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Important for thought leaders like you to keep pulling clients back to a conversation strategy. IMO, it gets lost because of how hard it is to tie conversation directly to ROI. Integrating offers, deals into Yelp or Foursquare (big fan of where LBS can take us, but that's another convo :)) make more sense to traditional marketers and execs because they alone serve as sales driving mechanisms.

Would be great to do/see a study that shows companies that use Yelp, Foursquare, etc and actually engage with customers they provide offers to see more of a customer redemption on those offers as well as brand loyalty and repeat visits.

Here's my question...Are we moving toward a scenario where a measurable ROI tactic (e.g. mayor eats at discount or Yelp customers who comment on X brand get notices of special deals where redemption is trackable) is required to open the door for the conversation about conversation strategy? We know it's important, integral in fact, but conversation alone doesn't always make the sale in this type of economy.

What do you think? Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post.

Is the Kindle a success? I will argue it is a failure. It's one of those products that could have been trendy. Instead, it's not. They forgot one really important item: Black and white television? In this day and age?

Amazon might have a fairly good understanding of what their market is, but I will (again) argue that they forgot their basic business: the long tail. I know (at least) a couple of authors who aren't included in the Kindle's offerings. Guardian Prize* runner-up authors not being included, and not being published in traditional terms? There's a business model for anyone interested. For that woefully named Apple product. (I was quite startled by your rather profane suggestion! On the other hand, it convinced me there is hope in the world.)

*I immediately forget what it's called, and as it is ... 2:21AM in England, I'm not inclined to call my friends and wake them to find out which prize they were runners-up for! Sorry.

I think the news business, along with the citizen-journalist, will become more fractured, and maybe less dependent upon goecentricity. Is that even a word? Forgive me inventing it, if it isn't. And if it is - forgive the inventor. He or she knew not what they wrought. Clearly. (If they did know, hang 'em from the nearest yardarm. Not that I encourage violence (of course), but clearly, exceptions need to be made!)

The über-local newspaper? Perhaps, but not based geocentricity. (Goodness gracious me.) Affection and interest for an area will drive that sort of news gathering. Union Square, in Manhattan, could support a weekly newspaper or a half-decent blog and twitter feed, for instance. Union Square in San Francisco - less so. (As an aside, I would definitely subscribe to a newsletter about the arts district in Omaha! I really liked it.) Which sort of proves my point.

One thing we did before moving into the unknown (aka southern New Jersey) was call the local police and find out crime statistics. A five minute conversation with a local cop told us all we wanted to know. Once we had a local thief arrested, he stole from us and was seen (and identified) by me), we found out a lot more. The whole thing reminded me of how I used to justify some very strange expense reports: ask the managers, and you get one story. Take the technician for a beer, and you will get a different story. It just might take a few more beers than you expected. (Implications are..?)

If I go to Times Square (something I love to do, but, alas, it's hell on a Ducati) I don't really want to know who's there that I know. I may not want them to know I'm in the vicinity, either. Perhaps I'm passing through to go to Restaurant Row? For a private date with my beloved of 20 years?

I'm also thinking about how people move throughout Europe, these days. Local information would really help people make decisions that are right for them.

The locality of information is important for a global audience. I don't think it's enough to link the information to where I am, right now. In fact, it's probably information overload.

On the other hand, Valeria, I looked at a home town newspaper site because of this post. First time I've known what went on in my hometown in about 23 years.

Carolyn Ann

Great post (and a sweet graphic), Valeria - a couple of days ago I posted something similar on my company's blog, so it's nice to see someone agrees.

Tracking and serving up personalized content, syndicated your presence and content to multiple channels, geo-targeting - these things are all to many successful sales organizations (or they will be in the coming quarters).

The striking thing is that they all center around content. Having compelling content that you can target an individual site visitor with, based on his behavior, geography, or click-path on your site, for instance. Or user-generated content you can deliver via mobile or other channel. Or a continued focus on driving inbound traffic with content that compels prospective customers to join a conversation.

Look forward to hearing how you think these pieces can all be tied together to create a conversation strategy.

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