Another Oldie but Goodie... @PeterKrasilovsy Local Onliner.com
"PremierGuide’s effort is similar to an effort started in spring 2006 by Sacramento-based EyeBall Farm. Eyeball partners with Intelligent Direct Marketing to provide microsites for auto dealers. The sites not only include the dealer’s marketing-oriented media, but in some cases, their car inventory..."
"Hello Peter and thanks for the thoughtful comments. Premier Guide’s Malcolm Lewis and I partnered with Surewest Telephone to launch Sacramento.com years ago (while I was still at The Sacramento Bee. I believe it is a Planet Discover project now however…).
My then, youthful enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of local advertisers using our new local directory site’s self-serve advertising tools (similar to Google’s Sponsored Links) was soon tempered by the cold reality that a local pizza restaurant owner not only doesn’t easily warm to the idea of building his own ad message, but he/she may not even understand why they should even care. It was confusing. “I already have a web site Jim…” They just want to sell more pizza.
Another project I launched with Travidia and a large regional shopping center here, Sunrise Market Place, hit a similar wall by way of cutting edge tools being offered, AT NO FEE, to over 500 merchants that made up a 501c6 Business Improvement District in Citrus Heights, Ca.
We provided many weeks of training. But we still had to beg these merchants to log-in to our self-serve Adscripter and post text about sales and special events, etc. to the microsite we had built for them.
Once again, we were reminded that the pizza guy just wants to make pizza. He “already has a web site” and didn’t understand what the big deal is about, vis a vis our efforts to have his online communications actually seen.
Local directories will work. Many are working well now. However, I remain convinced that as Peter stated, the confusion that this approach causes adds to the mix in a HUGE and unanswered way. Most small business folks are just now accepting they need a web site and along comes someone like me or Malcolm and suggests in ADDITION to that, they may need to consider my call to action platform or Malcolm’s microsite. Oh yeah, let’s add a Blog, a Podcasts, and some streaming video.
“Hey pizza-maker, Can you FTP your .FLVs, .MP3s and .Wavs so I can stream them via Flash players, YouTube, Google Video, MySpace and Flicker?”
This is why we have decided to build a service in combination WITH the platform. The tech is incredible and DOES allow the pizza guy to do it themselves, but they don’t. So, we do it for them. WE aggregate their TV spots, Radio Ads, Print Ads, Direct mail pieces. WE convert them. We post them and buy THE RIGHT keyword ads on the search engines and deliver them a report at he end of the month that says “You spent $XX and made $YY.”
It is not easy. It is not a high margin business and finding people to make this work every day is kicking me in the head. BUT this approach works. The ROI is clear, easy to replicate and hard to argue with. The full-service approach ultimately serves to greatly increase client retention because in the end they get what they wanted all along…they sell more pizza! We have a LOT of learning curve ahead. “Keep it simple stupid” just isn’t going to cut it any longer. Thanks for the forum Pete.