Local Search: 2017 Trends & Insights

Local Search: 2017 Trends & Insights
Friday, March 31, 2017
Chantel Dollar

A Snapshot from the Local Search Association’s 2017 Annual Conference

Recently I read an article summarising the major trends, challenges and insights drawn from the annual LSA conference. This is an event where marketing and advertising experts congregate to share their experiences, challenges, forecasts and predictions for the industry in the coming year.

My three main takeaways to watch out for in the coming year are:

1.    Allocate Bigger Budgets to Location-based Marketing Strategies

In the US, Canada and the UK, companies are allocating more revenue toward location-based marketing strategies. In the UK, we saw the use of location-based strategies increase by 7% – with the prediction of revenue allocation following suit – just as we have seen in the US.

There are many reasons why you should shift your budget, here are just a few of them:

  • Location data is RICH – from discovering customer preferences and profiles, to demographic information, it allows you to learn who your customer is.
  • 85 to 95 percent of consumer engagement comes from local pages and local listings – this shows just how specific and improved your targeting can be, and how the increase of volume and frequency of your location data increases your chances of capturing the consumer’s interest.
  • Location-based strategies give you the ability to track the consumer journey and give you invaluable habitual insights into your consumer’s path to purchase.

2.    The Ability to do Local at Scale

Many brands that have hundreds or thousands of locations nationally and internationally struggle with the challenge of having an operationally smooth local marketing strategy. Though internal processes and challenges differ from business to business, the need to have accurate, consistent and visible information out on the web is a common objective for all entities that have many locations. This is where technology can bridge the gaping hole in a company’s local SEO strategy.

If we use TransparenSEETM (DAC Group’s proprietary technology for Local Presence Management) as an example, all stakeholders of the business would have access to a centralised database of information that is distributed to vendor networks. You would be able to see your visibility and accuracy, as well as a collation of all reviews on the associated vendor sites. Not only does this technology provide ease of automation, but as a managed service, it provides ease and efficiency in distributing local, personalised data at scale.

3.    Track Measurable Performance for Local

It has always been difficult for marketers to analyse and measure the journey from online to offline. People are beginning to get the hang of this, and when done right, we can now measure the worth of a local marketing campaign even more precisely; including the value of the online actions as well as the offline actions.

Consumer behaviour has changed rapidly as the use of mobile has increased. Mobile gives marketer’s incredible opportunity, not only to reach consumers, but extract valuable data from the consumer journey and inevitably to track the consumer’s path from finding to entering the store. From tracking online activity to modelling in-store footfall, location-based marketing is measurable and can also be performance-based.