Finding Your Place In the Local Commerce Universe

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BIA/Kelsey CEO Tom Buono spoke today at BIA/Kelsey NEXT about the ideas driving local commerce and his company’s research strategy.

“We announced the first map of the local commerce universe at our SMB show and have been working to populate our database describing the marketing environment.” Buono said. “There is a multi-layered constantly changing soup called ‘life’ that we have to observe” to make decisions confidently.

The transformation of society and business due to the ongoing evolution of technology has produced a radically new environment in which marketing, advertising, engagement, transactional and other business service providers must compete. Not only must digital media companies compete, they also need to cooperate with other companies, integrate technology and reporting capabilities, as well as add value through greater transparency for SMBs, agencies and, ultimately, consumers. BIA/Kelsey has christened this world the “local commerce universe” and is redesigning its practices around a data-driven approach to market analysis.

Drawing parallels to the many forms of data a person relies on to stay informed in business, as a citizen and in their personal lives, Buono explained that business will lead the way in applying data to decision-making. “It’s not sufficient anymore to think about just my products or services and those of my competitors, because the market is changing so rapidly,” he said.

BIA/Kelsey is transforming its business to focus even more of its resources on actionable data-data advisory services. Buono explained that the company is investing to capture new financial, market share, product and spending metrics to help its clients better understand their competitive environment. “New products, new technologies and new business approaches are transforming the market all the time,” Buono said, “The traditional view of [our market] is no longer sufficient.”

Local Commerce Universe todayBuono also showed a few sample visualization from our ongoing work. Contrasting the traditional media market, currently worth approximately $110 billion in advertising revenue, with more than 30 market clusters that currently represent $65 billion to $70 billion in local spending, he illustrated how an emerging cadre of marketing competitors will change the local commerce environment over the next decade. More than 200 of the companies included in the new view are less than five years old. In the Ecommerce space, we estimate revenues of between $7.5 and $10 billion in local spend in 2015.

Local Commerce Universe in 2020By 2020, traditional media will remain at $110 billion in revenue, but the digital marketing clusters are projected to double in value to between $140 — $150 billion in revenue. eCommerce will grow to approximately $30 billion in five years, so that the total local market will account for total revenue of $300 billion, while traditional media revenue will remain relatively static over five years.

The market will grow by 50 percent in size, but mostly outside the traditionally dominant media companies.

The BIA/Kelsey team is working to create useful client data exposing these changes as they happen. “If you are going to develop a strategy for your company, you have to do it in the context of the larger world, from this [data-driven] perspective,” Buono said. Everything from product and go-to-market planning to valuation and investment analysis must be based in the rising tide of data, and intelligent identification of what’s noise and what is signal.

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