Monthly Industry Roundup: September 2018
In the past month, the Location3 content machine has been in full overdrive, providing some of the most comprehensive and insightful analysis in the digital marketing industry. That’s why this month’s industry roundup is an all-Location3 special edition. From celebrating the one-year anniversary of our local digital marketing platform to raising the red flags of transparency in advertising, our team covers everything you need to know as we hit the final stretch of 2018.
Celebrating the 1-Year Anniversary of LOCALACT
On September 7, 2017, Location3 officially launched LOCALACT – the premier platform built to power and scale local digital marketing for franchise systems and multi-location businesses. LOCALACT brings together the most high-impact marketing tools for today’s digital-first media environment in a single interface and integrated marketing program.
Since the launch just over a year ago, Location3 has helped thousands of franchisees across brands like FASTSIGNS, Anytime Fitness, HoneyBaked Ham, and more extend their local digital marketing presence. Here are a few features that have been launched:
- Localized website analytics that can easily present traffic, visitor, and conversion data to single location or franchise owner without risking shared access
- Powerful advertising programs on the most impactful social media channels – Facebook and Instagram – with expansive reach, localized targeting, and the option for co-funded media spend.
- Search engine analytics focused on the visibility of your business listings, which have opened up true rank and position data, while also providing discovery tools for long-tail localized searches
- Advanced segmentation tools to provide reporting insights based on location groupings.
And two big updates still to come in 2018:
- Local Pages that are seamlessly connected to LOCALACT
- New data partnerships and channel integrations
If you have questions about how you can grow your business with LOCALACT, or would like to schedule a free demo, contact us today to get started.
Smart Ads Only Threaten Agencies That Don’t Deliver on Strategy
With the release of Google Smart Ads, which enables automated ad campaign creation, management, and optimization for small businesses the conversation once again turned to the long-term viability of agencies and resellers. It’s not a new conversation as the impact of automation and machine learning has been a hot issue for years. But Smart Ads has shown a higher potential for success than previous products that have promised DIY ad solutions. So this is it. Agencies are kaput, right? Of course not, says Location3 CEO Alex Porter in a recent post on LSA Insider.
So how does the agency survive in a world that’s constantly pushing toward automation? By doing what they always do, embracing and mastering industry changes, says Porter. Here’s an excerpt from the post:
“For agencies to stay in business, they must find the sweet spot between automation and human expertise. It’s understood that technology, including some level of SaaS functionality, is required for SMBs and franchise owners to effectively scale their marketing efforts. But it’s only when combined with the best strategic direction that these efforts can reach their full potential.”
For more analysis, the full post can be read here.
Webinar: Is Automation an Existential Threat to Agencies?
Shortly after Porter’s post was published, a discussion on the role of the agency in an automated industry broke out on Twitter. This back-and-forth led to a webinar led by Local Search Association’s Greg Sterling. The webinar, “Is Automation an Existential Threat to Agencies”, featured Porter and David Mihm of Tidings. Check out the replay above for a candid discussion between the two industry experts.
Is Your Marketing Partner Being Transparent?
The advertising industry, especially within digital media, has come under intense scrutiny due to highly publicized data breaches and privacy issues. This has contributed to an increasingly contentious environment that affects the agency-brand relationship. Location3’s Tom Lynch recently gave us a deep dive into a few non-transparent practices that all brands and franchisees should be on the lookout for, including hidden CPCs and elevated ad-spend minimums. Here’s an excerpt from the post on transparency in advertising:
“In these versions, the client receives clicks and cost metrics, but when broken out, the cost per clicks is misrepresented – appearing much higher than what is actually paid to Google. This relationship creates a circle of “failing” paid search campaigns where the franchisee’s distrust is steered toward Google – not the platform or agency charging as much as five times the actual Google ad spend.”
For more insight into questionable practices as well as best practices for receiving transparency and value from agency partners, the entire post can be read here.