There are 23 million SMBs in the U.S.. That’s a lot of hay. But reaching this market segment from a sales perspective is like gathering sand. They’re time-strapped, only-sometimes savvy, and massively fragmented. In this panel, we’ll cut through the hype of the local opportunity and break down the real challenges in getting SMBs to buy into advertising or local marketing tools. Do you go direct, local sales channels, or pray that they’ll self-serve? The value proposition is usually a no-brainer for us tech geeks… but a different story for your average sports bar owner.
Michael Boland is Senior Analyst and Program Director for BIA/Kelsey, where he leads the firm’s mobile media coverage. Before joining BIA/Kelsey, Michael was a San Francisco-based editor and Freelancer for business and technology magazines such as Red Herring, Business 2.0, and Mobile Magazine. Michael began his career in business analysis and journalism as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine, where he covered tech and online media.
Wiley Cerilli is the CEO and Founder of SinglePlatform, which is a one-stop shop for local businesses and national brands to manage their listing and add their menus, prices, photos, specials, hours of operation and more to SinglePlatform’s exclusive publisher network including; The New York Times, YP.com, and foursquare, along with hundreds of other sites. SinglePlatform is the world’s largest provider of online menus and prices with over 500,000 local business across 13,000 markets in the US, with plans to expand internationally in 2012. Prior to SinglePlatform, Wiley was the Executive Vice President of Sales at Seamless, the world’s largest online food ordering system. There he led the largest division within Seamless when they were named the #4 Fastest Growing Company in the US by Inc. Seamless later sold to ARAMARK for an undisclosed amount. Wiley currently lives in brooklyn with his wife Allison.
Howard Lerman, Founder/CEO of Yext developed a real-time local listings product called PowerListings that enables businesses to update their websites and company information instantly from the Yext.com website.
Through its partnerships with industry giants such as Yahoo! and Yelp, Yext is able to offer uniform messaging across multiple directories in a consistent format. This method of delivery ensures that businesses as well as users are retrieving accurate information.
While attending Duke University, Howard founded his first startup, Justatip.com, and in the process realized he had developed a passion for the way individuals interacted with the web. In 2002, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke and soon became involved in other startups that ultimately led to the founding of his biggest venture, Yext, in 2006
Josh is originally from Atlanta, Georgia where he began his career as an attorney with a focus on employment and civil rights litigation. After three years of practicing law, Josh left his firm to embark on a new journey to work in the startup industry. Josh joined LevelUp as its Director of Sales and Operations for the San Francisco office. LevelUp is a free mobile & web app designed to let you scan your phone to pay at cafes, bars and restaurants. It’s like paying with your credit card but gives the user the ability to earn rewards everywhere he/she goes.
Darren Waddell is responsible for P&L for MerchantCircle.com and product management across Reply!’s web properties, as well as overseeing Reply!’s corporate marketing efforts .
Darren joined Reply! as part of the acquisition of MerchantCircle, the nation’s largest online network of local businesses, where he led product management and marketing. Prior to Reply! and MerchantCircle, Darren held leadership roles including leading Outbound Marketing for VeriSign’s SSL Division and heading up marketing at Offermatica, the marketing optimization platform acquired by Omniture. Darren has also held senior management roles at venture-backed Internet companies and at market research firm Gartner, Inc.
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