Highlights from #ubCon2018 Partner Conference

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Federhen vowed to continue working on expanding the vision for Uberall. He mentioned the company focus of Uberall has pivoted not only to provide great solutions and service, but to also extend custom strategy for all of their partners. Lex ten Veen, EVP Partnerships (former CEO of Navads) took to the stage and spoke about trends, such as AI and autonomous cars influencing change in the way consumers interact in conversational commerce. ten Veen spoke of power behind the combined forces, teams and technology with the acquisition of Navads. He also spoke about development acceleration and positioning the new company as the clear leader in the location data management industry through this strategic consolidation. He teed off the event saying that the content is geared toward the customer journey, international speakers, high-powered networking, sharing of best practices and that he hoped attendees felt inspired to turn these ideas into revenue at home.

Stephen Palmer, Sensis - The White Pages Story

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Next up was Executive General Manager at Sensis, Stephen Palmer as he shared the White Pages journey. He addressed Sensis’ plan for the innovation and evolution of a 140 year old business, from a print directory legacy company to a digital connection platform. In 1994, White Pages was the first to go digital in Australia, and then again the first to optimize for search. Later they launched their internet yellow pages (IYP’s) and were one of the first to go mobile. For 100 years they only had the traditional printed White Pages, but of course had to adapt to their audience and go digital. With the White Pages app, they have over 40,000 updates each day, and 2.1 million in-app searches each week. 

To stay relevant they evolved from a printed directory to a new digital product offering, refreshed the brand & operating platform and overhauled their website. In closing, Palmer said Sensis wants “to give customers the gift of time“ to make location marketing easy for SMBs, so they can focus on their actual day-to-day businesses.

Brendan King, Vendasta - Defeating Customer Churn

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Co-Founder and CEO at Vendasta Brendan King gave a strong talk on defeating churn. As Vendasta’s growth is in turn their partner’s growth, they wanted to put something actionable together for their clients to help them acquire, grow and retain new customers. They pulled together a study to profile the successful agency of the future. They did a retention analysis of their clients who had been with them over 2 years and looked at the data set across 100,000 local end user businesses. They discovered they had to sell customers what they need, invite customers to participate and engage, and be the single trusted provider to provide them what they need. They studied each segment and referred back to the hypothesis. The findings King presented were remarkable and the data gleaned was applicable to cultivate their reseller customer retention strategy.

Vendasta found that if you sell a client what they need, you’re more likely to increase retention by 30%. They then looked at a client segment that upsold clients at different milestones, including 3,6,9 and 12 months. They found that it was easier to upsell as early as possible from the initial sale - they saw the most success at about the three month post-sale point. They looked at inviting customers to participate and found that successful customers engage often, specifically the customer segment that engages daily. The results in total saw that early and frequent engagement is key. 

The final piece of the hypothesis ‘be the single and trusted provider’ found that clients that bought more products ended up staying longer. Selling a client two products increased retention rates by at least 50% because they had more invested with the reseller. In closing, King said that resellers should ‘look for unconsidered needs, and look for an opportunity to solve their problems with your product / solution.’

Neil Crist, Moz - Local Data Excellence and its Impact on SEO

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Neil Crist, Head of Product and Engineering at Moz spoke about Local Data Excellence and SEO. He gave some quick statistics to familiarize the audience with their 40,000 clients (43% of their clients are international), 600,000+ active community members and over 500,000 installations of their SEO toolbar. They recently acquired Stat Search Analytics in Seattle to help the agency and enterprise space, and are now 280 people across 3 product lines. The Moz platform has historically been self-service (20,000 of their 40,000 clients are self-service) and lately have been bringing on sales team members and resellers as a completely new segment to serve. 

Crist then delved into an SEO deep-dive, supplying their expertise as this is what Moz is truly known for. He referenced that 90% of search is paid (rented space) and this only garners about 2.8% of clicks. Crist then revealed 10% of search is organic (owned space) and a whopping 62.2% of that space commands clicks. He referenced how organic search drives 20 times more clicks than paid clicks on mobile and desktop search. When you’re doing well in organic, there’s an increase in paid traffic trust as these things work together. 

Crist finished with the shift in intent-based local searches. $10.3 Billion dollars in revenue is at risk if the business don’t have their NAP+W (business name, address, phone number and website) information correct in organic search. The business will miss consumer audiences and sales opportunities and this is a unique opportunity for agencies and resellers alike to cater to the SMB and offer location data management as a solution.

Valerio Sudrio, Google My Business

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Valerio Sudrio, EMEA Strategic Partnerships Development Manager at Google My Business, spoke about their GMB partnership program and special support, such as marketing resources and custom case studies, which they afford an exclusive group. Sudrio stated that millions of businesses on GMB have the unique challenge of getting successfully setup and running, and for many SMBs / SMEs they struggle to get through the verification process. He brought up three major challenges for businesses including building awareness, getting verified and getting noticed and connecting with consumers thereafter.

He showed the audience a video case study where GMB had a positive influence on a business. Coolhaus Ice Cream started as a food truck, then moved into a brick and mortar location, and now distribute 25 flavors to 5,000 grocery stores across the US.

Sudrio shared some custom statistics with us including this jaw-dropper; when a business has a GMB profile, they see a 50% increase in local mobile searches year on year - great news seeing as 1 in 5 searches are local. In addition, 33% of GMB users are in search of business hours and 27% carefully consider reviews before they make a purchase or evaluate a service. Consumer trust is everything, as a business with a descriptive Google listing is considered to be 2.7 times more reputable by the searcher. 

Sudrio finished by sharing recent innovations in GMB by way of the ability to share announcements, events and deals directly through the GMB profile. He hinted that they will soon have booking functionality and open messaging through the profile in EMEA, so watch this space.

Kelly Benish is VP Partner Marketing US at Uberall (previously Navads) and heads up US and Canadian expansion and business development in partnership with Lex ten Veen, EVP Partnerships. Benish has blogged for Street Fight, BIA Kelsey, NetNewsCheck and others specifically about recruitment, strategy, transformation and local search. She also shares thought leadership at industry-recognized conferences such as BIA Kelsey, Local Media Association, Local Search Association, Search Marketing Expo, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Newspaper Association, Association of Directory Publishers and many more.
Posted by Laura Soper

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