As you may have read, the second annual Street Fight Summit West happened today at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco. (Or is still happening: attendees are raising a toast right this minute at the post-event cocktail party. Cheers!) We here at ReviewTrackers have been keeping up with all the updates from #SFSW13, a hyperlocal marketing conference that saw a pretty awesome group of local marketing rockstars, startup entrepreneurs, and top industry execs gather in one can’t-miss event.
Well, if you did miss it, don’t worry. We tracked the conversations taking place and collated some info that, hopefully, will give you a better, clearer idea of what’s happening in today’s hyperlocal marketing landscape.
Local discovery plays an increasingly important role in driving local commerce. Mike Ghaffary, the Vice President of Business Development at online reviews aggregator Yelp, was the morning keynote speaker at Street Fight Summit West. He talked about how the Web and mobile apps are driving $1 trillion in local commerce – a number that’s bound to increase as local discovery continues to evolve in its role as a driver for connecting consumers with local businesses.
This continued evolution is due in large part to all the local data (online reviews, ratings, check-ins) being generated by communities through Yelp and other similar online local discovery platforms. In fact, in a recent article on Street Fight, Ghaffary asserted that the “local layer” of the Internet is thickening. “Just like Facebook is the social layer of the web, I think Yelp is, logically, the local layer of the Internet,” he said. “(And) what’s more valuable is (aggregating) what the community at large thinks, and then (using) an algorithm take that all in and turn it into useful info for me. I see it as a very different value proposition.”
Online directories, business listings, and local search continue to evolve. This was one of the key points in the discussion by SinglePlatform CEO Wiley Cerilli and Search Influence CEO Will Scott. Thanks to local content publishers, review aggregators, and sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Google+ Local, and YP.com (among many others), the scope of the local search landscape has significantly expanded and evolved. Simply put: we’ve moved past the old-fashioned yellow pages, and people find local businesses differently now – via their social networks, mobile devices and apps, and local recommendations.
Businesses therefore have to find creative new ways to market, engage, and respond. And that’s why we’re seeing new types of media groups emerge, downplaying their ad products and focusing instead on becoming local marketing service agencies for businesses. It’s no longer just about selling ads; it’s about delivering the type of support that businesses need amidst all these changes. SinglePlatform, for example, offers management of local data so that its business customers can update their menus, products, and services across the Web. We here at ReviewTrackers, meanwhile, help local businesses monitor online reviews from all major review sites, in one central location.
Mobile is going to get bigger. The increasing number of smartphone and tablet owners means that mobile ad spending is growing faster than ever (and faster than expected): according to research firm eMarketer, it was already at $4 billion in the third quarter of last year in the U.S. alone.
You can bet that it’s going to continue to balloon. (Do you know that people check their phones 150 times a day on average – or once every 6.5 minutes?) Indeed, the ability to target the smartphone and tablet market is a huge local marketing opportunity that mobile devices bring to digital advertising. More and more local business owners are recognizing this, and that’s why the industry experts are attempting to identify the ingredients to a successful mobile campaign, while also gathering all the intelligence they can in order to gain the insights needed to run engaging local mobile ads.
Did you miss today’s Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco? Read the latest updates or join the conversation happening on Twitter by using the event hashtag #SFSW13. You can also check out all the ReviewTrackers blog posts tagged with #SFSW13.