Greg Sterling, online local guru, posted an interesting topic over on his Screenwerk blog this morning entitled “You’re In Charge of the LSA – Now Go”. In the post, he challenges readers to put themselves in a position of leadership at LSA and answer the following questions:
What would you do to grow and invigorate the organization?
–What market needs are unmet that LSA 2.0 might meet?
–What data might you want it to collect?
–What companies would you go after as members?
–What services would you provide to members?
–What types of events would you do?
What other kinds of things would you do to make it responsive to the market, transform the organization and put it squarely in the center of the “local search ecosystem”?
It’s a fascinating discussion topic; a potential for a constructive discussion on how this long-established institution can evolve with the marketplace and continue to provide relevant resources for its membership. Rather than attempting to duplicate the content, the Marquette Measure encourages its readers to contribute to the existing thread and participate in the discussion.
Marquette Group’s Chief Operations Officer Duane Anderson has seen his fair share of change since joining the company in 2009. Initially hired on as the company’s Chief Information Officer, Duane found himself tasked with the integration of multiple data systems as the company acquired holdings of the former TMP Directional Marketing. He also oversaw the company’s transition to a cloud-based data structure to increase efficiency of communications between multiple offices in physically separate locations. As his responsibilities evolved so did his role within Marquette Group and this effective CIO found himself metamophosing into an even more effective Chief Operations Officer.
Recently, Duane was interviewed by Peter High of Metis Strategy for Forbes in which he discussed the evolving nature of his role in the company as well as the evolving nature of the digital workplace.
You can read the entire article at the link below:
This week’s webinar discussing key insights in local search from both SMX West and BIA/Kelsey has been posted online. To listen to the presentation by our Directors of Interactive – Gary Richmond and Steve Jurken- simply click the embedded video below.
Stay ahead of the competition with the latest search engine marketing (SEM) best practices presented at the recent SMX West conference, and the latest local marketing information presented at the “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference held by BIA/Kelsey.
Our presenters will discuss:
New SEO and SEM tactics to win on search results pages
SEM analytics and managing larger sets of data
Facebook Graph Search and what it means for businesses
Industry trends in local advertising
New advertising technologies, methods and opportunities to drive local leads
Rumors have been circulating about Facebook entering the search arena since 2011. Facebook Graph Search was announced in January, and it presents a huge opportunity for Facebook to become a major player in search. How did they pull it off? Facebook Graph Search searches not for what people want, but what they (and their friends) like.
The Social Graph database houses all the information Facebook’s estimated one billion users have added to their profiles—information like favorite musicians, restaurants and sports teams. Facebook has used this data in the past to push information to users, like page suggestions of brands they may like, and to potential friends you may want to connect with based on your prior preferences and friends list.
Now, Graph Search aims to take that a step further and give searchers the ability to harness the power of the Social Graph. Currently available in a limited beta release and being tested by Marquette Group, Graph Search allows you to combine phrases to get a set of people, places, photos or other content that has been shared. The unique aspect of Graph Search is the personalization of each set of search results. It relies heavily on ‘Likes’ and other connections to determine what to show as the most relevant search result for each user. This is arguably more effective than review sites in the case of restaurants and other attractions because people typically value their friends’ opinions more than strangers’. Graph Search also taps Bing to provide web-based search results when needed to help fill the results with content Facebook can’t find within its own walls.
Graph Search will change the way local businesses leverage the social network to build customer loyalty and drive new sales. The introduction of Facebook Graph Search provides businesses with greater incentive to invest time and effort in their presence on the site so they can appear among the top search results for a wider group of potential customers.
What does it mean for businesses? In order for local businesses to rank well in Graph Search results, there must be links between the information being shared by the business and the connections of the person conducting the search. This means that local businesses need to properly establish their Facebook presence and proactively engage with their customers in order to be relevant.
Do you only have one Facebook page? Consider separate pages for different locations. Remember that many businesses also have “Place” profiles set up by customers or others that allows users to check-in. Places will be referenced as well in determining Graph Search results, depending on the type of question the user asks (e.g., [restaurants my friends have been to] versus [restaurants my friends like]).
Ensure the name, category, vanity URL and all other information requested in the “About” section of your business page is shared so that users can find your business.
If your business has a location or local place Page, the address and popular locale (e.g., at Stonebriar Mall) should be updated to make sure it appears as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
Determine ways to attract fans to your business’ Facebook page and give them reasons to engage with your business on an ongoing basis. Both Facebook page “Likes” and “Check-Ins” will play critical roles in helping to drive visibility for your business in Graph Search – the more popular your business, the more likely it will appear in results.
Think strategically about the types of users you want to connect to: those who act as local influencers, have strong followings, reach a small but important niche, etc.
Take note that Facebook recently added the option to rate and recommend local businesses when users check in on the site. Make sure to keep a close eye on what customers are saying about your business so you can address any small issues before they become real problems for your reputation online.
There is a great deal of speculation surrounding the impact Graph Search will have on traditional search engines like Google, but only time will tell. It will take a lot of re-conditioning for people to get out of the Google habit, but with Facebook’s popularity, having a business presence in Graph Search certainly complements other marketing efforts.
Many advertisers struggle with the decision to jump into mobile because of concerns about audience targeting and lower click-thru rates that sometimes accompany mobile campaigns. The GPS functionality of mobile devices enables geo-targeting, but this one variable can’t identify what situation the searcher is in while in that location, nor does it target based on past activities. But by utilizing today’s technology, we can put your display advertising in front of the right customer at the right time using location, contextual and behavioral targeting.
Over the last year, the accuracy of the information from GPS signals emitted by smartphones improved significantly, driving more highly-targeted impressions for mobile advertising. New technology allows us to filter this hyper-local information through weather condition, time of day, and competitive presence databases. Marquette Group can now offer display advertising that appears in front of the right customer, one who is highly qualified to convert to a sale, at the right time–the final moments of the buying funnel. And when you’re paying for impressions or clicks, you want to be certain the likelihood of sales conversion is extremely high.
For example, using location-based targeting for a car dealership, we can now identify the dealerships’ nearby competitors and serve a mobile display ad to searchers within a very tight radius of those competitors, for instance, 50 yards, which indicates the searcher is in the competitor’s lot. This is the perfect time to offer that searcher a coupon or percent off to entice them to leave the competitor and come to the advertiser’s location.
Weather can also offer a significant opportunity for customization. A national home improvement chain running a mobile campaign across all major markets in the U.S. can now leverage an impending snowstorm in Philadelphia by offering a coupon for snow shovels the evening before the storm to mobile searchers in or very near surrounding competitors. Across the street, a restaurant chain can promote a hot soup lunch special on a snowy day from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to searchers near their store or their competitors’.
As technology improves and mobile devices continue to get smarter, the opportunities for precise marketing for advertisers continue to grow. These are just a few examples of how hyper-targeted ads can improve the return on investment of a mobile campaign.
We can help you create a campaign that uses this newly-available technology to deliver the most highly-targeted advertising possible on mobile devices.
Evolution is a natural part of growth. As technology continues to advance so too will the media landscape grow with it. For Marquette Group president Eric Webb, this growth and change is essential as Marquette Group celebrates 50 years of connecting businesses to local customers. Recently, he sat down with the Peoria Journal Star to discuss the company, its priorities, his commitment to its clients, and its future as a leading digital ad agency.
Larger cover photos. This is the most obvious difference to the appearance of the page. Now remarkably similar to Facebook’s cover pages, the new expanded photo displays in a full 16:9 aspect ratio. The current maximum image size appears to be 2120 x 1192 which offers a significant amount of page real estate to showcase various aspects of your business. The new layout is similar to how page profiles appear on Facebook.
Avatar images. Page avatar images have also been altered—now appearing in a circular frame and located over the bottom left corner of the cover image. The new over-image frame may require changes to existing images as the visible width has been reduced somewhat. As with the cover photos, this change mimics the layout of Facebook profiles and pages more directly than before.
The City of Seattle will pay the Local Search Association, SuperMedia, and Dex One $517,000 as both a refund for all fees paid to the City as part of the ordinance as well as partial reimbursement for the legal costs incurred during the process.
This effectively ends the legal challenge to the delivery of print Yellow Pages in Seattle and establishes a national legal precedent for similar cases going forward. Late last year, the City of San Francisco suspended a 2011 proposed amendment to Chapter 20 of the Environmental Code that also restricted delivery of print Yellow Pages to consumers and businesses who actively “opted in” to delivery. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors stated that they would resolve the matter in line with the precedent established in Seattle.
The Yellow Pages industry has maintained an industry-led national opt-out website for consumers who wish to be excluded from the delivery of the printed directories, a service that would have been duplicated in the original Seattle case.
Recently, Google announced that they would implement an upgrade to their flagship Adwords platform. The new “enhanced” Adwords is another example in a long line of technology giants transitioning their business to be platform and device independent. Until now, you had to develop different ads on the Google network based on the display device. This meant separate campaigns for desktop ads and for mobile ads. Beginning this summer that will all change.
Mirroring its own advice for webmasters and web developers, Google Adwords will now generate responsive ads allowing the use of a single campaign to meet the needs of any device. As a matter of fact, users won’t even be allowed to generate separate ads on a device-by-device basis after full implementation happens later this year. As the smartphone continues to chip away at traffic from the desktop the growth for search advertising will be on mobile devices.
So, what does this mean for the advertiser? Moving forward, campaigns based on common thematic ad content will be much easier to manage and track. While you’ll still be able to set separate bids and even select device preferences, it will take place within the same campaign streamlining the management process. Reporting can all be viewed at the same time and tactical decisions on budgets and ad performance can be made within one window without switching from campaign to campaign.
The trend towards responsive design is probably here to stay and more digital marketing platforms will likely follow suit. Whereas in the past most online marketers could count on their traffic and clicks coming from desktop PCs, we now live in a multi-device world. As marketers we need platforms that reflect that reality and enhanced campaigns will go a long way in bridging the digital gap between the varieties of screens we use.
In the near term though, its means search managers will be busy over the next few months reorganizing campaigns and learning more about the habits of mobile users. Organizations need to prepare themselves because mobile is here to stay and with each new handheld device comes the increasing need to have a robust mobile strategy. As increasing number of potential customers search for items and make purchases from their smartphones you could miss out on a windfall of sales, or even worse hand them to your competition.