Some of the key findings from our analysis of the survey include the following:
• A recent focus on data and analytics.
Data and analytics is the second leading vendor investment in local marketing technology (44% of vendor responses) and the first in commerce (also 44%). The marketing ranking is up a bit from last year and up by a factor of three for commerce. Social media remains high for both, as that is where the vendors see most (51%) of their customers and prospects increasing their local spending. That doesn’t mean they’re taking their eyes off mobile, and specifically, geotargeting, though both are bigger deals for advertising than for commerce.
• Vendors may be underestimating mobile payments, traditional media, and voice search.
Relatively few are investing in mobile payments (15%). They don’t see their customers increasing spending there, or on traditional media. In fact, big brands and retailers that market locally are still heavily invested in traditional media, so they might be missing some cross-channel campaign opportunity. And Street Fight believes cutting edge technologies like mobile payments and voice search—that is largely out of favor in this survey—will play critical roles online-to-offline attribution and local discovery, respectively.
• Company challenges appear tougher. Vendors deem attribution the biggest (48%) challenge facing the overall industry.
They think brand awareness, selling to big brands, and proving ROI/attribution are the toughest challenges facing their individual companies, and they called each of those more difficult than the options we asked about last year.
So, while vendor investments are largely following customer spending, it’s not getting any easier. The state of hyperlocal remains dynamic, and smart suppliers must remain flexible and open to partnership.