Can You Do The Local Motion?

How do you find most local businesses and services? Well if you are reading this, most of you will say online. Of course, as I have said before, you and I aren't the norm, dear readers -- or are we?

EMarketer just released a report, "Local Online Advertising: Measuring the Market."

According to the report, eMarketer projects that local online advertising spending in the U.S. will reach $2.9 billion in 2007. That represents only 13.4% of the total Internet market. The market is anticipated to accelerate to approximately $5 million more by 2011.

When I think of local advertising, I must admit it bores me. I'd rather do national with a local footprint. After thinking about it some more, I (respectfully) think it is due to the fact that there aren't a lot of creative opportunities these properties bring to the table. Most of these companies haven't even figured it out yet. Come on, guys -- you have the audience and the people are loyal as hell, now do something.



Sure, local advertising online is small now -- but just you wait and see how up-and-coming it will be.

Also potential growth factors (according to eMarketer) include just the sheer number of people who are online nowadays, along with:

-- The fact that small and mid-size companies are now advertising online.

-- The increased use of local Internet sites and services by individuals (i.e., local search).

-- The development of local online ad networks connected with local media, such as newspapers.

Just think about it. It seems every day we read how traditional local radio and media outlets are hurting. The business isn't what it used to be. Many won't sustain an advertising model, as they haven't modernized to offer online advertising opportunities, let alone some sort of cross-platform deal. You would have thought they'd have done this oh, say, 10 years ago. It's a shame, too. I think about the genuine loyalty of local media listenership/viewership, and it makes sense. It makes people feel close to home. Give them what they need and they are happy. Don't give them what they need, and they spend less time or almost no time with you.

"As audiences continue migrating to the Web and away from traditional local media such as newspapers and radio, it's only a matter of time before online local ad spend catches up with today's reality," says David Hallerman, senior analyst and author of the report.

This potential growth will no doubt appeal to the big guys as well as the small ones. It's no surprise that large search engines like Google and Yahoo are already there. We've been buying paid placement search on a local level for years now. It isn't sexy stuff, but hot damn -- it works!

Have you noticed local listings companies (like Yellow Book) are doing a lot of promotion of yellow pages, etc. as a viable means to advertise online locally? Ironically, in the greater Boston area promotions urge local businesses to advertise in the Yellow Pages to reach qualified local customers. Ironically most of the ads I've noticed are on radio or on billboards.

So do you believe that local online advertising will be a hotbed of opportunities? What would you want from local media in order to ink a deal? Post to the Spin blog and come on, baby, do the local motion.

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