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In the afternoon session at the BIA/Kelsey DMS conference on Wednesday afternoon, two players in the local search industry talked about the growing local display market and the use of display by SMBs. Moderated by Matt Booth of BIA/Kelsey, Tyler Bosmeny from PaperG and Warren Kay from iPromote spoke about the increasing use of display advertising by SMBs. Specifically, these industry participants talked about the improved efficiency that is occurring as this industry matures.

According to the most recent BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor survey, 11% of all SMBs use online banner or display advertising. Both Tyler and Warren agreed that it is an incredibly growing method for SMBs to get information out about their product or service.

One reason for this growth has been the significant increase in the inventory of display advertising that has been generated by social networks. This increase in inventory has naturally led to lower prices for this advertising, making it a more “doable” buy for many SMBs. An additional benefit of the increased inventory has been the ability to better able “dice and slice” this inventory either geographically or by different demographics. Having a more targeted audience for display advertising makes it much more desirable for SMBs.

What’s the future for display? Will it be larger than search for SMBs? Of course, that will be seen. But, the feeling of the panelists was clearly that local display will become an even more important vehicle for SMBs to attract and retain its customers.

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