Steve Marshall moderated an ILM East panel today that focused on the local retail space with panelists that included Jack Abraham, CEO of Milo.com (eBay); David Courtney, CEO of JWire; and Tyler Bosemy, vice president, products of PaperG.
Milo’s goal is to work with businesses to bring their product inventory online. Abraham reports that roughly 40 percent of SMBs have websites and 70 percent of those businesses have inventory in their stores (i.e., product-based retail). Milo wants to get access to that inventory to provide a rich experience for both the consumer seeking a product as well as the SMB. Milo goes down to the SKU level to get as granular as possible.
Will this same model work for service-based business? “Absolutely,” said Bosemy. He feels it’s about applying the same principles as in the product space, which includes making ads more relevant and interesting. PaperG works with many media providers, typically those with a sales force, to help automate local ad creation, sales and management.
Responding to a question from Marshall about whether the panelists considered their companies in competition with Google, the most interesting feedback came from Courtney, who said, “If you’re not on a collision course with Google, you’re probably not in a very interesting space.”
Courtney continued that JWire, a location-based interactive media channel, doesn’t necessarily know that Google is on the same course but would welcome the competition and feel it had been well positioned to succeed.