Search Marketing Influencer Series: Abid Chaudhry – Part 3


Abid Chaudhry

Concluding our discussion with Abid Chaudhry, Senior Director, Industry Strategy & Insight at BIA/Kelsey on the future of Local Search Marketing.

Abid took time out to speak with T.S. Kelly & Henry Hall of The Media Strategist and share his views on local search and, specifically, what he describes as The Local Commerce Universe.

The prior sessions, Parts 1 & 2, can be found here (Part one & Part two).

Now that you have the marketer’s full attention, what would you be telling them about the future of The Local Commerce Universe?

Right now, I’d suggest keeping a close watch on how consumer search and app use evolve and interact, likely one of the most important trends to track in coming years.

As iOS and Android operating systems evolve and app development gets more advanced,
I expect more app ‘deep linking.’ Links that we see between one webpage and another becoming synonymous with the links that we see between individual apps. In some cases we may see consumers bypassing the web altogether, moving directly to many of these ‘single serve’ channels (apps).

So you expect apps, ‘single serve’ apps or otherwise, will take chunks of the consumer search function?

Absolutely. It would behoove brand marketers to know how to play in this new world. Consumers are going on a guided journey. They seek the best experience over anything else.

On demand services are likely driving some of this partial ‘search bypass to apps’ behavior. Examples – YP local search app for finding a 24-hour plumber. Looking for chicken parmesan right now via Yelp. In these and other cases consumers would be funneled to a specialized app versus a specific search engine results page. While the web and apps will likely co-exist, marketers need to find ways to integrate behaviors and benefit from the rise in apps use on mobile devices.

On the other side, search engines are moving to be more than just a delivery of knowledge, such as integrating ‘buy’ buttons right into query results as Google and others have done. This also gels with Amazon and Pinterest allowing a buy in 2 or 3 click directly from an app. In all cases, possessing the mindset, ‘When users come to us, they can complete transaction within results.’

What are marketers missing when they don’t do this, when they don’t embrace the Local Commerce Universe?

Two things. First, the ability to understand all the engagement chatter, especially as social and mobile interactions become prominent voices in local and local search. Need to have some record or ability to capture it. Without it, sentiment and the construct of what’s taking place is missed. Why is location ‘x’ doing better with this product line versus location ‘y?’ Geography? Demographics of the community? More socially engaged presence? Missing these and other variables.

Second, as we ‘close the loop’ of the marketing cycle down to the actual transaction, difficult to properly assess performance without a local dimension. Specifically establishing the foundation for capturing the entire local attribution pathway that includes local search, social, mobile plus the inventory and transaction itself and then roll it all up to provide the best view possible of the entire campaign holistically.

That will help future-proof for what happens next…

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