This past Wednesday Where2GetIt’s founder and CEO, Manish Patel, spoke on the Local Make it or Break: Next 24 Months panel at #LSA15. Moderator Greg Sterling asked the panelists to discuss what will be critically important for marketers, agencies, and software technology companies to focus on for the next year and a half.
Manish (@Manishw2gi) identified three areas brands must focus on for the next 24 months:
1. Stop thinking in Silos
Manish emphasized the importance of companies seeing their marketing efforts as part of a connected ecosystem. He pointed out that the most effective way to connecting all components of a campaign together is by eliminating the silos established within the marketing department. As marketers, our job is to connect all of the pieces of our campaigns together so they work together seamlessly and holistically. During the session, Manish stated:
“Having dealt with brands the past 18 years, I’ve observed the different facets within an organization. Customers don't think in terms of silos, so neither should your company. Today’s customers are looking for a holistic marketing campaign for their locations. So instead of having a social marketing person, a mobile person, an email person let’s just eliminate all of those silos and just call it what it is: marketing.”
2. Evolve with trends
Brands must manage change effectively to arrive at a better, smarter, more effective place that helps today's consumers. With rapid advancements technology, mobile consumers today are more connected to information than ever before. The consumer's once linear path-to-purchase has become a messy, intertwined web of information that is constantly producing massive amounts of Big Data. The types of brands customers are getting excited about are the ones that embrace new trends and technology to break through the noise and resonate with people at a hyperlocal level. During the panel, Manish reflected on the evolution that has occurred with Where2GetIt over the past 18 years:
“As a digital-only firm, Where2GetIt has had to change with the times by transforming the way we do business to meet the needs of our clients.”
For the past 18 years Where2GetIt has evolved from Business Locators to leveraging the comprehensive location technology platform Brandify. As technology, services, and the industry of search marketing has evolved, so have our services, product offerings and technology.
3. Be a Unicorn (Yes, a Unicorn)
A proverbial “Unicorn” is a technology company that is equally adept in both marketing and technology. These “mythical creatures” in tech have valuations of millions of dollars because their services give brands the competitive edge while converting customers. Manish pointed out that today’s customers are looking for a variety of things from local claimed listings to more engagement on social media; they are ultimately looking for a Unicorn to provide all those services in one destination. From knowing about strategy and technology, to developing influential marketing campaigns that “wow” their target audience.
Your company needs to be as technically-driven as you are creatively-driven so you can flow between the two disciplines with ease.
The opportunities established by the advancement in technology also provide a challenge for brands to stay on top of trends and master the ones that are here to stay. And while it may seem daunting to tackle every new trend, there is one trend that isn’t going anywhere: local marketing. Today, national brands are able to connect with local audiences through relevant campaigns, providing their customers what they want, when they want it, at the right location.
How local are your marketing campaigns? Take our Local Search Challenge to find out.