being sold to larger brands to enable them to track store-level leads, he also hopes that it continues to move down market to SMBs.
Marchex is placing its bets on calls, but Reply.com CEO Payam Zamani thinks that search and display can still be effective as long as these clicks, or leads, are “enhanced” to account for consumer intent and location. Otherwise, driving targeted traffic is both expensive and imprecise.
The pledge to businesses through the Reply Marketplace is simple: “sign up and receive locally targeted and intent specific prospects” based on particular customer actions being sought. Echoing Marchex, he noted that two-thirds of the company’s business comes from bigger businesses looking to locally target.