Local: $31 billion target

Local: $31 billion target

Summary: The Kelsey Group convened its annual three day Interactive Local Media conference yesterday, and I am there! John Kelsey, CEO, Neal Polachek, SVP, and Matt Booth, VP, got the local party started with a high-level look at local online, past and future.

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TOPICS: Google
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More than 400 executives at print and electronic Yellow Pages, classified newspapers, local media, shopping, search, directory marketing and local SEMs, have converged in Philadelphia to talk “local,” the $31 billion global local search and online classified advertising market opportunity, that is.

The Kelsey Group (TKG) convened its annual three day Interactive Local Media conference yesterday, and I am there!

John Kelsey, CEO, Neal Polachek, SVP, and Matt Booth, VP, got the local party started with a high-level look at local online, past and future.

Kelsey reflected on his business beginnings 35 years ago. A student at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Kelsey had the opportunity to hear Milton Friedman speak. Although a “small man,” Kelsey said, his ideas were big.

Kelsey cited Friedman’s economic case for minimal government intervention and unimpeded private competition to foster development as having helped spur the phenomenal growth of the Internet.

TKG hailed the Internet as the “fastest growing advertising medium ever,” saying it took only three years to get to $1 billion in advertising spend.

TKG also underscored the disruptive power of services delivered digitally, using the travel industry vertical as a case study:

30,000 travel agents in 1996,
15,000 travel agents today.

The availability of online travel services--Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Yahoo Overture, Google…--has allowed consumers to comparison shop for travel services and self-book travel directly.

Result? Fifty percent decline of offline travel agent physical locations.

Print Yellow Pages look-ups in the travel sector have also declined:

61% decline in “travel agency” references,
48% decline in “motels” references,
31% decline in “hotels” references.

For TKG, the Internet, Act I (1996-2006), was all about platform development; Act II will herald the rise of the verticals, especially locally oriented ones.

TKG underscored that 80% of all consumer purchases are made locally, within 20 miles of one’s home or office.

Which digital verticals will follow travel in disrupting sector economics?

TKG is featuring two online verticals this week in Philadelphia: automotive and real estate.

More Kelsey Conference Coverage:
GOOGLE: $31 BILLION LOCAL WINNER?
GOOGLE PITCHES GOOGLE
AOL: PORTALS RULE!
CAN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS WIN ONLINE?
LOCAL BULLS ONLINE
LOCAL: $31 BILLION TARGET
AOL’s MAPQUEST: ‘INVALUABLE PART OF PEOPLE'S LIVES’
ADVERTISING INNOVATION: WHO NEEDS PPC LINKS?

Topic: Google

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