It’s that time of year again when the most exciting companies in local gather in New York City to hash through and celebrate the best ideas and strategies. Street Fight Summit is coming next Thursday and Friday to TriBeCa.
One of the themes we’re really excited to be focusing on this year is partnerships. Partnerships are a key reason we have been bringing people together for the last few years, but never have they been such a high-profile, essential element of success as they have become over the past year. We’ve seen companies like VendAsta put a real emphasis on not just forming the right partnerships, but developing strategies that empower and excite their partners, and deliver results for both parties ( VendAsta’s Brendan King will be on stage at the Summit so we’ll hear more from him then.) Others are looking at strategic functionality, such as Yelp’s partnerships with Booker, Delivery.com and Eat24 to begin to close the loop for marketers (Yelp and Delivery.com will both be speaking).
An entire session will focus specifically on the role partnerships play and how to find and nurture the right ones. In the best cases, partners help to extend your sales reach and expand your product offerings to small businesses. Throughout the event, this theme will be touched upon by speakers and attendees, who include execs from Bing, Yelp, Google, Groupon, Constant Contact, Patch, CBS News, American Express, Go Dadddy, Yext, PlaceIQ, Gannett, ReachLocal and more.
We’ve been talking a lot internally at Street Fight about how to define the industry, and we see its clear direction combining both marketing and commerce offerings. Deputy editor Steven Jacobs wrote at length about this in his Local Stack series over the summer. Hyperlocal companies and executives need to be able to close the loop for local business clients. Some may get there entirely on their own, but bringing together two strong offerings is proving to be a powerful combination. When companies bring front-end and back-office operations together it gives them the ability to aggregate and leverage massive data about consumers.
Working with others in such close fashion is a natural evolution point in any new industry. First, verticals emerge to prove a concept and test the market potential, and we saw that with the initial daily deal focus of LivingSocial and Groupon (both will be speaking) and the location-based emphasis of Foursquare, for example. Once such relatively narrow concepts bear out, companies must evolve with the needs of the client base. On that client side, local marketers are increasingly up to speed and realize they do want the range of hyperlocal offerings, from front-office to back-office, and often in a bundled manner, for all the reasons stated above.
Partnerships will really underpin the entire experience at this year’s Summit, in the halls and at the cocktail events as much as on stage. It is clear to pretty much anyone doing anything local, from innovating startups to large established companies, that partnerships are the way toward future success, and what Street Fight Summit offers is the right setting and the right people with who to do those partnerships that will save your business for the long-haul.
I hope you’ll join us for this incredible event.
Laura Rich is CEO and co-founder of Street Fight.