Machine Learning Lessons from a Local Marketer [Interview]

Screenshot of local marketer, Beth ThouinThis week Acquisio is celebrating the local marketer. We had a guest post about local marketing yesterday and today our VP of Marketing is a guest speaker in a webinar all about machine learning and local marketing. The webinar is being hosted by NYC-based local marketing agency, Main Street ROI. And we’re so grateful they’re hosting us! But we wanted to give our readers a preview of the topics we’ll be discussing, so we sat down with Beth Thouin, our VP of Marketing, to talk local before she hits the airwaves. Here’s what she had to say:

Why do you think local marketing is important?

For two reasons really.

One being that we are all local community members of some kind who rely on local business services..and they rely on us. Local marketing is an effective way for those businesses to stay alive or even better, for them to thrive.

The second reason is data driven – there are literally 9 billion searches per month with local intent, and that’s just in Google! People are looking for local services and local marketing is one of the only ways businesses can be found by the people looking for them.

Why do local marketers, businesses and smaller companies often overlook PPC?

PPC campaigns are the most overlooked by SMBs and local because success in this channel is often coupled with large investments and expert management. Similarly AI and machine-learning based marketing technology for PPC campaigns, like our Promote tool for SMBs, is also typically not on the radar of the small or local business owner.

Why do you think small businesses don’t seek out AI or machine learning solutions?

Lack of budget and data.

There’s also a misconception that AI solutions are too complex for small business owners.

Money makes sense, but why data?

Well machine learning is basically what we call AI today. Currently machines need something to learn from, which is typically business data of some kind. Not only do small and local businesses not have tons of data due to the nature of their size, but many don’t even collect data.

How would small and/or local businesses or a local marketer use machine learning technology if they had the data or budget to do so?

The thing is that the size of a business typically won’t change, so most small businesses just don’t have enough data to optimize effectively. The machine learning technology that our team created takes a two-tiered approach to overstepping the challenge of optimizing low data density accounts.

  1. We increase the look back period for accounts with low data density
  2. We pull data from a massive amount of similar accounts

This allows agencies and resellers to use our machine learning technology for small budget PPC campaigns and get great results.

What kind of results are they getting?

Well we did some research into our database earlier this year for a report we did with the Local Search Association (LSA). We also went back and added to these facts and figures recently for SMX. We found that on 12k accounts running our machine learning tech for 3 months, they were:

  • 3.6 times more likely to spend their daily budget precisely
  • Saving 65% of their time formerly consumed by routine campaign work
  • Increasing the lifetime value of their clients by 25%
  • Getting 33% more clicks
  • And most importantly, getting 70% more conversions

Sensis, a local reseller in Australia, saw a huge lift in clicks at a lower cost on their very small client accounts:

Screenshot of machine learning for local marketer PPC accounts with Sensis data

What strategic advice would you offer a local SMB who wants to try using machine learning automation?

I would say before you do anything, know your customer! But next definitely reach out to us or one of our resellers to get started with intelligent online advertising. When you start advertising online and your phone starts ringing, educate yourself on how to close a lead so you’re not wasting your money further down the sales funnel.

If you want to hear more about machine learning and local marketing make sure you sign up for our webinar with Main Street ROI today or get the recording – it’s must-have advice for the local marketer!

Man VS Machine Webinar Image

Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/Aaron Burden

All screenshots by Chandal Nolasco da Silva. Taken June 2017 from Acquisio.

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, Chandal has created content strategies for both the biggest and sometimes the most unexpected markets, while developing strategic relationships with editors and publishers. Chandal contributes to some of the highest authority industry publications, has been featured in industry events and is thrilled to be Acquisio’s Content Director.

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