This post is the latest in our “Targeting Location” series. It’s our editorial focus for the month of March, including topics like location-based ad targeting, attribution, and privacy. See the rest of the series here

Video has always been a coveted ad medium for local businesses. It carries a certain vanity factor and a high perceived ROI (and real ROI, depending on other factors). But one barrier has always been the creative production, which often results in low quality. We’ve all seen those cheesy auto-dealer ads.

Fortunately, technical barriers are lowering, says Waymark CEO Nathan Labenz in the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street Podcast. Known as the “Squarespace of video ads,” Waymark offers themed templates (think: car dealer, restaurant, etc.) as low-friction entry points for video customization.

And that ease of production has opened up a fairly large addressable market. The usual suspects for such offerings are small businesses—and that was indeed where Waymark started its targeting efforts. But it has since capitalized on several other opportunities such as multi-location businesses and franchises.

“What we thought we were building for first was the long-tail SMB audience,” Labenz said. “But over the course of 2018, what also became very interesting was outreach from franchise brands and video content platforms that are ad-supported and trying to grow their advertiser base. Both of those have somewhat different use cases, but they see the value in our product of really easy-to-use video creation.”

For multi-location brands and franchises in particular, Waymark’s templated approach seems to strike the right balance. For example, an auto manufacturer can adopt Waymark for its distributed dealer network to have something that is supported by brand-approved parameters but also lets them infuse the personality of a given location.

“[They] put tremendous resources into building their brand and getting all kinds of creative assets, but then they’ve got thousands of dealers who are doing all sorts of different things,” Labenz said.  “Brands aren’t too excited about that. They’re looking for solutions that allow them to take what they’ve done at corporate and extend it and make it available and useful to all their dealers.”

Check out the episode above—Part I of a two-part series in which we discuss the tactics and market dynamics around video production. We’ll be back in Part II to cover video distribution and other key strategies. Contact us if you’d like to sponsor an episode, find out more about Heard on the Street here.

Mike Boland is Street Fight's lead analyst, author of the Road Map column and producer of the Heard on the Street podcast. He has been an analyst in the local space since 2005, covering mobile, social and emerging tech. More biographical information can be seen at
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