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March 21, 2012

Local + Social: The Future of Promotion

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Speakers:
Santanu Basu, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft
Chi-Chao Chang, President of Products and Technology, xAd
Rob Reed, CEO, MomentFeed
Gregg Stewart, President, 15miles

SearchBash last night was a blast! Thanks to WebmasterRadio for another one for the books! If the party was conference candy, now it’s time to get back to the meat. Chi-Chao Chang takes the podium to talk about the opportunity of advertising in mobile search. Although browsers are the primary access point today, applications are growing in importance and usage.

Browsers vs. applications: is there really a difference in search experience?

Browser takes

  • 10 seconds to load
  • 15 seconds to find results
  • 7 seconds to details page

Application takes

  • 1 second to load
  • 5 seconds to find results
  • <1 second to details page

So what? Better user experience = better performance. Average CTR on browser is 5% vs. 8% through an application.

Mobile-app search is fragmented. Unlike browser search, mobile-local app search is fragmented across multiple locations. You need to try to aggregate as much traffic as possible from the fragmented sources.

Realize that mobile search is not the same as desktop search. Optimize for the mobile experience. Optimize for local conversions (click-to-call and map and directions are essential. Consumers need info quickly and are often looking for an integrated experience (i.e. ratings and reviews, social network connection, etc.). Mobile ad networks provide an easy entry into mobile advertising, including the ability to place ads across multiple sites and applications in one buy.

Santanu Basu is up next. The small biz landscape in theU.S.is 90% ofU.S.businesses. Most advertising and marketing providers compete for the head due to concentration of large ad budgets with a smaller number of companies. Small businesses represent a more challenging segment for selling advertising and marketing services given the number of businesses vs. concentration of ad spend.

Online search drives offline commerce. 65% ofU.S.internet users research products online. Search is the third largest vehicle in terms of how people pull up product reviews and evaluate their possible purchases. 46% of users in theU.s.used a local search engine. At the end of the day, e-commerce is a $200 billion market while lcal search drives $941 billion in offline sales!

He gives an example of the online to offline problem for local biz using a dining example. 90% go online for info about a restaurant, 80% use search for directions. As a biz grows, they show greater interest in using mobile phones as an ad and marketing channel. But mobile and local search is still in its infancy.

Task completion: It takes 21 steps to choose a local restaurant. There are 1.5x more typos on mobile than on PCs.

local and social opportunity panel at SESNYSaving money: 50% are interested in redeeming coupons

Bing Business Portal: gives small biz and agencies ability to claim local listing on Bing. It’s been a large opportunity for biz to give info on their business and reviews can be given as well. Radius targeting: target relevant consumers near your biz location to increase ROI – it’s a tool in Bing that makes marketing to a target audience better for biz.

Last we’ve got a preso on the “Universal Venue Problem” from Rob Reed. There are three global location platforms: Facebook, Twitter and foursquare. They all have substantial location components. They also power dozens of other mobile apps, like Instagram, Foodspotting, Path, Garmin, Zagat, Waze, etc.

What sets these platforms apart from Google, Bing, and general local listings is that they’re being shared. Sharing creates substantial media value through word of mouth. But foursquare and Facebook venues have a lot of inaccuracies.

Roughly half of all venue data on Facebook and foursquare is not accurate. Either geocode is not accurate or there are a number of duplicate venues. Inaccurate venue geocodes make a biz difficult to find and share. Duplicate venues diminish marketing impact and reach. If four Cinnabons come up, a user can’t engage because he doesn’t know which is the right one. This adds up to missed opportunity. He estimates 3.7 million point-of-sales are lost because of this.

Inaccurate geocodes kill engagement, and there are real-life examples where a biz shows up several miles away. Customers can’t find you when your biz venue is in the wrong ZIP code. It’s like if you sent out 10k emails to wrong emails and they all got bounced back, you’d think there was a problem – that’s what this amounts to. There is a better way! Optimize your venues.

Case study: Cinnabon

They merged all duplicates and made sure pins were all accurate through all malls and airports. They saw natural lift of 100% in engagement – check-ins, tweets, photos – all attributed to reducing the friction. Make it easy for customers to engage with the brand and they will. After that they ran a campaign on foursquare and saw another160% increase of engagement. Users adopted new, highly engaged behavior when they saw people were listening.

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