TROY, Mich., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's a new mobile ad tool that compels consumers to buy nearby products, or a vertical offering that changes how people purchase a local service, local advertisers are increasingly searching for new solutions that engage consumers in the final step of the path to purchase. To encourage innovations in local advertising, the Local Search Association (LSA) is launching a new awards competition that will foster new ideas and stimulate thinking to bring to market the best local advertising products that drive calls, clicks and store visits.
The "Ad to Action Awards" will recognize products and ideas that drive consumer action and accelerate growth for local and retail advertisers. With expectations that the local media market will expand to $140 billion annually by 2015, according to a forecast by BIA/Kelsey, advertising providers have significant motivation to bring new innovations to market.
Local advertising providers will compete for recognition of the best local advertising products by submitting new or recently introduced solutions that demonstrate the greatest potential for driving local business sales and providing memorable experiences for consumers at the end of their purchasing decision track. Winners will receive invitations to a private luncheon with Steve Wozniak, the Silicon Valley icon and co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., at the 2014 LSA Annual Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, 2014. Winners will also receive broad industry support in testing, partnering and promoting their products so they have the best shot of succeeding in the marketplace.
"The potential worth for companies that 'get it right' in local advertising is tremendous," said Neg Norton, president of the LSA. "By supporting our most creative and effective innovations, we are elevating opportunity for everyone in our industry. We are thrilled that Steve Wozniak will congratulate our awards winners on their efforts to bring great solutions to the marketplace."
In planning the awards program, LSA collaborated with a variety of local advertisers and advertising agencies to better understand what solutions they are currently looking for from advertising providers. Advertisers expressed that they are seeking new tools to engage consumers that are smarter, richer and are delivered in the right places and on the right devices.
"We wanted to develop an awards program that delivers solutions that are most needed in the market today," said Norton. "By incorporating insights directly from advertisers, we are helping those in our field to more effectively align their offerings with advertiser demand."
Call for Entries
The awards program is designed to encourage innovations in local advertising by providing low barriers to entry for companies interested in participating. Both LSA members and non-members are invited to enter one or more awards submissions at no cost for categories including Business Listings, Mobile, Social Media, Print, Vertical Specific, Video, Deals/Loyalty/E-Commerce and Implementation. The products submitted must be new to the market or introduced within the past six months. Submissions will be accepted via an application on the awards website at www.localsearchassociation.org/adtoactionawards today through February 28, 2014.
A diverse judging panel of notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry will review submissions and select finalists and winners for each category based on those that are most compelling and best address current market needs. Finalists will be announced in early April, and winners will be announced at the 2014 LSA Annual Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, 2014. The judging panel will include Gordon Borrell, Borrell Associates; Ken Burbary, Lowe Campbell Ewald; Eric Franchi, Undertone; Becky Minervino, Dognition; Peter Minnium, IAB; Matt Picheny, MRY; Paul Plant, Radicle Consulting; Neal Polachek, vSplash; Sebastien Provencher, HomeAdvisor Canada; Laura Rich, Street Fight; Hynek Stehno, Local Spectrum (SMG); Greg Sterling, Opus Research; Andrew Shotland, LocalSEOGuide.com; and Chris Travers, Universal Business Listing.
"I'm excited to work with the Local Search Association and its partners to find new ideas that make IAB digital advertising standards work harder and better for local and retail advertisers," said Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the IAB.
In addition to the private luncheon with Wozniak, winners will be partnered with a dedicated LSA team, who will bring together advertisers, agencies and publishers to further develop and test the products in the marketplace. In addition to recognition at the LSA annual conference, the Association will also showcase winning products in communications with its members and other industry leaders and influencers, in ongoing outreach to business and tech reporters, and through its digital and social media channels.
"LSA is focused on mining consumer insights, bringing forth new ideas and strengthening relationships so our industry can deliver the most innovative local advertising solutions to market," said Norton. "The Ad to Action Awards program is an opportunity to not only honor the top solutions in our field each year, but to also put our full weight behind them so they are well positioned for success."
For more information, visit the awards website at www.localsearchassociation.org/adtoactionawards or e-mail email@example.com. Register for the 2014 LSA Annual Conference visit www.localsearchassociation.org/lsa14.
About the Local Search Association
The Local Search Association (www.localsearchassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of companies focused on print, digital, mobile and social media solutions that help local businesses get found and selected by ready-to-buy consumers. Association members include U.S. and international directory publishers, search engine marketers, online listings and review sites, digital advertising agencies and mobile search providers. The Association has members in 29 countries.
Read the Local Search Association blog www.localsearchinsider.com and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LocalSearchAssn) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/LocalSearchAssn). To choose which phone directories you receive or stop delivery, visit www.YellowPagesOptOut.com.
SOURCE Local Search Association