Kara’s making some comparisons of how Wall St. thinks about local search v. Main Street.  The two think very differently.

Successful v. Struggling Companies:

  • Organic traffic v. SEM only traffic
    If you don’t have organic traffic you will not be able to compete over time
  • Unique distribution v. yet another local website
    Iphone apps like Urban Spoon which have a unique take on things v. just another directory with no brand
  • Self-service products v. high cost of sales, high churn
    Merchant Circle has done a good job of creating business communities that generate sign-ups v. expensive direct sales forces.
  • Direct access to merchant budget v. dependence on others
  • Low cost burn v. high

Apocalypse Now or Soon…

The change in the economic enviroment has turned the focus for investment from ability to build audience to ability to generate $$ in the near term.  Businesses who raised $ at high prices not funded to break even will need to recap.

The Opportunity Remains Large…

  • <36% of SMBs are online
  • Print sales still takes up the majority of ad spend and that has to change

Local Market Poised for Consolidation

Locally oriented Web companies typically have either distribution or monetization so it makes sense that the two will come together at some point.

Clear leaders in verticals will likely emerge.

IAC Investment Focus

Businesses that target:

  1. Merchant Budget
  2. New Ad Products
  3. Unique Publishers

The InsiderPages example:

they integrated performance ads, optimized remote billable leads and increased revenue dramatically (they say 100% but I bet it’s more like 1,000%)

they also improved the SEO (no they didn’t! – it was just the links from other IAC properties 🙂 ) and increased traffic by 200%.

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