Suppliers of local marketing and commerce technology and services see their customers continue to increase spending on social media and mobile marketing, and their own investments are following the money. That’s what the early results of Street Fight’s annual “State of Hyperlocal” survey indicate. Survey respondents — especially those working at agencies — call online-to-offline attribution as the biggest challenge facing the industry.
We’re running an online survey for the Street Fight community to see what’s hot or not in hyperlocal tech, and take the pulse of the supply side of the connected local economy. We’ll analyze the results and present our findings next month at the Street Fight Summit in New York, and in an accompanying report. Before then, I thought I’d present some highlights from the preliminary results.
As shown above, when asked where their customers and prospects were boosting local spending recently, social and mobile topped the list. Advertising and marketing services agencies rated local website spending higher than mobile marketing. Outside of agencies, execs at technology companies and local publishers were less bullish on paid search, but seeing better increases in data and analytics.
Over half of all the respondents so far said their own investments were following that social media spending. Many also listed geotargeting/geofencing as a top priority, followed by mobile advertising, content marketing, and analytics. On the e-commerce side, social topped the list, with analytics and website development close behind.
Our survey respondents were less keen on investing in technologies like beacons and on-demand services, at least in the near term. In fact, nearly a third named beacons as a technology “hot topic” we won’t even be talking about next year. Voice search didn’t fare very well either, at least among these early responses.
Hyperlocal technology and commerce is a dynamic industry, and it does face some challenges as suppliers navigate sometimes turbulent waters. Proving that online marketing and advertising actually results in offline business is topping the list of overall industry challenges for those who have responded to-date. However, that issue is prominent for almost twice as many agencies as for other companies. The others are more concerned with the domination of big companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. At the same time, they’re fighting price wars brought on by the proliferation of suppliers, many of which are likely selling products and services to complement the big four. Unsurprisingly, agencies are more comfortable in those waters. One thing they’re more concerned about is the troubles facing local content publishers as they strive to find sustainable business models.
The survey’s still open for a few more weeks. We’re also like to hear what your own company’s key challenges are, and what works best for marketing your products and services. So if you’re a local technology company or a service provider, take our short survey and add your thoughts on what’s driving the market into 2017. As noted, we’ll show the results and our analysis at the Summit and in a report distributed in advance to survey participants.
David Card is Street Fight’s director of research.