TROY, Mich., Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Local Search Association (LSA) today announced that it is launching the LSA Digital Marketer Certification Program to help small businesses find reputable digital marketing partners, understand how to compare services and be confident in their expectations for results.
Small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to identify quality and reliable digital marketing partners to help promote their products and services. Forty-four percent of small business owners say they are challenged to find partners who deliver a return on investment, while 38 percent say they face hurdles selecting partners they can trust. As a result, approximately 80 percent of small business owners say certification under LSA standards would likely or highly likely influence their choice in which digital marketers to hire.1
"Small businesses tell us that finding digital marketers who are straightforward, honest and ethical about the results they can deliver is tough in today's crowded and competitive marketplace. That is not acceptable; small businesses need reliable and trustworthy marketing to generate new customers and revenue, and our industry needs a solid reputation to keep small business clients coming back," said Neg Norton, president, LSA. "The LSA Digital Marketer Certification Program helps elevate the marketplace by giving small businesses the assurance they need to select digital marketing partners who adhere to industry standards and are focused on long-term success. LSA Certification provides a valuable incentive to digital marketers to invest in ethical business practices."
LSA Certification Receives Industry Support
LSA members are endorsing LSA Certification and encouraging digital marketers to apply.
"ReachLocal strongly supports LSA Certification as a way for local businesses to identify reputable marketing providers that place an emphasis on not just selling, but on helping businesses succeed with effective advertising and marketing services," said Sharon Rowlands, CEO, ReachLocal. "We are proud to say we uphold the high standards required to attain LSA Certification."
"Our digital marketing sales representatives receive rigorous training and strive for the highest performance standards because we know that keeping the trust of our small business clients is paramount," said Aaron Boggs, president, RevLocal. "RevLocal was recently certified under LSA's program, and we believe that this third-party validation of our strong business practices by a longstanding and respected industry governing body will help boost our reputation with our small business customers."
"LSA Certification is appropriate not just for agencies but the marketing vendors they hire on behalf of their clients," said Sharon Sweeney, president, Fairway Group. "My agency upholds LSA standards and I look forward to supporting marketing vendors that do so too."
How Digital Marketers Can Apply
Unlike other certification programs that focus on subject matter expertise, LSA Certification examines company-wide policies and processes for digital marketing sales and fulfillment. Digital marketers are encouraged to apply by visiting http://www.thelsa.org/lsa/lsa-certification.aspx and selecting "Apply Now." The application process requires digital marketers to demonstrate that they meet LSA's standards related to best practices in ethical sales practices, service standards, hiring and training practices, service agreement and contract controls, transparency and security and privacy information standards.
If approved by LSA, digital marketers are encouraged to feature the LSA Certification badge in promotional materials and will receive sales scripts to help their team explain the value of LSA Certification to small businesses. Certified digital marketers will be included in a forthcoming list of LSA Certified companies that will be featured on the LSA website.
LSA Certification is the latest LSA initiative focused on helping small business improve their marketing effectiveness. LSA owns and operates MarketingBitz.com, an online resource for small businesses to learn about digital marketing through articles, videos, presentations, webinars and events. LSA also runs an ongoing series of MarketingBitz Bootcamps, which are one-day digital marketing intensives designed to help business owners better understand the fundamentals of online marketing.
The Local Search Association (LSA) is a more than 40-year-old not-for-profit industry association of media companies, agencies and technology providers who help businesses market to local consumers. LSA has about 300 members in roughly 20 countries and the Association helps these members realize the power of local and location-based marketing through conferences, consulting, insights, advocacy and more. The Association offers industry news and perspective on its blog, LSA Insider, as well as resources on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SlideShare.
Global Gateway Advisors
1 Thrive Analytics/Local Search Association, "Local Pulse Report" Survey, November 2016
SOURCE Local Search Association