Here is the first time I could catch up my blog after the move. I will update you with some conferences I attended first.

Kelsey Group Conf - March 27, 2006

Summary of day 1

This is my first time to attend Kelsey Group conference. Overall, I felt this conference is more advertiser targeted based on my first day experience. Maybe this is due to the fact that I attended more advertiser focused sessions. I learned about upcoming advertising opportunities in video space. How national advertiser think of local advertising opportunities. These info would be beneficial when thinking of the monetization piece of local search.

 

It seems personalization/social search such as reviews/rating is still a hot topic for this conference. I did not catch a dedicated session today, but Eric Chandler’s (a VZ VP) dedicated quite some time for this topic and I liked his keynote talk. Since VZ launched review last year 83% of review is service based. VZ is also struggling to figure out how to attract people to provide their reviews. Other interesting thing to know: VZ recently signed deal with Google to provide content.

 

Some detailed notes from sessions

Mass Media to MyMedia: Profiling the New ‘On-Demand’ Consumer

The Internet, on-demand video, wireless phones and iPods are creating a new global and local media universe which is highly personalized, customizable and not tied to time, place or even a single medium. The Kelsey Group presented the consumer research that outlines this emerging consumer paradigm and discuss the most significant implications for advertisers (national and local) as they try to reach these new, more empowered consumers.

 

Broadband usage increases

Proliferations of my media devices

Some stats

Broadband penetration 70% household

Broadband growth means the growth for news, video and some life Events: Job, Cars and Real Estate (2% in 95 vs 55% 2005)

 

Proliferations of “My Media” devices

            Disruptive Devices

            Slingbox

            PC

            Mobile Phones (more mobile phones than land lines, 2.5b wireless subs globally, 400m in China)

Emergence of the “My Media” Generation

Research based on US 12-17 years old top online activities by time spent (reverse order)

            Sports

Community

Gaming

Kids enter

Auction

Online gaming

Retail

Chat

Email

IM

Viacom (sports

Intuit

Wells Fargo

eBay

EA online

Facebook.com

MSN

Yahoo

My space

AOL

 

The new Media Universe

            Multitasking during consuming TV, internet. Internet is competing with TV

 

Local Buying vs E-commerce (2.5% vs 75%)

 

The Broadband Juggernaut: Slowing Down or Speeding Up?

David Payne, Director, Development, EarthLink Municipal Networks

            He thinks broadband growth is slowing down as we already have 60-70% penetration rate

Om Malik, Senior Writer, Business 2.0 Magazine

Constant connectivity is mislabeled as broadband. Though we will have infrastructure for WiFi in 5 years, will people actually have all things needed (e.g. laptops/computer) to use it? H He thinks the cell phone access is much easier than laptop using WiFi.

Brian Jurutka, Director, Marketing Solutions, comScore

Chuck Haas, CEO, MetroFI

            It is an affordability, not availability issue. Are we going to have free Wi-Fi nationwide? It will be there in 5 years in major cities. It is a scalable solution.

Why do you think ads can sustain free WiFi.

1.       The cost for WiFi is much less than broadband. The disruptive low cost is a enable factor

2.       Just as free newspaper sustained itself

Who will gather the ads?

1.       Local ads network

2.       Google Yahoo

What will be impacted by Broadband?

1.       Online virtual community

 

Keynote address from Safa Rashtchy, Senior Research Analyst - Internet Media & Marketing, Managing Director, Piper Jaffray

 

The world of advertising is changing

-          Consume what they like

-          Consume when they need it

-          Consume where they want it – at work, at friend’s house, in the airplane

-          Consume from the device of their choice – TV, ipod, laptop

Half of the advertising is wasted –

 

The new  role of Search

-          9.6 billion worldwide in 2001, 19.5 billion worldwide in 2005


The Growth path of Search

-          Google enters

-          Overture enters

-          Googling is a verb

-          Search as a new Media users explore ideas through search

Search became the trusted Medium

The Growth path of Search from Advertiser

-          The original 15k, the pioneer, small biz

-          GM

-         

The Growth path of Search from Advertiser

-          Google Maps and Yahoo  Local were major forces, pushing local search further

-          The current count of about 500K online advertises could reach 2-4 million with local search over the next 5 years

-          The final phase will be addition of real-time inventory (RFID)

-          Ultimately, local search could consume as much as 50% of all purchases online

-          YP listing -> paid search->RFID

How local search could replace e-commerce

-          Media is Fragmented

-          Brand building is very difficult

-          Advertisers are challenged on how to reach the young audiences

-          The traditional/promotion ways are not working

Opportunities for search – Search will become the central element in a highly fragmented media mix

-          The trusting role of search

-          The efficiency of search

-          Cross media application of search

 

Conclusions

-          The role of search is changing, from a DM model to a full media platform

-          We expect the best application of search to involve corso media campaigns

-          Local search to become real and to change the advertising landscape.

Questions

-          Next wave of local search is inventory-based. Will the transactions mostly be online or offline? _ offline

-          How to deal with the offline sale after extensive research? _try to close the loop by call-tracking or something else

-          What will be your advice for YP companies? _Search companies has better leverage due to its trust brand, it doesn’t mean no opportunities for YP companies.

-          How do you find the small business and convince them? _Franchise will be the ones to move this first.

 

1,000,001 Channels: But Is Anybody Watching?

Suranga Chandratillake, CEO and Co-founder, Blinkx
Bradley Inman
, Chairman and Founder, TurnHere, Inc.

May/Greg Demetriades, CEO, WhiteBlox

Boland

Tim Tuttle, VP, AOL Video, Co-founder Truveo.com

How do you generate revenue when video is so fragmented?

-          Bring the emotion of the Hollywood into the conversion of transaction

-          Provide local merchant low-production ads

Would the short-length be dominant or full-length?

-          Short form will not replace the full-length film, but will change the way people consume the video.

What media would proliferate most?

-          Multi-tasking nature of the next generation seems to prove various media will grow together

Should I invest in this space?

-          The barriers to upload the content are much lower compared to 12-18 months ago. E.g. Youtube.com

How do you deal with the user generated contents?

-          As long as you have some control of what contents to be published on the site, this should be fine. Turnhere.com vs. myspace.com

Conclusion

-          Keep your eyes on this space as there will be a lot of changes in this space

-          The cost of entry for this space is not low enough yet

-          Test and experiment the video

 

Local Search: Nationals Lead the Charge

This panel of national advertisers discussed their online and localization strategies and how their view of the advertising and marketing landscape has changed.

 

Roy L. Beatty, Vice President, YPMG  (ServiceMaster)
Dan Martin
, VP, Business Development, HomeGain, Inc.

Henry M. Vogel, Chief Revenue Officer, Quig

Todd Swickard, CEO, Auto Dealer Traffic Inc.

Sonia Carreno, General Manager, DAC Group Digital

 

How is local advertising changing?

-          Geo-targeting is effective, but it is expensive

-          Local search does not have enough volume. National search still drives 30% the traffic for homegain.

What is the most cost-effective ways for advertising?

-          Internet YP, Printed YP, direct mail …

-          Phone calls are more valuable. Customers from phone calls are more valuable.

-          It is clear IYP perform

Do you see a lot of replacement of online ads for offline?

-          Real Estate doesn’t see a huge shift, but the market could change

-          You need to do both online and offline advertising.

-          Carmax is an example which tried to completely replace offline print ads. But in general, it is incremental rather than substitution for online vs offline

Where is the mobile ad going? Where is it at?

-          Rely on the publisher to carry the torch.

-          For DAC group digital, not quite on national advertiser’s radar yet

-          For real Estate, using SMS, mapped all neighborhoods.

What triggers the call?

-          For Real Estate, it is the nice rebate of closing the transaction

Which one generates the best ROI?

-          Google, Yahoo

-          The total online volume is not that significant. IYP and PYP, direct mail are still the major mechanism.

 

Keynote Address

Eric Chandler, President - Internet Division, Verizon SuperPages.com

Verizon has 3.5 billion revenue. 2nd largest YP provider globally.

 

The evolution of IYPs and Local search

 

-          Co-opetition

-          Create an interactive community/personalization

-          Willingness to change/risk-tasking

 

Compare IYPs and Local search

 

IYP                         vs         Local search

Search:

highly structured            less structured

Categories                    Keywords

USPS-defined geo        areas, neighborhoods, etc

Listing

            Merchnat-based            products, brands, services

Products

            Fixed fee                      performance based

User Experience

           

Industry Growth Trends

Critical factors for growth

            Local customer relationship

            Quality Traffic

            Robust Content

            National Footprint

Full services (to non-tech savy customers)

What are we focusing on?

-          Pay for calls

-          Increase contents

-          Leverage print distri. To drive calls to online PFC advertisers

-          Patend-pending PFC print distribution network

Co-opertition – Take the competitive Advantage

-          Fragmented Market

-          Leverage strategic partnerships

-          Improve search experience for users

-          Bring greater ROI to advertisers

 

VZ just signed a deal with Google

Superpages.com+ google = more leads

 

Personalization: Industry View

Local reviews

-          Yahoo Local

-          AOL YP

-          A9.com

-          Insider Pages, Judy’s book, Zipinggo

-          Citysearch

-          Google Base

Verticals (mostly dining/entertainment)

-          Dining

-          Travel

-          Editoral gayot.com, phantomgour.com

Personalization evolution

-          How will personalization evolve?

-          Reinventing ourselves (buying muffin in startbucks is not necessary about its muffin, but due to the convenience when buying coffee)

-          Connecting buyers with sellers

What content do you provide to Google?

-          push out pay per click

 

Summary of day 2

The 2nd day seems more interesting. It actually inspired me, so I came up with some crazy ideas such as “how about collaborating with 1-800-411 for some mobile search users etc.” “How about serve Expo result at local.live?” etc.

 

A couple of other things to be noted

  1. Dan Gillmore delivered a Q/A session around newspaper. He proposes adding blogs into the newspaper. Check out his comments and some of his interesting idea “An idea: Yahoo comes in to buy San Jose Mercury, then turn it into the lab of the future journalism.
  2. Livedeal.com partner with newspaper to do the online classifieds. Newspaper (Washington Post) has pioneered to sell leads, rather than ads in auto category. Ready to roll out to classified.
  3. One directory companies (1-800-411) uses InfoUSA(another validation of our bet on InfoUSA), other directory companies uses carrier database (more shallow, but may have more fresh data compare to InfoUSA)
  4. Let me know if you want to take a peek of the book from Dan Gillmore “We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People”.

 

Detail Session Notes

The New ‘Purchase Funnel’: Online Shopping, Offline Conversions

Kendall Fargo, CEO, StepUp Commerce, Inc.

Rosen, ShopLocal.com
Catherine Kelly
, Chief Technology Officer, HarvestINFO
John Melideo, CEO, Jambo

Rob Wight, CEO, Channel Intelligence

-          Combine the online and offline solutions. Participation of big retailers

-          Extended shopping session will drive this shopping model adoption

-          Not all local merchant seem to see this change (shop online, conversion offline). A lot of merchants seem to be ignorant about such user behavior

-          Local merchants seem to be disappointed on missing two waves 1. Building website in 90s. 2. Missing Google wave

-          Shoplocal doesn’t believe we can get the inventory from small local retailers in the next couple of years. Relay the product inventory by phone is his prediction

-          Another prediction to tackle this missing inventory issue is to obtain the info from manufacture rather than from retailer.

-          7 years, he thought it was simple: just get inventory from retailers. But it turns out no one has such system that contains the local promotion and inventory.

-          Setting standards such as XML

-          How to handle return? How to measure ROI when return happens? Fargo thinks the industry got some time because there were no leads without online channel. Taking a step forward online is important though it doesn’t solve this return issue.

-          How do we track this? Tough issue for everyone. Some have spent years on this issue, Coupon, survey or provide building maps or driving direction to make such linkage

-          Integrate the local and national sources into one search result and allow users to choose if they want to shop online or go to physical shop

Can You Hear Me Now: VoIP, Wi-Fi and Local Market Disruption

John Federman, CEO, eStara
Ari Jacoby, CEO, VoiceStar 

Ted Morgan, President & Founder, Skyhook Wireless

Jim Smith, Senior Product Manager, Consumer VoIP & Video Services, Microsoft

What is your prediction on the application in this field for the next 12 months?

-          Jim - Click to call, Video are the upcoming application

-          Morgan – the cost of voice almost goes to zero, change the way people communicate. It is more than mins calls, but keep folks connected all day long

-          IM application

What is the conversion rate on click2call?

-          20%-50% conversion rate increase from eStarra. Create end2end ROI tracking, create continuity of experience.

-          Attract a whole new group of advertisers.

What is the revenue model for Skyhook Wireless in the future?

-          Long term revenue model is through advertiser.

What other geo-based applications do you see?

-          Mobile tour guide

-          Connect to the right people at the right time. E.g. car breaks down in the middle of the road, type “flat tire” on your cell, return the nearest available merchant.

Vicinity is in mappoint. What does Microsoft do to integrate different pieces of technologies?

-          We are definitely integrating the VOIP into other products.

As a platform provider, can you survive without advertiser? (eStara, VoiceStar)

-          Provide the superior user experience

 

Mobile Ads That Work Today

Brendan Benzing, VP, Mobile Services, InfoSpace

Noah Elkin, Director, iCrossing.com

Mark Prioleau, VP, Marketing, Telcontar

Bill Reller, Sr. Director, Ad Platform, Medio Systems

Rick Szatkowski, VP, Business Development, NeoMedia Technologies
Zaw Thet, VP, Marketing & Product Strategy, 4Info

Where is the mobile market at? Infancy stage?

-          Japan is about 2 years ahead. Following Japan is Europe.

-          It is early, but ready to burst. The carriers are ready. We need to see the rate drop

-          Not ready for Ad with SMS, but Ad on web browsing starts to take off

-          Application starts to blend with advertising and we are still at infancy stage for this blending.

How do we get around the obstacles such as 40% of people will pay to get rid of SMS message?

-          We need to have rich content. E.g. Apprentice show is good enough that people will tolerate the ad.

-          The targeted/relevant ads are not necessary what people want to block.

-          Free min

How could carrier help in this space?

-          Cross carrier collaboration

-          Make sure the infrastructure is there. Instead of working with the aggregators, we could work with directly with carriers

Keynote Address
Dan Gillmor, Blogger and Author, Founder and Director, The Center for Citizen Media

Do you think the newspaper business is in crisis?

-          It is still very profitable business, but younger people become less interested in the printed newspaper

Why do you think newspaper is not at the front center of local search?

-          Not able to cannibalize some piece and still maintain the high profit

-          They are conservative by nature. It takes forever to make a feature change.

Do you agree newspaper needs to

-          There is nothing wrong to snap the print content online. But newspaper now is more than just a read media. It is a read-write media.

-          Relationship needs to change from 1-many to many-many

What scenario should newspaper strive to fulfill?

-          Give users blog in newspaper. Offer open platform to let user to input review, pictures. Create community

-          Allow user to input editorial section for all news provided

What if the brand of the newspaper is destroyed?

-          Brands will become diminished

Yahoo’s recently release allows user to search local news. What is the impact?

-          I am here to help journalism from bottom up. Hence better contents from local are good.

Greg highly doubts if Yahoo and Google would buy the newspaper publisher. Why do you think they should do so?

-          An idea: Yahoo comes in to buy San Jose Mercury, then turn it into the lab of the future journalism.

What about the partnership between YP and newspaper

-          They normally are perceived as competitor

Which company should newspaper partner with?

-          It is impossible to answer this. You partner with someone who does something better than you. What does newspaper need to do? Better tools for the newspaper. Hyper local with newspaper could generate something powerful

Free DA: A Flawed Model or Mo-Lo Made Simple?

-          Are there more people looking for category than business?

1.       3-5% is category based searching

2.       It should increase in the future if people find category search useful

-          The free DA is not necessary eating into the existing market share, but increase the pie by gaining more calls as user makes 4 times more calls from some stats

-          User who has the multi-media phone makes more DA calls.

-          People would like to listen to 15sec ads rather than $1.5/call

-          http://www.411metro.com

-          http://www.jinglenetworks.com/

-          http://www.localmatters.com/

-          http://www.pocketthis.com/

-          The 411 inquiry could be very valuable.

Tom Arthur, CEO, PocketThis
Perry Evans, CEO, Local Matters

George Garrick CEO Jingle Networks
Michael Loftus, CEO, inFreeDA

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Refreshment Break

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
The Ultimate Mashup: Classifieds, Local Listings and 'Social Search'
Michael Bazely, Senior Web Editor, San Jose Mercury News/Knight Ridder

Rajesh Navar, Founder and CEO, LiveDeal.com

Sarah Pate, President & CEO, AdMission

Henry Tam, Director, Local Product Development, WPNI

Keith Teare, CEO and Co-founder, Edgeio.com

Garry Wiseman, Product Unit Manager, Microsoft

-          Classifieds are person2person service. Directory service is more commerce2person

-          People use livedeal because they don’t have to pay YP to be listed

-          Mash up the classifieds with shopping engine

-          Needs to be careful about the relevance when mashing up national provider and local classifieds. It should not be the experience that all national providers show up first.

-          Washington Post pilot collaboration with search engines for automotive category. In this case, newspaper is selling the leads, no longer the ads.

-          What would brand do when everything is meshed up? – Some thinks brand should not matter as long as user gets what they are looking for.