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BIAKelsey Sponsored Research

BIA/Kelsey continues to engage market leaders in its coverage areas, in order to collaborate on research reports. There are currently two in the works that we’re excited about. One is on content marketing at the local level and the other is on the art of optimizing local listings and reviews.

Saving the content marketing topic for tomorrow, listings and reviews optimization is a key area of local marketing. This is especially the case for larger advertisers that compete at the local level and have multiple locations to manage. This raises a lot of unique needs for location based marketing.

The research report in progress is the latest product of that focus, sponsored by SweetIQ. To preview the paper’s subject matter, we’ve included the executive summary below. Stay tuned for the full release in the coming weeks which will be a free download.

Executive Summary

Over the past decade, online and mobile media have molded new forms of cultural and consumer behavior. This has an especially large impact on the way we find things to do, buy, see or eat in our immediate vicinity.

This is important because of the scale of local commerce. Though e-commerce has received considerable attention, it’s often forgotten that it only accounts for about 7 percent of retail spending. The rest takes place offline… and most of that is within 15 miles of one’s home.

But due to the aforementioned consumer trends, an increasing portion of that offline consumer spending — about 40 percent and quickly growing — is influenced by online and mobile media. The name of the game becomes making phones ring and doors swing, not just getting more “clicks.”

It is with this backdrop that a massive opportunity unfolds to influence consumer behavior through optimized online presence. And given the rising prevalence of certain types of digital media, strategies are quickly shifting for local businesses to acquire and retain customers.

Local listing management and review monitoring are effective tools for converting online traffic to offline sales. Reviews for example, have gained prevalence and influence through the democratization of online and mobile channels. This has empowered consumers with a voice, and has given rise to influential sources such as Yelp.

But it doesn’t stop with Yelp. Reviews have become an expected part of many online and mobile local search experiences for consumers. That includes search engines, social networks, blogs, vertical sites, directories and businesses’ own websites.

Local businesses are now the subject of these increasingly transparent and empowered customer conversations. The question becomes how they can join and influence that conversation — amplifying it when positive and resolving it when negative.

SMBs, having a wide range of technical savvy, need help achieving this. Enter local marketing agencies, versed in the workings and latest nuances of online and mobile local media channels. The management of listings and reviews has become a sizeable opportunity.

It’s also an opportunity to serve large multi-location businesses, such as franchised operations, who compete at the local level. They have unique characteristics, such as corporate support and ad budget. These factors can create a large need for multi-location listings management.

This report, sponsored by SweetIQ, defines this opportunity as well as its challenges. What is the state of the art in location marketing? What are its shifting variables and best practices? And most importantly, what are the benefits for businesses that follow those best practices?

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