We recently attended the Local Search Association 2017 Conference (#LSA17) in sunny San Diego. As the leader in localized programmatic, we work with and follow closely the LSA as they help businesses – small merchants and national brands, alike – market to local consumers.
As we mingled and interacted with agencies, media publishers, advertisers and executives, all of whom are focused on the local marketing ecosystem and on the issues most critical to the industry. The people and companies we met with are a passionate group, more than willing to share their ideas and insights, of which there were plenty. We had a great time, learned a lot and brought back a few take-aways:
- A whole new audience: A full 70 percent of the companies attending #LSA17 weren’t at the event a mere five years ago. This speaks very clearly to how quickly the localized advertising industry is growing and changing.
- Move to collaborative innovation: We heard it over and over again: while many of the attending companies are focused on how to evolve their online advertising programs, there is a very noticeable shift from internal innovation to collaborative innovation. Sessions such as “Managing Innovation: Meeting KPIs While Building the Future” illustrated that technology companies and legacy media need each other.
- Facebook is big…for now: Social continues to be a major component of localized strategies. With sessions such as “How to do Facebook Marketing at Scale”, it was clear that Facebook remains a prominent piece of local social programs. With so many sessions focused on the future of innovation and localization, we had to wonder how long Facebook can hold on to its reign given the age of its users. At some point, local media will need to embrace newer platforms in order to keep up.
- Character trumps tech in hiring: Since we’re talking about the future, we were struck by discussions about the employee of the future. As the workforce evolves, hiring emphasis leans less toward a tech-focused value set to more of a character-driven one. Why? Because technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and easy to use, so businesses are looking to their people to provide a key differentiator via their character, approach to work and integrity.
All in all, LSA#17 really delivered. We are excited to continue driving the localized programmatic market and are motivated to keep innovating, educating and performing as more brands, publishers, agencies and trade desks contribute more mindshare and budget toward scaling and personalizing their local programs. Makes us wonder just how many changes will happen over the next 12 months. Here’s to #LSA18!