Important 2013 Marketing Trends and How To Capitalize On Them

On Tuesday last week, London hosted the Local Social Summit 2012, the fourth year this great (and growing) summit has been put on.

I want to use this post to highlight some significant trends discussed at the Summit. I also want to warn that the rapid pace of innovation may indeed leave real estate investors, agents, businesses struggling to keep up.

Key Trends

  1. Mobile is king
  2. Rise of ‘Local Discovery’
  3. Data Purity & Ubiquity

Mobile Is King

This topic has been done to death, so I’m not going to dwell on it too much. We should have all read the key facts by now, but as a quick refresher:

  • Mobile Internet usage to surpass desktop Internet usage in 2014*
  • 50% of smartphone users have used a local app
  • Mobile advertising spend to hit US$15 billion in 2015 (was US$1 billion in 2011)

Anecdotally, a representative from Yelp told everyone that approx 45% of searches on Yelp are done via their mobile apps. Given that Yelp had 84 million unique visitors in Q3, 2012, while their app was used on just 8.2 million mobile devices in this period, it shows a huge level of activity by their mobile audience.

While the headline figures are hugely exciting, it’s interesting to note that only 10% of Internet usage is done on mobile,** so a lot fewer pages/visits are being consumed by mobile users. Also, the most popular place for using a smartphone is in the home. So, while mobile is undeniably a game changer , the behavior of mobile users isn’t necessarily what we might presume it to be.

*Based on number of users accessing Internet on a mobile device
**Based on number of pages consumed on a mobile device

The Rise of ‘Local Discovery’

‘Local Discovery’ is an evolution of ‘Local Search.’

The difference being that ‘Search’ is broad and requires the user to invest time and effort in narrowing down and identifying the content they want.

‘Discovery’ is about presenting users with pre-filtered results based on their preferences, location and other elements of personalization. It means less effort on the part of user, and more curation and editorial involvement by site/application owners.

It’s hard to do this well on large sites which cover a broad set of verticals and locations (e.g., Superpages, YP.com) because of the need for detailed understanding of each industry or market. For a consumer to put their trust in a service which pre-filters results, the consumer needs to know that site/app is a specialist in their field.

Marketing Tips for real estate investors : Keep a look out for new sites and mobile apps which are dedicated to your industry and city. Make sure your business is correctly listed on them (see ‘Data Purity & Ubiquity’ below) and engage with these sites to supply deals and content which will convert their users into your customers.

Data Purity & Ubiquity

While the mobile Web and the desktop Web may compete with each other for a user’s time, the data which drives them is essentially the same.

Yelp’s apps use the same database as yelp.com. Google maps app uses the same database as Google maps on your PC (algo differences aside). And many of the data aggregators which supply business info to websites also feed mobile sites and applications — with a few others which you may not have considered (e.g., TomTom feeds into Apple Maps, Nokia has its own solution)

We all appreciate the need to build ‘citations’ and ensure that the data shared about our business is accurate and consistent across as many directories and data aggregators as possible.

Well… this task just got more important. Mobile Internet users consume less pages and take action quicker than PC Web users. So, if your information is inaccurate or (worse) absent from a site, then you will be missing out on more and more potential customers.

Marketing Tips for real estate investors: Double your citation efforts so that you clean up incorrect listings and build out new listings on data aggregators and directories. Be sure to add you listings to services like TomTom & Nokia so you get into their ecosystem and data supply chain.

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