How Should SMBs Buy Local Search Advertising: Automated Services Vs. Sales Reps?

By Wesley Young

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Local search marketing is a crowded marketplace with many companies offering small and medium businesses (SMBs) the same or similar services. It is also increasingly difficult to separate search marketing from other marketing, as everything from website development to third-party content to social media chatter affect search results.

In all, small corporations spend $50 billion per year on marketing according to a 2006 analysis of IRS tax return data from Magna Global. If you add in national advertisers that are targeting local markets, the value of local media is estimated to be as high as $120 billion annually.

The chase for those marketing dollars is strong as reported by a 2013 Borrell Associates survey, which found SMBs field nearly 19 sales inquiries a month, on average, and actually speak to 6.5 different representatives a month, on average.

Borrell-Research-SalesCalls

Who should SMBs turn to in order to get the right help with search marketing? Should they do it themselves? How will technology change the type of help SMBs need to market themselves? Is there still a role for the estimated 80,000 local sales representatives in the United States and as many as 200,000 worldwide?

Automation And Self-Service Will Hold More Market Share…

The future of marketing is in automation — software that automates the tasks of placing ads and distributing marketing pieces. Programmatic ad buying is sweeping across the digital advertising industry with Yahoo reporting that 90% of digital advertising will be programmatic within a couple of years.

However, automation does not equal self-service. Even though email made it possible to send a communication to thousands with the push of a single button, most businesses still utilize a service to help with email marketing.

Nevertheless, self-service solutions will become increasingly popular in time. Former Hibu CEO, Gary Shaw, estimates that up to …read more

Source:: SearchEngineLand

      

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