ILM10: the Future of Local Advertising

I’m attending the Interactive Local Media conference in Santa Clara because I have a responsibility to the 45,000 small business advertisers who rely on HomePages to deliver local customers.

Since most people believe the future is digital, I need to understand what’s coming so that I can provide it to these businesses.

Speakers at these conferences talk about new initiatives and cutting edge technology, which is fascinating.

I, however, live in the real world where we must deliver to small businesses.

The big takeaways for me so far is the absolute importance of mobile solutions and that the playing field has changed dramatically for local businesses.

1.  Get Mobile.

As phones become smarter, and the data flowing to them becomes more accurate, the mobile device is all powerful.

2.  Get Social.

The world is going back to high school where our friends’ opinions matter more than ever.  Reviews, recommendations, etc.  Businesses must have a well managed solution on the social graph (especially Facebook).

3.  Keep it fresh

The attention span of the average consumer continues to get shorter.  Fresh content matters more than ever.  I wouldn’t say that Twitter is the right answer, but continually updating content makes a big difference.

4.  Deals are important, but they are a highly problematic marketing model for most small businesses.  Giving away margin to build volume without solid retention and upgrade plans will end in disaster.

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