Going Local: Q&A With BIA 's Rick Ducey

With the continued development in addressable campaigns and cross platform opportunities, national advertisers are now able to choose the best units for their desired consumer targets, even targeting on a local level. Rick Ducey, managing director of BIA, understands the importance of the local advertising marketplace. BIA offers local market data, intelligence and advisory services for those marketers interested in leveraging the value of local advertising. 

Charlene Weisler: Where does BIA fit in the media ecosystem? 

Rick Ducey: BIA is data-based consultancy and advisor primarily focused on informing buyers, sellers and solution providers about advertising, technology and business dynamics in the local media advertising market. Our flagship data service is a comprehensive five-year forecast of media spending across all platforms targeting local audiences in nearly 100 business verticals.

Weisler: Where was the local media market before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and at this point in time? 

Ducey: As with the general economy, the local media market began 2020 in Q1 on a high note with expectations for increased political spending, increased ad buying based on consumer confidence in the economy, and more data allowing advertisers to better target audience segments, optimize campaigns and show ROI. 

Then the pandemic hit and all the rules changed. Ad buying was cancelled, paused, reduced and shifted from higher priced and less accountable traditional media to digital media. Overall, the ad market was in decline. 

There were some regional and business vertical variances. For example, the home improvement and telecom sectors showed strength as the workforce shifted to the new paradigm of home-based offices. 

As we continue through Q4, especially with recent promise of a COVID-19 virus, optimism is returning to Wall Street and Main Street about a resurgent economy. We’re seeing upgraded expectations for advertising through the Q4 holiday peak season and on into 2021. The shift of the Summer Olympics to 2021 provides another boost in advertising opportunities.

Weisler: What are the critical elements to keep in mind for local commerce, sales and media at this time?

Ducey: There are strong positives for national buyers targeting local audiences in geo-targetable media including the ability to provide the most relevant content, match advertising pressure against brand messaging (e.g., regional product introductions, trying to improve sales in certain geographies, attract new sales or provide stronger competition, etc.). 

These are benefits national media cannot deliver at scale, especially when leveraging local media brands and trustworthy factors in (e.g., local TV news spots). For local and regional businesses, working with trusted local media outlets is cost-effective and leverages local media brands to their own local brands. 

The local media industry and the solution providers serving media companies are bringing ever better data, technology, accountability and workflow to the challenge of making the most effective ad investments. Always a moving target. We’re seeing a tremendous growth of interest, activity, spending and ROI in local media and expect it to continue into the future.

Weisler: What are the opportunities of going local? 

Ducey:. Both buyer and seller teams are becoming less siloed when it comes to investments in traditional and digital media, and that’s where things need to evolve quickly. Just as the audience transits various media platforms in situational and purposed based use cases (e.g., audio in car, large screen TV sets for sports, mobile video for on the go) so too must buyers match their media allocations in smarter and smarter activations to reach and influence these local audiences. 

There is great opportunity to do so, and we’re confident the market is head in this direction by getting smarter, offering new innovations and using data to better inform decisions.

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