What Starbucks, Dickey's, and Mercedes taught me about local marketing
Published: 19 Jul 2017
The battle for local customers has become more fierce than ever. Brick & mortar brands and local storefronts alike are seeing an ever-changing environment that requires the help of software to continually optimize and measure visibility in local search. From a marketing perspective, local data has evolved into a strategic asset on which the efficacy of geo-marketing campaigns depend to ensure ROI. I am thrilled to share that I have joined the leadership team at Moz to tackle these massive opportunities for our customers. In many ways, my path to Moz has been 7 years in the making.
In 2008, four optimistic people crowded into my basement in the foothills outside Seattle, ready to tackle the emerging challenge for local storefronts: how to get noticed and bring more customers to their front doors. We identified the problem in a very organic way, along the main street of my hometown of Snoqualmie, and began to build software to help out. We named our company Venuelabs. By 2014, we were helping many of the largest brick & mortar brands in the U.S. We were proud to serve Starbucks, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Urban Outfitters, Albertsons, MOD Pizza, Mercedes Benz and many others. Our local analytics platform spanned 300 brands and 500,000 locations.
Then, in mid-2015 something dramatic happened. Mobile searches by consumers surpassed desktop searches, sparking the reality in the market that local search was going to be a key battleground for customers. At that same time, enterprise customers like Albertsons and others began to ask fewer questions about our shiny analytics, and focused more of their questions around the accuracy, reach and management of their local store points of presence.
The shift in customer conversations was striking and underscored to me that while I was solving an interesting problem, there were in fact more foundational business problems to address in local.
Accuracy and management of location data across the web was in my mind, becoming the “table stakes” of local search and marketing. Being the scrappy and nimble startup that we were, we immediately sought a relationship with the Moz team, who had introduced a true local presence product. In the earliest stages of our discussions, I could see the TAGFEE difference with Moz, and looked forward to working together for years to come.
In the two years since I stepped away from the market, Moz Local’s business has grown dramatically. The solution has matured, and the growing team is working on new and exciting capabilities that are focused on simplifying how enterprises and agencies manage, distribute, and measure their storefront data across the web.
For many of the brands I have served, I am looking forward to reigniting our partnership to empower your marketing teams to continue to grow & enhance your local footprint. For those of you interested in getting started on that partnership right way, let’s talk!