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Local isn’t just advertising: it continues to expand into a suite of marketing and operational services. It’s not just about helping local businesses acquire new customers; it’s helping them keep customers.

This is concept we’ve examined for a few years, recently formalized as the “Local Commerce Universe.” It includes CRM, loyalty, scheduling and a growing suite of local marketing and operational services.

This will will be a central theme at BIA/Kelsey SMB, and it was also a topic on a recent interview with BIA/Kelsey analyst Abid Chadhry. This is part two of YPs Influencer Series with Chaudhry (part one here).

Below is an excerpt and you can read the full dialogue here.

YP: Prior to the break, you were describing how social is influencing the local search marketing space.

Abid Chaudhry: Yes. Social media has graduated in last five years from something of a bystander to the overall experience of search, that Google, Yahoo and Bing owned, into something that is much more of a competitor (or partner) for general search marketing practices. Products akin to specifically doing presence and engagement management for social are evolving into direct response and lead delivery vehicles.

YP: Similar to your comment, recently released findings showing Facebook moving ahead of Google in overall referral traffic in June. (

AC: Yes. In local search & discovery, social is becoming a prominent voice when it comes to lead delivery versus just search itself. I expect, years from now, the ‘crisscrossing’ and integration of social into the search attribution process will be commonplace.

YP: Interesting. In a prior Influencer Series interview, Rob Griffin of Havas used similar ‘crisscrossing’ language to describe the interaction between local search and other aspects of the consumer journey. (Rob Griffin’s interview Pt. 1)

So far you’ve described the many threads that have got us here – mobile, dynamic query results, social, etc. What’s the next emerging trend in the local search space?

AC: Just to reset for a moment. When I think about the evolution of the space, I prefer calling it the Local Commerce Universe. We used to call the whole thing local search. Today, local is so much more – media, marketing, advertising, SaaS, etc.

Firms like YP and a few others have done a good job developing the entire pathway for consumers and advertisers, not just focusing singly on the geolocation (lat/long) storyline, the ‘daily deal’ space or specifically about mobile retargeting. While these are important options, on the macro level we see local evolving into a wide range of integrated services and solutions working together for brands and marketers.

Read the rest…

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