Yahoo Localworks Not For Brands

Yahoo! Small Business announced the launch of their "lead gen biz" Localworks.

This “also ran” offering mimics what is already on the market and offered by companies like Yext. With a somewhat higher price tag (roughly $600 annually vs $400 to $500), there is little enough to differentiate this from what has been available for several years now.

I am not a fan of Yahoo! bashing, as I think they are making some tough calls to extricate themselves from the rudderless management of half a decade or more. But this particular product offering is late in coming, poorly described (“lead gen biz” it is not), too expensive and not well targeted.

According to vice president of Yahoo! Small Business, Tom Byun, brand marketers want to know how Yahoo! can help clients secure the next customer.

Here is the perennial issue for brand marketers, whom I partially describe as those marketers that oversee large geographic regions with multiple (many, usually) locations: The issue is not getting a listing out to the marketplace, monitoring it and managing it. For brand marketers, the issue is doing this efficiently for dozens, hundreds and perhaps thousands of locations.

What Yahoo! launched this week is fine as an add-on for their current small business customers. But, it is not for “brands.”

As the local market tools for brands evolve, the winning technologies will be those that address the large region, multilocation management issue efficiently.

The local market technology players should take a queue for the social media management platforms like Hearsay Social, Argyle, Sprout Social and others. These have a suite of communication tools designed to help large companies manage their locations, communication and information.

Local is big. But, over the past few years, the technologies have not kept up with the needs of large marketers. Sometimes this is a tech issue, other times it is a network issue, and still other it’s a user issue (my way or no way).

Before large brands can truly leverage local efficiently, the technology developers need to talk with the brands and agencies that are charged with managing local marketing across the country to solve these pain points.

Until then, it will be geared toward the mom-and-pops, repackaged in an attempt to sell to the brands.

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