BIA/Kelsey is confirming speakers for its annual conference, Directional Media Strategies 2011, where discussions will focus on the small-business marketing solutions marketplace. The conference will be held Sept. 20-22 in Denver.
This conference has evolved since it started back in the mid-1990’s. The current DMS ’11 program will feature more than 50 senior executives from across the SMB marketing solutions landscape. Among the speakers headlining the event are Rita Fabi, head of market solutions, global customer marketing and
communications, Facebook; Joe Walsh, president and CEO, Yellowbook; Clare Hart, CEO, Infogroup; Tom Higley, CEO, Local Matters; Nir Lempert, CEO, Golden Pages; Ben Smith, founder, MerchantCircle; and Bill Dinan, president, Telmetrics.
We have all seen how small and medium-sized businesses are using an increasingly diverse, complex mix of traditional and digital marketing tools and technologies. For example, BIA/Kelsey’s most recent Local Commerce Monitor study showed a major jump in the average number of different media used by SMBs for local advertising and promotion — from 3.1 in 2009 to 4.6 in 2010.
Most of the change has come from the addition of digital media to their
traditional advertising programs.
“For today’s small businesses, marketing has gone beyond simply making the phone ring,” said DMS ’11 Conference Chairman Charles Laughlin, senior vice president and program director, BIA/Kelsey. “SMB marketers now require a complex mix of products and services to drive leads, measure performance, manage customer relationships and engage customers.”
Laughlin indicated that DMS ’11 will bring together innovators and thought leaders to examine the components of modern SMB marketing and analyze where the biggest opportunities are for players in the local-social-mobile ecosystem. The agenda features three SuperForums, BIA/Kelsey’s fast-paced, self-contained mega sessions, each focused on a single topic:
Day 1 SuperForum: Performance Media
Pay-per-call or pay-per-click has always been an attractive idea. In theory, it cuts through the uncertainty and inefficiency of advertising. But it has never been quite that simple. In this SuperForum, you will catch up on the evolution of performance media and explore the most cutting-edge models for measuring calls, clicks and conversions.
Day 2 SuperForum: The Social-Driven SMB
Are Facebook and Twitter great marketing vehicles for SMBs? What
are the best ways for SMBs to get engaged with social media? Is there a play
for publishers to help SMBs build and maintain a social presence for SMBs?
BIA/Kelsey’s Social Local Media advisory service will provide major insights as we drill down into the impact social media is having on SMB advertising.
Day 3 SuperForum: Customer Acquisition and Retention
Acquiring and retaining customers has never been more critical for
SMBs, and this is even more true for the local media companies selling products and services to SMBs – Yellow Pages publishers, SEM firms, social networking sites, ad networks and others. This special session will explore the latest thinking on acquiring and retaining SMB advertisers.
Additional session highlights include:
- Mobile Ad Networks: The Stakes for SMBs
- SMBs and Self-Serve: Ready for Prime Time?
- SMB Perspectives on Daily Deals
- Location-Based Services: SMB Initiatives
- Local Display: Coming to an SMB Near You
- Demos: Local iPad Apps — The Next Phase
When we asked Laughlin why companies and industry professionals should be attending the conference, he noted four major reasons:
- It is for companies that understand the need for new partnerships and relationships to grow their businesses.
- It frames which questions they need to be asking (and solving) to be leaders in this evolving advertising space
- This conference offers a detailed look at how innovative companies are approaching the small business opportunity. It’s a must attend for those who want to stay at the leading edge of industry transformation.
- Provides industry professionals with unique networking opportunities to develop relationships that can go well beyond just setting up a LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. BIA/Kelsey events have always been known for their superior networking opportunities. This event should be no different.
For more information about DMS ’11, including the complete agenda, list of speakers and companies attending, visit www.biakelsey.com/DMS2011. NOTE: conference prices increase August 20th! Conference participants should also consider booking their hotel room now! Special DMS ’11 room rate only available until Sept. 2
Free webinar this week
Because BIA/Kelsey believes that DMS ’11 will be of critical importance to companies involved in directory publishing, local search, coupons, group buying, newspapers, location-based services and social media, on Thursday, August 4th, the company will host a free conference preview webinar at 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. PDT, titled, “The Hot Digital Advertising and Social Trends for Small-Business Advertisers.” For more information and webinar registration, go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/535703200.