Thanks very much to all the members of the BIA/Kelsey community who came to the Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference last week in Austin.
We had quite a large crowd of about 500 people, and did some really great new things – touring Capital Factory, the home of 100 Austin startups; building a women’s networking group within our community; showcasing demos over local Austin beers; and bringing a bunch of “real” (and smart) SMBs on stage, courtesy of our friends at Yelp.
I think it is safe to say that we all loved Austin – the “weird” city that really delivers. While we’ll be in super New Orleans for the SMB show next year, we’ll find a way to come back to the Texas capital.
As researchers, of course, we found a lot to like at the show – some real takeaways that will greatly impact our research and analysis in coming months. My colleague Charles Laughlin and I got to sum up our takeaways in a great SMB All Stars panel that we did to wrap up the event.
What we noted was that while almost all of our programming is anchored in sales and profits, the new SMB Digital Marketing discussions can be broken down into:
Social Media/Engagement: Home/landing pages, images, video, content management, reviews, reputation management, Facebook, Yelp, Pinterest, blogs, email
Retail and Transactions: Big data, coupons, showrooming, loyalty and promotions, scheduling/booking, transactions
Mobile Transition: Mobile optimization, Geo-location, always on, ewallet functionality
Our next event is our flagship: Interactive Local Media. This year, it will be held Dec. 10-12, and we are back in San Francisco, where so much of the action is in this space. Early confirmed speakers include Joanne Bradford, SF Chronicle; Kara Swisher, AllThingsD; Chris Schroeder, Author, Startup Rising; Victor Ho, FiveStars; Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack; Lama Nachman, Intel; Mark Roberge, Hubspot; Sean Smyth, Groupon; Joe Zedeh, Airbnb; Denise Cuddihy, The Weather Company; and Bill Dinan, Telmetrics. Sign up now for early discount rates.
10 favorite quotes From SMB Digital Marketing
“Software is going to dominate local marketing. In a few years, everybody is going to be in a Software as a Service business.” Nate Hanks, President, ReachLocal
“We can’t just make it as a reselling channel.“ Paul Ryan, CTO, YPG
“The publishers are shifting from print to a marketing services model. The challenge is one of margin.” Simon Greenman, CEO, Home Advisor Europe
“The #1 thing is proving ROI to advertisers. What we’ve found is that it is not just driving searches, but task completion: for us, that means location extension, click to call with Skype, and card linked offers.” Raj Kapoor, Sr. Director, Local and Mobile Advertising, Microsoft
“‘We won’t invest in anyone unless they can tell us why they won’t get steamrolled by Amazon.‘” Jeff Fagel, CMO, Gannett’s G/O Digital, quoting one of the partners at Andreesen-Horowitz.
“If you’re not on the infrastructure side and you’re just on the advertiser side alone without a large legacy sales force, you’re going to find it very difficult to scale.” Matt Booth, CEO, YellowBot
“Google is not king. The more content you have, the better. People undervalue journalism in today’s marketing.” Mark Roberge, SVP, Hubspot
“Mobile payments are going to have a big impact. But it has little to do with paying with your phone, which is not much better than paying with your credit card.” Seth Priebatsch, CEO, LevelUp
“Commodity content is not only not helpful, it is dangerous for a business… focus on high end and useful content…things we think people will engage with.” Mike Orren, President, Speakeasy
“Without Yelp, I would be a one man operation, cleaning carpets all day.” Matt Hagebusch, owner, Austin Carpet Cleaner