Leonsis: New Local Opportunity ‘Where Social, Video and Mobile Intersect’

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As any reader of Street Fight knows, the online and mobile “local” revolution has evolved more in the past several months than in any comparable annual period we can think of. E-commerce, targeted promotions, geotargeted ads, online and mobile search and local ad networks have each made a mark on the industry in unprecedented ways.

With this set of “triggers,” it doesn’t really make sense in 2012 to focus on newspapers talking to newspapers; broadcasters talking to broadcasters; Yellow Pages talking to Yellow Pages; coupon companies talking to coupon companies. Not when the likes of Google, American Express, Groupon and WHERE are ready to do business across all the channels.

In a video interview with BIA/Kelsey, online pioneer, Groupon Vice Chair and ILM East Keynoter Ted Leonsis noted:  “It is a much bigger idea than a simple directory or city guide or newspaper.” The next marketplaces are for “socially astute audiences. It is where social, video and mobile intersect.”

At BIA/Kelsey we’re watching a number of trends that reinforce Leonsis’ view of  game changers. We’re seeing that:

  1. Curated or social commerce begins to change engagement and conversion .
  2. Verticalizing services not only boosts search rankings, and outpaces Google, but creates new content.
  3. The local search experience becomes paramount in itself, and needs to be tightly integrated
  4. Electronic wallet concepts are more than transactions. They also cut the clutter by managing deals and coupons, and engaging loyal customers.
  5. “Hyperlocal” has been code for “low volume.” But hyperlocal successes will be those that can blanket multiple local channels with both traditional and new media presences.

All five of these trends reflect one simple idea: Successes in local are the ones that best engage the local merchant and help him or her acquire, keep and engage customers. That’s the backdrop for ILM East, which takes place March 26-28 in Boston with 50 top speakers, including leaders from Google, American Express, AOL, WHERE, LevelUp, AT&T, CityGrid Media, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, New York Magazine and many others.

Street Fight readers can receive $200 off the cost of ILM East registration with promo code ILMEASTSF.

Peter Krasilovsky is a vice president at BIA/Kelsey. He writes the Local Onliner blog.