Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Local online is about local offline

Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 by No comments yet

From Greg Sterling today…

Here’s a general article on the local market from Business Week. Many people have seen it and emailed me about it.

It bothers me because it’s pretty superficial…

Here’s the reality, which BW either doesn’t fully “get” or seem to want to explore in sufficient depth:

  • Local is about offline — money spent in physical places.
  • E-commerce is <4% of retail; 95%+ percent of product purchases happen offline. Increasingly those purchases start online.
  • 99%+ of service business transactions happen offline/locally (yet online is the place where more and more people go to find service businesses).
  • People may communicate via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to others around the globe but they live in physical places and when they travel they’re also in physical places, where they stay, eat, shop.
  • SMB advertiser acquisition is hard, yes — no dispute there (see the last two years of blog posts)
  • The central barrier to more geotargeted and local advertising by nationals has been the challenges of offline tracking in any given campaign

Posted in: Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Online Classified Ads, Small Business Advertising, Social Media

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