A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: Local Marketers, Seattle
Who: Walter Boos, 55, CEO
Mission: Share the benefits and risks of Internet advertising with the company’s customers.
Selective behavior: “In this economy, advertising is the first thing to go when a company is in trouble,” Boos said. “This is because it has no accountability. We provide that data, so companies can keep doing what works and discontinue what does not.”
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Share the wealth: Print-ad charges are based on the ad’s size and the publication’s circulation. Internet ads are based on clicks. Local Marketers uses a different model. It ties its fee to the sales generated through the ads Local Marketers develops. This adds a level of accountability, as clients know immediately what works and what does not. It also decreases out-of-pocket advertising cost.
Financials: The private company just received $5.1 million in venture capital. “VCs usually invest in growing market segments they want to participate in,” Boos said. “We are pleased that we are in that space.”
Not for everyone: Many of the company’s several hundred customers are franchise operations, where the business owner wants to gain a competitive edge. Boos said the most appropriate partnerships are with those companies in fast-growth mode.
Depressing: As if we needed more bad news for newspapers, Boos forecasts a darker future for offline advertising as well as phone books. “People will continue to move away from print media,” he said. “With Internet marketing, you are able to measure the source of the contact and the result of the transaction.”
Ads and trends: “Advertisers have no idea what is working,” Boos said of both print and point-and-click models. “We expect to change the landscape of advertising the same way the digital camera changed the landscape of photography.”
— Charles Bermant