Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Get to Know GetListed Local University

May 11, 2010

Several years ago, probably about five or six now, someone who was a “higher-up” in a branded local publisher approached me about starting a conference targeting small businesses, helping educate them about online marketing. I was at The Kelsey Group at the time and he was at his company. The inertia around what we were doing was too great to pursue this idea. But I knew it was a very good idea.

Now David Mihm and crew have essentially created that conference series with GetListed Local University. This is a road show, a one-day intensive for SMBs on . . . online marketing. Right now it’s being underwritten in part by Bing and Google. The folks that are behind it are supremely ethical and they’re not pitching anyone’s services, nor would they.

But if you’re a local publisher or interested in SMB ad dollars (and you know who you are) it might make sense for you to think about participating in these events if only indirectly.

You can reach David Mihm at davidmihm [at] (I get nothing for promoting this; it’s just a good idea.)


Tomorrow: Evolution of the YP Product

May 10, 2010

Why did AT&T shift away from a brand (“”) that the company paid handsomely for ($100M?) several years ago? What types of “vertical” content is the company building into its consumer sites?

These and many other questions I will endeavor to explore tomorrow on a free webinar called The Evolution of Local Discovery.”

Join me, Greg Isaacs and Todd Rose from AT&T Interactive for a discussion of the evolution of the yellow pages. I’ll be providing data and commentary on the market in general and AT&T will discuss and Buzz and some of its thinking behind where the company is going with its consumer offering. AT&T is moving with the market and trying to diversify traffic sources and consumer offerings. It’s fascinating to watch.

If you’d like to hear more and ask questions, listen in on the free session (and get my slides) — tomorrow at 1 Eastern, 10 Pacific.

Webinar Tues: ‘Evolution of Local Discovery’

May 8, 2010

Through Internet2Go, I’ll be doing a webinar with AT&T Interactive on the “Evolution of Local Discovery.” It’s an expanded yet more intimate version of the session we did at AD:TECH a few weeks ago.

I’ll be trying to put together the big picture and talking about the movement from print to online to mobile. I’ll also be discussing some of the new LBS services and the “geotagging of everything.”

The webinar is free at will take place at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific on Tuesday, May 11.

For more information or to register go here.

Notes about SMX Session Pitches

May 4, 2010

Lately I find myself having to choose from a tough field of strong speakers for my panels at SMX events. The upcoming SMX Advanced is no exception. The “Search Funnel” session has 17 pitches, at least 10 of which are good. Location-based services and mobile also now have quite a few pitches.

Sometimes in going through these pitches I’m confronted by a strong individual accompanied by a weak pitch. The pitch might have been made by a PR person or internal assistant using generic or recycled copy: “Bob X can speak about this vague laundry list of topics that are somewhat related to the particular session topic.”

That approach all but guarantees such people won’t make it on to panels. Occasionally I’ll go back and email the speaker and offer him/her the chance to pitch more directly to the topic and explain a bit more what they’d speak about. But in a session with 3X-4X the number of pitches as available slots I don’t have the time or general inclination to do so. And in a way I can’t really justify it.

So . . . Please make sure (next time) that the pitch responds directly to the session topic and content.

Fill in the Blank “on Steroids”

April 19, 2010

During my first presentation at AD:TECH tomorrow in the marathon session “Marketing Masters: Search in the Connected and Real-Time World” I will use the reviled phrase “on steroids” in my penultimate slide:

I will be presenting on Local-Mobile and then  . . .  at 3 Pacific I’ll be moderating an AT&T sponsored session on local and the evolution of the local market and product: Evolution of Local Discovery—Why Local Advertising Is Where It’s At.

It’s unlikely that the phrase “on steroids” will appear in the afternoon session, however. But one never knows.

These sessions will be exciting, action-packed and potentially improve your love life. Afterward you’ll be filled with a sense of enormous possibility and power. You won’t want to miss them.

Disclaimer: before attending you may wish to consult your doctor or pharmacist. Be sure to use only as directed

Yelp Launches Webinars for SMBs

March 9, 2010

Yelp is introducing a series of webinars for small business on various topics, which include how to use Yelp more effectively. Here’s the Yelp blog post that went up today:

In our ongoing effort to educate business owners on ways they can use Yelp, we are excited to kick off Yelp for Your Business, a webinar series. The inaugural webinar will be held this Thursday, 3/11 at 3pm PT/6pm ET. The subject will be “How to use the free tools on Yelp to promote your business.” Click here to learn more or to register for the webinar.

This is smart and Yelp should have done this a year ago. But better late . . . This will not only build good will and help address the myths and misconceptions but it will turn into advertising sales as well.

At Borrell Conference, Are You?

February 8, 2010

I’m at the Borrell Local conference in New York today and tomorrow. This morning I’ll be on the podium setting the stage for Matthew Berk to discuss and demo the Marchex reputation management offering.

Tomorrow I’ll be leading a panel called “Tapping Key Categories: SEO, Paid Search, Directories.” We’ll be talking about three areas: product, distribution and sales. What do all these things look like today and how might or must they change to drive more value and less churn?

If you’re there/here, let me know.

About SMX Local Ranking Factors

January 30, 2010

My personal apology to speakers not selected for the SMX local ranking factors panel at SMX West. Demand was huge, as it now always is. There were 15 pitches from very qualified speakers and a few more that didn’t get formally submitted but came to me in email. All together there were probably about 20 people trying to get on that panel.

There were four slots, which I stretched to five. I read the pitches carefully multiple times and tried to put together a group of people whose presentations would cover the range of issues and would complement each other. Many of the pitches make similar points and assert that they’ll accomplish similar goals.

It was extremely difficult to make choices, emphasis on the word “extremely.” That was compounded to some degree all the personal appeals to me in email. I try not to play favorites or put people on panels because I know them or like them. Most of the people who weren’t selected I like and respect very much (that’s not to imply that I don’t respect the others). The SMX show and “culture” also carry certain expectations that I have to take into account as well.

The local panels at SMX are few and in demand. I also had about 15 pitches for Search & Display, making that panel extremely difficult to put together as well. I only received three or four personal appeals there 🙂

The process is difficult and frustrating to those who aren’t selected. I’m very clear on this. I received several emails expressing that frustration after the fact.

For those who didn’t get selected one way to boost your chances is to pitch panel ideas and not simply wait for panels to be announced. Another way is to discuss very specifically what tactics you’ll be able to convey and what concrete information you’ll present. Specific is good; general/vague is not as good.

I’m going to recommend more local content or a local track so that there are more slots in the future.

Again, my apologies if you weren’t selected.

Speaking at Borrell in NY in Feb

December 17, 2009

Gordon Borrell asked me to moderate a session or two at their Local Interactive Advertising show coming up in February in New York. Looks like it will be very good and very focused on “monetization,” which will be quite interesting and different. 

He’s got a lot of good speakers lined up. The dynamics, mix and emphasis is somewhat different than the Kelsey shows and so people will want to take a look. 

Speakers include some of the “usual suspects,” but lots of newspaper folks and some others who don’t typically appear at local shows.

Future of Local-Mobile: Your Questions

November 10, 2009

Picture 85On Thursday at 1 ET/10 Pacific I’m doing a webinar with MobilePeople called “The Future of Location on Mobile Devices: LBS, Apps & Monetization.”

We could talk for eight hours about this cluster of topics but I want to be responsive to where the interest resides. Tell me what questions and areas you’d like to see explored in more detail?

We’ve got a bunch of questions lined up, but let me know what you’re really interested in and we’ll try and focus more on those areas.

Reflections on the Local Social Summit

November 4, 2009

Picture 30I attended and spoke at the Local Social Summit today in London. Aside from getting soaked by the rain in the morning and an unreliable WiFi set up, the event was really good. It ambitiously tried to sit in the middle and capture the intersection of social media and local — with a healthy dose of mobile thrown in.

Much of the discussion throughout the day was provocative, trying to assess where the local and social media markets were headed and what the products of the near future would look like. For example, one of the panels I moderated was:

Local Gets Social – The Impact of User Generated Content and the Promise of Real-Time Search

  • Seb Provencher, Co-Founder Praized Media
  • David Ingram, CEO Brownbook
  • Sokratis Papafloratos, CEO TrustedPlaces
  • Andrew Hunter, General Manager Qype

These guys had lots of interesting things to say about whether and how “real time” content would make its way into their sites and local more generally. And there was lots of healthy disagreement.

The crowd was an interesting mix of pure Internet marketing people, agencies, YP publisher representatives and local online media (such as those above). Yelp, Yellix, MobilePeople and Cloudmade were also there among the mobile contingent.

Most people stayed until the very end, after dark, for a final session led by Seb Provencher, who was presenting a vision for what the ideal consumer local offering would look like in 2014 (the slides I previously shared). The discussion with pretty free-ranging and encompassed most of the themes raised earlier in the day. Nothing was resolved definitively and there were many sharply opposing views.

While we can argue that the presence of a dominant Google in search may for the time being make local search a “solved problem,” it’s evolving before our eyes, especially when mobile is thrown in. And despite the challenges local is definitely not a static segment.

What’s arguably emerging is the possibility (and perhaps eventually necessity) of a richer social media “layer” evolving out of reviews into a collection of tools and capabilities that enable consumers to access networks and data in new ways. One of the products I discussed with a couple people during a break was a “federated” local-mobile Q&A offering that would include real-time community response, archived UGC data and traditional local database listings.

Even as the consumer side threatens to become more complex, the “old” issues and challenges surrounding SMB ad sales remain. Along those lines, one of the most interesting panels of the day from my point of view was:

Local Content & Monetisation – A View from Europe

  • Simon Greenman, MD – Online, European Directories
  • James Thornett, Development Manager Location Services, Mapping, BBC Local
  • Ben Barney, Akesios
  • Joachim Helfer, Müller Medien
  • Roland Bryan, Associated Northcliffe Digital

Joachim Helfer of Müller Medien impressively described a build out of vertical properties that help form a network for its advertisers. The company is thinking very actively and creatively about how to serve advertisers and where traffic will come from in the future.

Simon Greenman teased the audience with some discussion of European Directories’ deal with Skype but said it was still too early to report any results. At dinner after the event he got into some very provocative scenarios, hypothetically.

Another highlight was the afternoon keynote by Oxford research fellow Bernie Hogan: “Making sense of the networked audience: The case of Facebook.

There were two big light-bulb moments for me, but no definitive conclusions that emerged and much disagreement about particulars among the speakers. However, the level of discussion was high and very interesting because of the “hybrid” nature of the event. In addition, because it was intentionally small the final session was highly interactive, with audience members asking questions and making comments drawn from data and presentations throughout the day.

Overall well done. There’s much to think about and it’s clear that the local segment remains as exciting and elusive as ever.

Missed the Mobile Marketing Summit?

October 29, 2009

Picture 23If you missed yesterday’s most excellent (and totally free) Mobile Marketing Summit and you’d like to watch/hear any of the presentations, you can do so at our webinar archive. There was a ton of great discussion about:

  • Mobile apps and app strategy (best practices)
  • How much it costs to develop mobile apps and who should not develop one
  • Mobile loyalty and couponing (opportunities and challenges)
  • Connecting traditional media and mobile
  • Using SMS to measure traditional media performance
  • Using SMS to build customer opt-in lists with over 90% response to subsequent offers
  • Effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns in general vs. onilne
  • Lots of stats on consumer behavior (search, mobile Internet, smartphones) and the size of the market

Picture 22

The sessions were “chock a block” full of case studies and practical information.

Live Now: Mobile Couponing & Loyalty

October 28, 2009

Picture 24We’re live now: Mobile Marketing, Couponing, and Customer Loyalty


  • Tetherball360
  • SmartReply

Real case studies, practical and tactical advice for marketers trying to drive customer loyalty, with mobile couponing as an integral part of that strategy.

Please come if  you’re interested. Click here to attend.

Going on Now: Mobile App Opportunity

October 28, 2009

Picture 24

Should you build an app? Maybe, maybe not.

The next panel today is going to be the “Mobile App Opportunity,” featuring Rachel Pasqua of iCrossing and Scott Dunlap of NearbyNow.

Both presentations are really strong and interesting.

We’ve heard already today in previous sessions about integrating SMS and traditional media, a little about video and case studies showing how mobile performs across the board vs. online.

This session (starting at 1P/4E) will be quite good — and for those in local, you’ll be interested in Scott’s presentation in particular. The Q&A discussions have also been very rich.

I would encourage you (if you’re intrigued by any of this) to attend.

Webinar: Mobile & Traditional Media Up Next

October 28, 2009

Picture 23Next up at the top of the hour (11 Pacific/2 Eastern): Integrating Mobile into Traditional Media Campaigns . . .


  • HipCricket
  • LSN Mobile

Using concrete examples and case studies, we’ll be talking about how companies can integrate their traditional marketing and mobile and how mobile can extend the reach of those traditional campaigns.

You can register and attend here.

Mobile Marketing Summit Starting

October 28, 2009

I’ll be blogging throughout the day but for much of the day I’ll be moderating or participating in discussions on the Internet2Go-BrightTalk Online Mobile Marketing Summit:

Picture 20

Live Now: The Mobile Internet: How Effective a Marketing Medium?

Picture 21

Free Mobile Marketing Summit Tomorrow

October 27, 2009

Picture 7What are you doing tomorrow? Taking the day off? Relaxing (chillaxin’)? Spending the day at the beach, in the gym honing  your physique? It would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Instead you should come to our Online Mobile Marketing Summit. Everyone who reads this blog knows to varying degrees that mobile is becoming strategically more and more important. My Internet2Go program is co-hosting a Mobile Marketing Summit tomorrow.

It’s online, it’s free and you can attend one session or all the sessions:

Companies presenting:

  • Ad-Village
  • Brand Anywhere
  • DMA
  • HipCricket
  • iCrossing
  • InsightExpress
  • LSN Mobile
  • Opus Research/Internet2Go
  • NearbyNow
  • SmartReply
  • Tetherball
  • VerveWireless

I’m moderating or participating in the following sessions:

All the sessions will offer very practical and concrete information that will make you smarter in thinking about mobile. The mobile Internet is moving very fast and people need to start understanding it in a more tactical way.

If you can’t make it, the slides and presentations will also be available after-the-fact. I would encourage all those interested to attend. You just need to register first.

Open Mobile Summit Discount

October 19, 2009

Picture 35It seems like there are about a bazillion and one mobile conferences these days. However, one worth attending is the forthcoming Open Mobile Summit, November 4-5 in San Francisco.

I’ll be moderating a session  called “New Dimensions in Navigation and Search.” But take a look at the agenda, there are some very interesting speakers and the full range of mobile topics will be addressed.

Keynotes include Google’s Vint Cerf, John Donovan (CTO, AT&T), Cole Brodman (CTO, T-Mobile) and Michael Abbot (SVP, Palm). My Internet2Go program is a conference partner. So if you’re interested in attending you can still get $150 off the full-conference price.

Register here and enter the code: GREGS. (Their idea, not mine.)

Local Social Summit in London Nov. 3

October 16, 2009

Picture 24Dylan Fuller and Simon Baptist have put together a very interesting event in London on November 3. It’s called the Local Social Summit. As the name suggests, it explores the connections between local and social media. There’s also a dose of mobile in there too.

They’ve asked me to come and moderate several panels. Beyond me there will be quite a good group and interesting speakers, among them:

  • Praized
  • TrustedPlaces
  • Yell
  • Yelp
  • European Directories
  • adaffix/Yelix
  • Brownbook
  • BBC

It’s intended to be a small event and I’m told that it’s pretty close to selling out; there are roughly 21 tickets left. Those interested in attending should sign up here.

At #SMX East Today: Lo-Mo Search

October 5, 2009

Picture 248I’ll be moderating the local and mobile sessions today at SMX East. Over at Twitter I’ll try and post any interesting tidbits, data and general observations on any of the subjects that arise during the sessions on:

  • Mobile search
  • Mobile apps
  • Local Search Ranking Factors
  • Maps