Scoping the On-Demand Home Services Market: Women In the Lead

TaskRabbit, HomeJoy, HomeAdvisor, Handy, ClubLocal, Pro.com, Amazon Home Services and, most recently, Google, to name just a few, have entered the exploding home services market to provide in-home labor and professional workers fast access to their local market. According to a recent The New York Times article, the market is valued between $400 billion and $800 billion annually by the companies chasing this newly accessible revenue.

With that massive revenue target in mind, BIA/Kelsey is in the process of segmenting and understanding the keys to the home services, research we’ll be introducing at our upcoming NOW: The Rise of the Local On-Demand Economy Conference on June 12th in San Francisco. In this posting, we’ll discuss who the primary customer targets for these services may be. In upcoming installments, we’ll look at when potential buyers will be most ready to pay for work that has traditionally been “free.”

Of course, in economics, nothing is free, but many factors are often very poorly measured or simply ignored when talking about the value of labor in the home. With the arrival of logistics systems that aggregate supplies of labor for the home, many new costs and expenses can be included in the economic decision-making of the household. That expansion of measured labor will certainly change the perception of the work that homemakers and home repair enthusiasts have previously treated as “free labor.”

Building a paradise or hell?

Logistics and information technology has dramatically improved productivity in large enterprises. They can transform local services, too, if entrepreneurs take the time to assess their customer’s needs and ability to pay in relation to the value of work that traditionally has been treated as contributions to the family.

What’s the real opportunity, to provide services to wealthy homes or to make home services affordable for many more people than today? Home services are often dismissed as a San Francisco-bred phenomenon brewed from a mix of overpaid Millennials and under-employed local workers who will take the lowest possible wage, because they have no other options. In reality, the emerging home services market is the product of enhanced coordination and logistics made possible by technology.

The arrival of data-driven coordination and management could result in an inhumane system of exploitation in which workers fight for scraps or it can lift more people into work that serves their neighbors, their own goals and those the community values. Only the latter approach can result in a robust local economy.

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VCs: Will LODE Displace Local Search?

Local On-Demand Economy (LODE) apps were the largest recipient of VC funding in 2014. And it makes sense given the favorable unit economics that LODE services can accomplish, along with several other metrics that VCs tend to like. This was…

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Sightly, PowerChord and G/O Digital Grab GOLOCAL Awards

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BIA/Kelsey announced the winners of the 2015 GOLOCAL Awards on Friday morning, the closing day of BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL. The awards recognize successful local marketing initiatives deployed by national brands. Sightly, PowerChord and G/O Digital captured the wins with their respective projects:

“Congratulations to our GOLOCAL winners, who have demonstrated strategic, innovative and results-driven approaches to national-local marketing,” said MacKenzie Lovings, VP of marketing, BIA/Kelsey. “The campaigns showcase how to make national spending on local marketing efficient and targeted. We learned so much from all the companies who entered and shared their case studies. We also thank our esteemed panel of judges for their time and expertise.”

The criteria judges applied in making the selections were the ability to make national spending on local more efficient and targeted, campaigns that drove  national-local messages with innovative technologies and services, and projects that delivered national-local sales success for the client.

G/O Digital Lead Generation and Social Audience Engagement. Welding and HVAC repair students were recruited for StrataTech, a trade learning company in G/O Digital’s campaign. “The key goal in social is making the connection,” said Marty McDonald, director of strategic accounts at G/O, a Gannett Company. “We immersed ourselves in their business and understanding what that student looks like at each stage of the process.”

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Dave Walker Obliterates the National-to-Local Myth

Chief Marketing Officers are in “an exclusive club that drinks a lot and makes bad decisions,” Dave Walker, Chairman, BizHive, told BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL.

His tongue-in-cheek opening statement set the stage for a rapid-fire dissection of the disconnect that afflicts the national/local conversation. An accomplished marketer who has led go-to-market strategies for Walmart, Microsoft, Toys R Us, and Home Depot, among others, he recently launched BizHive, an SMB advertising and marketing services marketplace.

Walker kicked off his session explaining the results of the CMO Council’s survey of CMO satisfaction with their local marketing:

* Only eight percent of CMOs reported being satisfied with their current local marketing.
* This despite the fact that 57 percent of national brand marketers say local is critical to success.
* 63 percent had “nothing in place for their local measurements.”
* Only seven percent of CMOs say they currently have a successful local marketing program in place.

Walker suggested that today’s CMO lives by The Three C’s: Capture, Captivate, Convert, which are intimately linked to their compensation, but can interfere with addressing the customer on their terms. A sea change in thinking is necessary for a transformation of local marketing, which currently lives on a leash held by national marketers who discount the importance of individual preferences.

A language barrier

“We are seeing that there are so many ways to describe “local” that this is part of the problem,” Walker said. “Everyone has a different definition. So, who is defining ‘local?’ Is it a service, a technology, a map?” In 1980, when he started his CMO career, Walker said, CMOs defined local with lines on maps.

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Local On-Demand Economics: Conversational Intelligence will Supplant SEO


If search engine optimization is the primary marketing tool of the Web era, call analysis will be just one tool in the marketing optimization quiver for local conversations. A new category, Conversational Intelligence, will emerge to address the demands for deep personalization in online and physical sales engagements.

As the Local On-Demand Economy (LODE) evolves, more interaction between merchants, brands and customers will take place in rich media environments where the click is only one step, albeit still important, to improved customer engagement, satisfaction and conversion rates. We’ll be covering this emerging economy at BIA/Kelsey NOW in June (sign up today for the early-registration discount), but the topic is a hot one at our NATIONAL Conference this week.

“You’ve got so much information from just the click [on Google], but we have hundreds of keywords [in each call],” Jeremiah Wilson, founder and president of LogMyCalls, said in an on-stage conversation. That is an important insight that extends beyond marketers to political operatives and all breeds of persuasive messaging will need to embrace in the Local On-Demand Economy. It requires immense listening skills, algorithmic creativity and judicious use of insights to engage the person at the other end of a transaction.

The explosion of data in the enterprise during the last decade will be arriving in local markets through hosted services and resellers, such as media and marketing services companies. Search, which has dominated the past decade will continue to grow, but as we’ve heard repeatedly throughout the BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL Conference, there are many more steps to personalize the engagement with consumers.

The conversation, the basic unit of human communication (tweets, to provide contrast, are fragments of conversations), will be the new locus of analysis as the digital engagement model diversifies and lengthens the customer relationship to include pre-sales to post- and repeat-sales delivered to individual users. People think primarily in terms of their local context when

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Four Rules to Live and Work By

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One the first day of the BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL conference, the women attendees wrapped up their day at BIA/Kelsey’s special networking session “Women Leading in Local.” Our speakers for this session were Tina Paparone and Angela Giovine, founders of Happenings Media. Angela and Tina shared their story and discussed techniques for successfully striking authentic chords within communities and keys to their revenue success — marketing solutions beyond the banner including sophisticated native advertising techniques.

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BIA/Kelsey’s Celine Matthiessen with speakers Angela Giovine and Tina Paparone

Here are Tina and Angela’s four rules to live and work by:

1. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION: They say that a man (or of course woman) that follows their passion never work a day in their life. Bucks Happening actually didn’t start as a business; the website was simply a hobby, while we worked to build a different business. However, soon after launching, as readers were discovering the website, we received a call from a local print magazine who wanted to write a story on us. As we sat at the coffee shop trying to steer the conversation towards our “REAL” business, it became clear that 1) There was a real need for Bucks Happening and 2) We better start making money on it or stop spending so much time working on it! We quickly went to work on developing a business strategy.

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Embrace the Omni-Channel Mindset

Karen Traversi Kovalesi, President & CEO, Geary LSF, a San Francisco integrated digital marketing agency, told BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL that marketers and brands must think across media and organizational boundaries to bring customers to a transaction decision.

“You get business results, not just business tactics,” she said. “Omni-Channel is a mindset, not just a business practice.” Geary LSF must work to create unique combinations of digital messaging and engagements to bridge he national/local marketing challenge, Taversi Kovaleski told the audience, sharing examples from three industries, professional placement, healthcare and consumer products.

“Local reigns supreme,” she said. “Brands get people to the door, but once they are engaged they are looking for something personal about the purchase — these are local decisions.” Even in B2B purchases, which many believe are fairly cut-and-dried standardized decisions, the individual wants to be informed very early in the process, which requires multiple messaging options to address the lead. In the consumer space, too, there are many touchpoint along the way rather than a single monolithic campaign “But many of our clients, we find, are not doing that,” she said.

She pointed to three clients: Kelly Services; MedStar Washington Hospital Center, BumbleBee, the seafood company.

Kelly is a global leader in workforce solutions. Over the past few years, the workforce Kelly supports has changed to emphasize skills over location — work can now be performed anywhere. Hiring companies no longer need to see Kelly reps. It allows Kelly to reach more potential business partner/customers through digital, which opens an engagement process that can be fulfilled largely online. Individuals doing the work, however, do like to talk to someone, to get the personal touch, so Kelly must balance its hiring company-facing messaging with local opportunities for business talent to connect and learn about the opportunities with Kelly.

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Franchises Go Loco

Today at BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL, real life national brands stressed the importance of social media and local reviews in any location-based ad strategy. This is an always-welcome perspective, given that the BIA/Kelsey stage is usually filled with media companies (sellers) rather…

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Talking to Brands From Different Verticals

Brand advertisers find that striking a balance between traditional and digital media advertising is key to their success at the local level.

During a panel at BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL in Dallas today, brand marketers from across different business categories described on how they manage their localized marketing and advertising activities. The conversation focused on the unique challenges that emerge when blending efforts to gain new customers with promoting brand awareness. In Short: customer acquisition is a common theme for service-oriented businesses, brand awareness is a secondary concern.

Driving more customers to local businesses is the most important goal, said Dave Moody, Director of Field Marketing at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Online marketing is only as useful as the actual revenue it drives back to local service branches, he said. “A click doesn’t mean much to me. The end goal for us is to get into a customer’s home, and we’ve worked on our SEO and search marketing efforts to drive more calls and requests for appointments.”

Service Experts has shifted their online strategy from search marketing (SEM) spending to direct-response offerings.

“We’re not paying for a lot of ads, we’re more invested in a pay-per-call advertising, including yellow pages and direct mail,” Moody said. That sentiment was echoed by Keith Dailey, Director of Internet Marketing for UniGroup, the parent company of United Van Lines. He added that in addition to creating a channel for driving more leads to local locations, an objective that guides marketing strategy for UniGroup is ensuring that location listings are consistently maintained and always accurate.

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At BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL: Television and Newspapers Go Rogue

Stacey Sedbrook and Peter Krasilovsky of BIA/Kelsey led a SuperForum to end Day One of BIA/Kelsey NATIONAL. Panelists included:

Steve Lanzano, President & CEO, TVB Local Media Marketing Solutions
Grant Moise, Sr. VP, Business Development, The Dallas Morning News
Ethan Selzer, Vice President, Retail & Regional Advertising, The Washington Post
Pam Taylor, Corporate Director of Digital Sales, Meredith Corp.

All this is paraphrased reportage, except for passages in quotes, which are verbatim.

Peter Krasilovsky: Many people don’t understand the national reach of a newspaper. How do you explain your papers’ national reach?

Grant Moise: The Dallas Morning News benefits from the Dallas Cowboys. Fifty-percent of visitors come from outside the market, and they visit for the Cowboys.

Ethan Selzer: The Washington Post is a national political publication. The company is organizing candidate-based packages to support voter decision-making. It’s a myth that newspaper readers have already decided who they will vote for — they read to learn and decide.

Since Jeff Bezos bought the Post, it has added 10 million regular readers, compared to 38 million before the acquisition 18 months ago. He cares about audience growth.

Native Advertising started as a corporate initiative. It started with a mattress company, Mattress Warehouse, where decisions are high consideration and infrequent. Native campaigns can help people understand complex things the media would not cover. The articles were about the value of sleep and quality of sleep for the individual. It was “shared massively.”

Stacey Sedbrook: How has the SpeakEasy relationship at The Dallas Morning News?

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