Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Self –Procurement & The "Money" in the Middle

This morning’s session on Local Search at the Kelsey ILM Conference, offered a number of tactical solutions to using local search for smaller businesses. Gib Olander, Director of Business Development at Localeze, hit on an interesting note. After re-iterating the benefits to local search for small businesses, he laid out a few barriers to entry.

Olander commented on the use of self-procurement of media and how small businesses shy away from it because of the complexity of booking and managing campaigns.

I’m not sure I agree with this outlook. A few weeks ago at the Warrillow Conference in Toronto, there was a compelling discussion around the idea that small business owners are at the core, consumers themselves. Consumers are becoming increasingly tech savvy.

I think the combined factors of consumers (small business owners) becoming increasingly confident in online applications (thanks in large part to social networking), and the media publisher’s strides in developing user-friendly interfaces will make self procurement a more viable approach.

Perhaps we should start giving SMEs a little bit more credit. It’s clear that the majority of businesses are not yet fully versed in what the web has to offer. But it seems unrealistic to insist on the need for multiple middlemen.

I imagine a day when developing customized API based systems will be as easy as it is to blog today.

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