Local Response: Monetizing On "Their" Behalf

Image representing Nihal Mehta as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBaseNihal Mehta: Being Mysterious About Local Response

My response is based on this TechCrunch post. Looks like in one sweep Nihal Mehta is about to monetize on behalf of all players in the local space. It is quite an audacious move.
TechCrunch: Buzzd Rebrands As Local Response; Debuts Social Customer Management Tool For Businesses: combine the element of the check-in he found intriguing with Buzzd and advertising and marketing elements ..... he calls “a culmination of everything he’s done,” of this is Local Response, a new web-based tool that allows local businesses to respond to the “check-in” on social media sites with marketing campaigns to promote transactions. ...... LocalResponse aggregates real-­‐time social media check-­‐ins from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Instagram and dozens of other services to provide a simple interface for local businesses to directly respond to their most influential and valuable customers. What’s compelling about the platform compared to competitors is that it analyzes massive amounts of data in addition to check-ins from the Twitter firehose, photo sharing sites and more to find other forms of check-ins. These could be posting a picture on Instagram of a dish from a restaurant or Tweeting that you are visiting a particular bar. ...... explicitly (i.e. check-ins on Foursquare) and implicitly (by analyzing natural language on Facebook, Twitter, etc.; e.g. “I’m headed to ShakeShack”). Mehta says most check-ins are actual implicit and many social media platforms catered to helping businesses track check-ins miss this key data. ...... Not only does Local Response track all of this data but it allows businesses to respond to these Tweets and messages with a marketing campaign, coupon or advertisement. ...... So Shake Shack could send a Tweet back to someone who had just snapped a photo of a burger with a link to a 10 percent off coupon on the next visit. ...... Local Response has actually creates a number of canned responses which businesses can automatically send. ..... For the past six months, LocalResponse has been running a private beta, with over 2,000 campaigns for local businesses in New York City. The links in the Tweets and messages sent by these local businesses to consumers who “checked-in” to their establishment are averaging a 60 percent click-­‐through rate and 15-­‐20 percent redemption rates. That’s high and impressive. ...... Mehta says that the platform is so highly-focused in its data collection, that it can send highly targeted Tweets to consumers who are interested in the promotions or campaigns. For example he says that Local Response will run two to three hundred search terms across its data for a particular business. Also, the aim of Local Response is not to overwhelm consumers’ stream with advertisements. Users will never receive more than one message in 7 days ...... a platform for brands and agencies is in the works. ...... closed a $1.5 million in funding this past December from Verizon Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Metamorphic. ...... plans to raise a new, larger round of funding this Summer ..... For now, Local Response is free for businesses. Eventually the startup plans to go the freemium route and will also charge for the brand-focused application. And Local Response is launching with half a million businesses that are already pre-indexed (with search terms). All they have to do is type in the business name, and they can get started using the platform.
A second natural move might be to partner up with the willing players to help them monetize their particular services for cuts, like Google ads help you monetize your particular media site. Because Local Response is not going to have access to the detailed data that those individual services might have.

It would be interesting to watch how this drama unfolds. Local and hyperlocal are not the same thing. Local is the solar system. Hyperlocal is planet Earth.

The tech entrepreneurship angle is that this is a pivot. Buzzd was not going anywhere, or at least anywhere big, but those flounderings lay the ground for this bold move. It is looking impressive.

I am not privy to any internal information, although it is public knowledge Local Response has offers. My thing to say is do not sell. Instead build and expand.

As a social media enthusiast my dissatisfaction with the social media landscape has been that social media has done a much better job of helping us broadcast ourselves than it has helped us listen. Local Response has innovated in that listening department. This is pretty cool. It is trailblazing.
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