Why Local is the New Global

Siva Kumar (TheFind, Inc.), Scott Dunlap (NearbyNow, Inc.), Joel Toledano (Krillion, Inc.), Ethan Stock (Zvents), Greg Sterling (Search Engine Land)
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The purpose of this panel is to educate attendees on the influence of consumers’ local-thinking in this new world, and how even online brands and companies are better served by thinking about their customer’s and audience’s offline worlds.

- What has changed, why is local important to ME?

  • Attendees will learn that consumers are increasingly taking a look at their lives through a local-lens. Why?
  • First, they are heavily influenced by rising gas costs and shrinking budgets.
  • Second, the emergence of mobile-phones as computer device (i.e. GPS-enabled iPhones) means that the lines between online offerings and real-world, on the go-access are beginning to blur.
  • Local provides immediate results – no driving long distances or waiting for items to arrive in the mail.
  • Attendees will learn how viewing their site through the local-lens of the consumer helps them relate to customers in a real-world sense. How can they accomplish this?
  • Build community on their sites in a location-based manner
  • Build apps for the iPhone or Android
  • Offer customers suggestions or deals in their local neighborhoods as it pertains to their particular market segment.
  • New methods for monetizing and targeting shoppers who intend to buy locally

- Real-world examples of local and how it has contributed to success

  • TheFind – uses their search engine technology to find all stores online, then you can segment to only find stores in your area – whether they be large, departments stores or the small boutique on the corner. Learn how their local customer behavior has grown and changed in this new economy.
  • NearbyNow – allows consumers to find out if the product they are searching for is actually in-stock in that store right now, and even put it on hold to pick up. Learn about the economics of online to in-store purchasing, how to measure and track it, and how retailers use this information to efficiently plan their local supply chain.
  • Krillion – how manufacturers and brands can use local cross-selling to maximize and track local sales from their Web sites, and geographical trends in electronics purchasing.
  • Yelp – we envision them to speak to their efforts to grow their local reviews in other cities across the country, and how the economy has affected their growth and customer’s habits
  • Zvents – we envision them to discuss how their ability to tie in local events has changed and grown during these times, and their customers behavior and feedback

Note: TheFind, NearbyNow, and Yelp are also developing iPhone apps, and can speak to that briefly as well.

- How can attendees use this?

  • Attendees should take the data they learned on consumer behavior from the various panelists, and look at their product roadmap’s to see how they might benefit their audience by taking a local look at their product development.
  • Example – are you a gaming company? Maybe allow customers to opt-in to other gamers in their local area to meet offline, or show them coupons to buy game-related hardware or software at their local Best Buy, etc.
  • Understand current online-to-in-store trends, how shoppers use technology for local buying, and the surprising demographics behind them
  • We can also briefly discuss success/feedback on the various iPhone apps that have been created by the panelists.

Siva Kumar

TheFind, Inc.

Siva Kumar is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with a history of building successful information technology and software companies. Prior to TheFind.com, Kumar co-founded eight other venture-funded start-ups in his career: Onebox (acquired by Openwave), BridgeSpan (acquired by Hall Settlement Systems), Impresse (acquired by PrintCafe/Creo Systems), Seven, Vialto (acquired by Cisco Systems), Scalent Systems and Telera (acquired by Alcatel). Currently, he sits on the boards of both TheFind.com and SPOCK and previously served terms as president of Scalent Systems, president and CEO of Impresse Corporation and chairman of Onebox.

Kumar previously worked as vice president of marketing at Chromatic Research (acquired by ATI) and held the positions of vice president of marketing and general manager at Frame Technology (IPO and later acquired by Adobe Systems). Kumar was the director of marketing for networking products at Oracle and also held product marketing positions at Apple. Kumar began his marketing career at Intel, where he served as the senior product manager for the 80386 and 80486 microprocessors.

Kumar holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MS from Pennsylvania State University and a BS from Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India.

Photo of Scott Dunlap

Scott Dunlap

NearbyNow, Inc.

Scott Dunlap is the CEO of NearbyNow, Inc, which has developed “Google for shopping malls” – a service that allows a consumer to find any product, brand, or sale in a mall using the Internet or mobile phone. This allows retailers and brands to target nearby consumers with a “high intent to buy”.

Scott has over 14 years of experience in the technology field, and has been an early executive at a number of successful companies such as E.piphany Software (9th highest IPO of 1999), Loudcloud/Opsware (IPO, 2001), 4charity.com (sold to Innovaware), and Avolent. He has a BS from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from Stanford University.

Joel Toledano

Krillion, Inc.

Joel is Chief Executive Officer of Krillion. Prior to founding Krillion, Joel was the Director of Business Development and chief negotiator for the Yahoo! Search business unit, where he was responsible for establishing and managing strategic partnerships and executing new revenue-producing channels and business initiatives including Yahoo!‘s Search, Access and subscription services businesses. In addition, he previously managed day-to-day aspects of the company’s sponsored search relationship with Overture Services prior to Yahoo!’s acquisition of the company.

Prior to his work for Yahoo! Search, Joel worked in business development for Yahoo! Consumer Services, where he was responsible for development and implementation of Yahoo!-branded Internet access services including services offered through alliances with SBC and other broadband and narrowband providers.

Before joining Yahoo!, Joel ran business development for Rentals.com until it was acquired by Primedia in 2001. Joel started his career as an attorney with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, where he represented and advised public and private companies, successfully navigating companies through a series of high-profile IPOs and acquisitions.

Ethan Stock

Zvents

CEO and founder Zvents
Partner and founder NetService Ventures
2005 Web 2.0 Conference LaunchPad presenter

Photo of Greg Sterling

Greg Sterling

Search Engine Land

Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm that tracks the impact of the Internet on offline consumer purchase behavior and its disruption of traditional media. SMI covers consumer adoption and ad models across a range of market segments, including local search, online yellow pages, online newspapers and classifieds, mobile search, social media and multi-channel shopping. Sterling is also the lead analyst for LocalMobileSearch, an advisory service from Opus Research.

Before founding SMI, Sterling ran The Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media program. Prior to The Kelsey Group, Sterling was at TechTV where he helped produce “Working the Web,” the first national television show dedicated to e-business and the Internet. Prior to TechTV he was a founding editor and executive producer at AllBusiness.com. Before joining AllBusiness, Sterling was a practicing attorney in San Francisco.

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Comments

Picture of moya watson
moya watson
04/27/2009 1:17pm PDT

this session inspired me to devote a whole post to “local = the new global”—thought these were really intriguing products and services. i see a whole world of opportunity in “local.”

Web 2.0 Expo 2009 – Part 3: Sense of place

Picture of glenn arango
glenn arango
04/01/2009 7:48pm PDT

I think that this talk was mis-titled. I expected to hear more about local relevance on a global scale. Instead it was ‘very’ US-market-focused. It was interesting though not in what I was interested.

Ethan Stock
04/01/2009 5:34pm PDT

Does anyone know the guy who was recording the session with a Flip video camera? He was near the front toward the right side of the hall—with a friend. Several of the panelists would really like a copy of that video. Contact me ethan at zvents dot com. Thanks!

chuck Lenatti
04/01/2009 5:28pm PDT

excellent session and discussion from some folks who really know their stuff

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