Entire Day 2 Agenda

All Speakers and Bios

This day seemed more devoted to “advertising”, and there seemed to be even more sessions that were just company showcases. Again, I’ve whittled it down to only what I felt most useful below, and I did not leave anyone out intentionally.

Session 1
Analyst Highlights and Results of Kelsey/comScore UGC Survey
Brian Jurutka, Senior Director, comScore
Moderator: Stephen T. Marshall, Director of Research and Senior Analyst
Brian Jurukta – Interesting stats…-

  • 82% US broadband penetration – WOW
  • 20.6% growth to local service review sites
  • 24% of all users actually used an online review to influence a purchase
  • 75% that used one said the review influenced their decision.
  • 97% when surveyed after their purchase, said the reviews they read were accurate – in other words, they love ’em!

He also said that the vast majority prefer consumer reviews over those written by professional reviewers, and I asked an incredibly stupid question about this, asking him to clarify what he meant by “professional reviews”. Of course nhe meant those on review sites, but for some reason I had a brain seiure, and didn’t understand. Oh well, a little public embarrassment helps you grow 😉

End users claim they are actually willing to pay 20% to 99% MORE for a service or product if it has a 5 star review, while a full 1/3 to 1/2 are not willing to even TRY a product or service with a 1 star review. (percentage varied by industry)

When asked why they submit reviews in general, 62% said “to help other consumers”, and only 19% said they were compensated either with $ or coupons, etc.

When asked, “why did you submit this particular review?” 20% said “because they were asked to”

Session 2- KEYNOTE –
Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Product Marketing & Operations, Facebook
They had only 11 million users Nov 2007 balloned over 450% to 55 million in Nov 2007. That’s equal to the ENTIRE paid US newspaper subscriptions in 2006)
Now capturing 1/4 million new users DAILY
By Jan 2008, 1 TRILLION page views per (month?)
Users average 40 page views per day!

He said “We have an unprecedented ability to have a very subtle conversation with our users” – (Note: Ya think?)

At this point, he covered a lot of broad social networking aspects, discussing their features, including the Facebook mini feed, and then went into their ad model, which some people find disturbing. Basically, you’ll be able to use real peoples reviews and friends for ad campaigns.

He showed the new “DESIGN YOUR PAGE” for businesses and went into a detailed demonstration of the ad platform, and it’s going to be powerful. Attending this “ad demo” was important and those interested in leading the pack should check it out – https://www.facebook.com/ads

He also said, “every single person on this service is who they say they are” more than once, something I’d take issue with. I know plenty of people with multiple Facebook profiles, and anyone with an email address can get one, creating large networks of “friends”, gaming the system and creating fake “real” testimonials.

Social Ads are going to be in an open bid environment, CPC or CPM
Insights is their reporting area for measuring performance.
Pulse is new too, that allows you to determine for every 1$ you spend, what type of buzz is happening around Facebook.

My biggest takeaway of the whole thing though, was “buy Facebook stock when you can!”

Session 4
The TMP Study on Local Advertising’s Transition to the Web

Stuart McKelvey, President and CEO, TMP Directional Marketing
Moderator: Charles Laughlin, SVP and Program Director, The Kelsey Report® and Managing Editor
TMP recently produced a controversial study that suggests the Web is not taking over traditional media as fast as some believe.

Only 20% of retail spending occurs online, and the vast majority still shop in person, and seem to prefer it as well. There were tons of stats to back up his claims, but clearly, I think the trend is towards online spending.

Session 5
National Advertisers Going Local

Laurel E. Gilbert, Director of Business Development, Emerging Technologies, Atlas (Microsoft)
Jeff Hughes, Media Director, GM Planworks
Alicia Morga, Chairman and CEO, Consorte Media
Shawn Riegsecker, Chairman and CEO, Centro

Another moderator asking questions session, and this one was sprinkled woth lots of buzz words like “paradigm” and “emerging media”.

Is the agency model in trouble?
Consensus was that they do need to adapt into “emerging media” (which I think has pretty much emerged) and likely have taken on more importance.

Where is video going?
Standardization accross platforms Content players, how ads bring traffic, etc. because it’s very difficult, but it’s growing.
What should a local search provider be doing to attract more national advertisers?
Alicia – USE STANDARD BANNER SIZES for advertisers! – (Amen!)
Jeff mentioned, “find your 16 inch softball” – This was a good analogy where he explained that each region has it’s own unique opportunities, and smart marketers need to learn what they are

Alicia closed with – I think we should just go eat!

Jason Calcanis –
Interesting observations, fascinating in fact, but nothing of true value came out for me except that he has blogged, Dugg and stumbled his LA dog trainer, making him one of the “black hat” guys he has slammed in the past, IMO.

Afterwords, I asked him if he didn’t think that was sort of “black” and he claimed no, not if its’ a legitimate endorsement, and he actually made a good case…

Then he went on to mention that his compaany’s De.licio.us account was banned – ummm, okay Jason 😉

Anyway, Jason was a highlight for me and I’m glad he was there.

Day 3 – Half Day

Fresh Perspectives on Local: Jonathan Weber and New West Publishing
Jonathan Weber, Founder, Publisher and CEO, NewWest.Net
Moderator: Peter Krasilovsky, Program Director and Senior Analyst

Mostly just company history and specifics about New West, but he did say that he thinks any model based on businesses going out and doing ANYTHING for themselves online will not do well. People are afraid of the tecnnology, busy etc. and will just not do it, even if it’s FREE! Build relationships by hand.

Keynote Address: Marchex and the Vertical Opportunity in Local
Bill Day, Chief Media Officer, Marchex
Russell Horowitz, Chairman and CEO, Marchex
Moderator: Matt Booth, SVP and Program Director, Interactive Local Media

Basically a long commercial for Marchex, but they’re a big interesting company, and I learned a lot..
They went into a live demo (always a bad idea) of their massive network over 200,000 directories that have tried to “web20ify”. (sorry, I just registered it 😉 in order allow for massive UGC (user generated content) and advertising in niche verticals.

Keynote Address
Allison Mnookin, Vice President, Small Business Division, Intuit

Moderator: Neal Polachek, CEO

Wow, she was really great, ko kidding. It wasn’t an Intel commercial at all…

  • Did you know there are more small businesses started annually than marriages!
  • 110 billion annual spending, but only 22% marketed online, and of that, less than 5%
  • Far less than HALF of all small businesses even have websites, but 95% of them WANT a website!
  • Personal businesses (under 5 employees) less than 25% have a site
  • Of those that have done ANYTHING to market their sites, over 20% have done basic organic SEO, and have found it to be the most effective, right up there with handing out business cards.
  • Less than 5% of people cited past online advertising, banners, PPC etc campaigns as “successful”

Sounds to me like there might be web design software built into Quickbooks 2009 😉

Injecting ‘Social’ into Local Media
Rob Barrett, VP Interactive, The Los Angeles Times
Mike Orren, President, Pegasus News
Josh Walker, CEO, CityVoter
Moderator: Michael Boland, Senior Analyst

Well, I can’t say I learned much, but I am the newest member of Cityvoter.com now 😉

I asked why they, in clear competition to Citysearch chose to go wit ha subdirectory structure rather than subdomains. I wanted to know how they based their research, and was this really better?

Unfortunately, he was not the right person to answer, but he did ask me to follow up by email.

Keynote Address
John Hanke, Director Google Earth and Maps, Google
Moderators: John F. Kelsey III, Cofounder and Chairman
Michael Boland, Senior Analyst

Lots of amazing stats, (like Google Maps dl’s over 300m times, and the equivalent of over 1000 human lifetimes has been spent already staring at Google Maps.

Demo of Google’s “my maps” – new Google real estate etc. and he explained his dream of “turning the world into a wiki”

I had a noon meeting so had to leave, missing the last two short presentations.

Overall, it was a good conference , but the value to me was somewhat limited. I found that the majority of presenters, exhibitors, and attendees were in advertising or PPC, or IYP directories, and other “pay to play” options, and many didn’t know the first thing about organic search.

That’s fine, but after three days at a local search conference, I still have a lot of unanswered questions about local organic, and even though all those billions are spent on advertising, people should remember that only 1/3 of all searchers end up on a paid result. Maybe I’ll learn more at Pubcon this next week…

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