What Are the Most Interesting, Important, Challenging Issues in Local?

MapI’m giving an opening presentation in a couple of weeks at the SIINDA conference in Munich. SIINDA, the search and information industry association, is the merger of the former EADP (yellow pages) and EIDQ (directory assistance) trade associations.

I’ve got a number of things I could talk about but they’re all too familiar. I feel that I’ve lost perspective.

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about:

  • Ongoing chaos and confusion for SMBs in trying to figure out all the channels
  • New segmentation approaches to SMB market
  • Continuing impact of mobile on local lookups and search
  • The rise of the multi-screen user and the cross platform internet
  • Evolving role of location in mobile advertising
  • Location is the new cookie
  • The marriage of online and offline commerce and the rise of local “marketplaces”
  • Verticalization of local (consumer and advertiser)
  • Structural and sales challenges of traditional local media trying to generate more digital revenue
  • Google’s algorithm changes and their impact on local listings
  • Social media (i.e., Facebook) and its emerging role in local search and SMB marketing

Which of these are most interesting and relevant to you? Which ones would you be most interested in as a member of a conference audience?

Are there other questions or issues that are more pressing or provocative? I’d be interested in your input.

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6 Responses to “What Are the Most Interesting, Important, Challenging Issues in Local?”

  1. marcelo antelo says at

    Greg, lack of digital education and, still, resistance to embrace internet by SMBs, IMHO is the most chalenging topic to marketers and also to SMBs. It’s still very hard convince most SMBs that they really need understand that without internet they will not stand longer in this momment.

  2. Malcolm Lewis says at

    Moving from local search (ratings-based, wisdom of the crowd) to personalized recommendations (taste-based, wisdom of people like me).

  3. Scott Barnett says at

    I like the channel chaos and marketplaces focus – somewhat related.

  4. Greg Sterling says at

    Thanks all for your suggestions. I also received several more in email.

  5. Wicker says at

    I like the last one regarding Social.  I (and many who ask me) would like to hear the answer to this question.

    Is managing paid Social for SMBs a profitable reseller business? 

    I also like the segmentation angle, especially if you bring it to life with RLSA.  Do SMBs care about segments? Are they using RLSA? How? 

  6. Greg Sterling says at


    I don’t know whether it’s profitable or can be. It’s very tricky with social. I can imagine a basic mgmt service that sets up a presence combined with advertising and offers some coaching to the SMB to DIY the organic part.

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