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The BIA/Kelsey Conference and the Introduction of AdMax Local

local [1]

BIA/Kelsey [2] is alive and well.

Their most recent conference, Leading in Local [3], was held in Boston last week at the Westin Copley Place and focused on the National/Locals. These are enterprise companies with hundreds or thousands of individual locations. The smartest of these companies have learned to advertise locally. Kelsey reports they spent $42B in local media advertising in 2012 and this will grow to $51B in 2017. This presents big opportunities for those companies that can help the National/Locals spend that money wisely.

Several subjects were explored, or as Mike Boland of BIA/Kelsey likes to say, unpacked. (Incidentally, Mike if you’re reading this, Google’s voice to text properly recognizes your name and spells it correctly- you’ve arrived).  There were panels on mobile, cross channel, local strategies and automation, among others.   Tuesday afternoon I was fortunate enough to participate on a panel led by Andrew Shotland on the state of search and where it is headed.

Given that we’d officially launched AdMax Local [4], our new SaaS platform earlier in the week it was perfect timing.   I had the opportunity to explain to the audience of iYPs, CMRs, franchisors and marketing services companies that they could in fact profitably sell and deliver paid search to SMB’s- and that the local paid search marketplace is perfectly suited to automation. And not the automation that provides tools to allow humans to do work, but true automation where the technology does the work instead of humans. We released a white paper [5] on the subject last week as well.

The way we see it, there are two main reasons why an automated model for SEM, such as AdMax Local, will more effectively benefit the media reseller’s bottom line: automation and a reduced cost of ownership.

We use the term “agency model” to represent the technology-enabling-humans solution that is common today. Humans using platforms for account creation and management of SEM programs.  The ability to profitably manage the volume of advertisers necessary to build a sustainable SMB SEM business continues to challenge emerging channels today. However, several factors unique to SEM in local markets have made automation for SMB accounts feasible. Just a few of these factors include:

These are just a few factors that make it possible to replace labor-intensive steps with automation to create, deploy, and manage SEM accounts for SMBs.

The second reason for implementing an automated model for SEM lies in the reduced cost of ownership. In comparison to agency platform-driven SEM solutions for SMBs, an automated solution has a far lower cost of ownership, including setup costs, management costs and headcount costs.

So there it is. Automated solutions satisfy the requirements of the local marketplace and reduce long-term operation costs as much as 90%. It’s win-win.

The Leading in Local conference was a roaring success, with brilliant presentations about how to improve local businesses.  In particular, I was intrigued by the preponderance of marketing services companies that have popped up to assist SMB aggregators of all sorts in helping SMBs market themselves online.  I’d venture Google’s current view of the AdWords ecosystem fails to account for these companies and undervalues this important sector of opportunity.

I’ll speak more to this in my next post. But until then, check out our new white paper [5]for more information about an automated solution for SMB resellers.