BIA/Kelsey SMB

Big Ideas in Local Marketing for Small Business

September 28-30, 2015 | Denver, CO | Marriott Denver Tech Center

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Why Denver Is a Great Place to Visit


​The conversation in the SMB space has fundamentally shifted from how to provision digital advertising to SMBs to how to help SMBs digitize their business operations. This shift has fundamental implications for businesses in the SMB space -- from product roadmaps to channel strategy to business models.

The BIA/Kelsey SMB agenda examines this shift and the exciting opportunities and vexing challenges it generates for the local SMB digital marketing ecosystem.

Welcome Day 1 Day 2

Arrival & Welcome Monday, Sept. 28

SMBiz Digital Jam @ BIA/Kelsey SMB

Join Us for a BIG Celebration of Small Business

On the eve of BIA/Kelsey SMB, join us for the SMBiz Digital Jam! The learning kicks off during a “crash course” to help SMBs learn how to choose the right digital tools for their business. Then, SMBs mingle with conference attendees and sponsors in the exhibit hall during our high-energy SMBiz Mixer & Welcome Reception.

1:00 pm
Registration Opens

3:00 pm

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Tools for Your Small Biz

Intensive 2-Hour Clinic for Small Businesses

Today’s digital marketing technologies have rapidly changed how small businesses market themselves. It is now possible to target your best customers with laser precision. But with so many digital tools, it can feel overwhelming. How can SMBs determine which tools and tactics are best for their business?

This information-filled, 2-hour session, will help SMBs figure out which digital marketing tools will give them the most bang for their digital marketing buck. Leading experts will present tips for evaluating a wide range of solutions, including social media, reputation monitoring, mobile marketing, customer data & CRM, SEO/SEM, video marketing and loyalty programs.

Click to view the full agenda.

Sponsored by:

4:00 pm


Networking Session for Women Attendees

Women attendees of BIA/Kelsey SMB are invited to jumpstart their conference networking during this one-hour meet-up and discussion session on the eve of the conference. Over cocktails, attendees will hear from several inspiring guest speakers, get an update on the Women LEADING IN LOCAL initiative, and have plenty of time to connect with other women in digital media and marketing. This special event is a great warm-up to the SMBiz Mixer & Welcome Reception which immediately follows.

Women LEADING IN LOCAL is open to all registered women attendees of the BIA/Kelsey SMB conference.

Sponsored by:                

5:00 pm

SMBiz Mixer & Welcome Reception

Networking Cocktail Reception in the BIA/Kelsey SMB Exhibit Hall

Enjoy an open bar and delicious bites while cruising the exhibit hall. Small businesses can meet a wide range of digital marketing experts and enjoy some great one-on-one demos and discussions with solution providers. At the same time, conference attendees and solution providers can gather valuable feedback from SMB end-users.

The SMBiz Mixer & Welcome Reception is open to all registered attendees of the BIA/Kelsey SMB conference and to all small businesses that register for the SMBiz Digital Jam.

Sponsored by:                

Day 1 Tuesday, Sept. 29
7:00 am
Conference Registration Desk Opens

7:30 am
Sponsored Breakfast
Join our sponsors for conversation and a continental breakfast.

8:30 am

Welcome to the Local Commerce Universe

Local isn’t just advertising: it continues to expand into a suite of marketing and operational services. It’s not just about helping SMBs acquire new customers; it’s helping them keep customers. This is a concept we’ve formalized as the “Local Commerce Universe.” BIA/Kelsey analysts will kick off SMB by defining it and mapping its expansion, including the grand debut of the graphical map of its competitive players. This will be an overture for the themes that define the next two days, and the next two years.

9:00 am

HEADLINER SESSION: Tackling Complexity in the SMB Market

SMBs are spending more on marketing as they gain access to a growing array of options for acquiring, nurturing and growing customers. Yet this explosion in choice is generating frustration and confusion among SMBs struggling to develop the right marketing approach. Harpreet Marwaha, SVP of Digital Ad Products at YP, will unpack the challenges rising from this growing complexity and offer a roadmap for how the local marketing industry can tackle them.

9:30 am

Making Big Data Small Enough for SMBs

Data is driving everything in marketing these days. But data and the sophisticated tools required to make use of it have largely been out of reach for SMBs. That’s beginning to change as companies are looking at ways to make big data small enough for SMBs to digest and leverage to grow their businesses. We’ll hear some examples of how SMBs are making big data work for them.

10:00 am
Networking Refreshment Break
Sponsored by:

10:30 am

Is Service Commerce the Next Big Thing?

The conversation around ecommerce is largely about retail businesses selling physical goods online to consumers and other businesses. This focus on ecommerce may be overshadowing a much bigger opportunity – service commerce – enabling service-based businesses to acquire and manage customers and run a broad set of business operations digitally. Booker CEO Josh McCarter will define service commerce and the enormous opportunity it represents for companies that work directly with service-based SMBs – from beauty salons to home remodelers.

11:00 am

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: Randy Parker, Small Business Expert

As a founder of Constant Contact, Randy Parker is a pioneer in the business of bringing digital marketing solutions to SMBs at scale. We'll engage Randy in a rapid-fire dialogue on where he sees the space moving, and which entities are poised to cash in on the SMB opportunity. Expect a strong point of view and candor bordering on cringe-worthy from this conversation.

11:15 am

The Malicious Web: Understanding Your Risk for Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a real issue in the local digital advertising marketplace. What is the scope of the issue and how does ad fraud provide a gateway for the proliferation of digital malware? And what are the risks for advertisers, publishers and consumers? What solutions and best practices allow publishers and digital agencies to detect, resolve, mitigate and protect their SMB clients against the threats of the Malicious Web? Industry expert and former Denver Post CDO Allison Kane will explain why this issue matters to you.

11:30 am

Programmatic for SMBs – Is This a Thing Yet?

Programmatic advertising is a big brands game, right? Well, maybe not. We’ll look at how ad tech companies are bringing programmatic down to the local, SMB level. And, we will ask the really big question. How do you sell programmatic to small-business advertisers without making their eyes glaze over?

12:00 pm

Networking Lunch
Open to all attendees, in the exhibit hall.
Sponsored by:

VIP Lunch, Laugh & Learn (By Invitation)

During this special VIP event, invited guests will join BIA/Kelsey analysts for some casual lunch conversation, peppered with a few laughs, courtesy of local Denver comedian Sam Adams, and some tasty data nuggets from our Local Commerce Monitor study.

1:45 pm

DUAL HEADLINERS: Serving an SMB Vertical – One Company’s Journey

Chris Terrill and Craig Smith of HomeAdvisor, will share the journey this key SMB-facing vertical (home services) has followed from lead generator to total merchant solution. It’s a journey that reflects the evolution of the entire SMB space.

2:15 pm

Is There a Play for the Long Tail SMB?

We’ve heard it all before. The small SMBs cannot be acquired, sold, fulfilled or serviced profitably. Our product development, sales, and support models are too costly to pursue the low-end market. That leaves us all competing for the same small set of customers in a very slow growth market. Hardly a compelling proposition. Today, however, the core economics are changing – opening the “long tail SMB” market as a growth opportunity. The emergence of new product development strategies, new approaches to customer acquisition, data and new thinking around the SMB experience are changing the way new companies are finding success with long tail SMBs.

3:00 pm
Networking Refreshment Break

Sponsored by:

3:30 pm

HEADLINER SESSION: Playing to the SMB Advantage

SMBs have some advantages over their enterprise competitors, and chief among these is the ability to engage authentically with their customers. Constant Contact’s Joel Hughes will offer a perspective on what it takes to create products and tools that build on these natural advantages and actually work for the SMB market. Specifically, Hughes will use Constant Contact's approach to Facebook Ads as a case study.

4:00 pm


Kevin Jasper runs U.S. operations for hibu (formerly Yellowbook) and presides over one of the world's largest SMB-facing sales channels. We'll tap into his unique vantage point on what it takes to service and retain small business advertisers, and on the challenges of navigating a large company with a print legacy through an environment of disruptive change.

4:15 pm


Many online services providers are struggling with declining revenues. Fierce competition, escalating complexity of services and high churn rates are dragging the industry down. Eitan Gelbaum, Head of Customer Success at Camilyo will share a story of how to make a bold shift from selling services to delivering results.

4:25 pm

Denver SMBs – What's Working a Mile Above Sea Level?

It wouldn’t be an SMB show without having a few living, breathing small-business advertisers on stage to talk about their experiences in trying to untie the Gordian Knot that is the local digital ecosystem. Hopefully they will stick around for the free drinks and product demos that immediately follow.

4:45 pm

BIA/Kelsey Future Stars: Let’s See the Shiny New Startups

Roll in the beer cart. It’s time to kick back, relax, crack open a craft beer and hear how the latest class of BIA/Kelsey Future Stars aspires to turn the SMB market on its ear. We’ll have a panel of experts on hand to weigh in with their candid assessment of the startups and their offerings, before the audience gets its chance.

5:25 pm

Audience Voting: Pick Your Favorite Future Star (vote via the conference mobile app)

You’ve seen the demos. You’ve heard what the judges have to say. Now it’s your turn to choose the most promising Future Star. Those who stay in the room and vote will be eligible for a non-trivial prize.

Reveal Mobile

5:30 pm
Cocktail Networking Reception, Mile High City Style

Sponsored by:

Day 2 Wednesday, Sept. 30
7:00 am
Conference Registration Desk Opens

7:30 am
Sponsored Breakfast
Join our sponsors for conversation and a continental breakfast.

Breakfast Bytes: An Informal and Free-Ranging Discussion of SMB Data and Research

Do you have a passion for data and research? Or maybe a big frustration? Or maybe you’d just like to talk with like-minded people trying to develop a more factual understanding of the quickly shifting SMB landscape? Research Director Steve Marshall will host an informal roundtable to talk about all things related to data and research, such as:

  • Our Local Commerce Monitor research survey
  • Pitfalls and opportunities in SMB research
  • New techniques in research and analysis

8:30 am

Wednesday Kickoff

We will share the best tweets from Tuesday, a funny video plus audience voting on who was Tuesday’s best speaker.

8:45 am

HEADLINER SESSION: The SMB Shift Beyond Advertising

As the world's largest domain registrar, GoDaddy offers a unique perspective on how the tools SMBs are using to acquire, manage and retain customers are changing. GoDaddy's head of product, Raj Mukherjee, will provide a thought provoking vision for how that evolution will continue and what it means for those addressing the SMB market.

9:15 am

Is Location the New Local?

Increasingly, local is a moving target. It’s not so much about where consumers live, but where they are at a given moment. With this expanding, non-stationary definition of local comes a host of opportunities to help SMBs use location awareness to drive revenue. We’ll hear some case studies and get a glimpse into what the future holds.

9:45 am

SEO – What Really Works for SMBs

SEO is a moving target, made tougher all the time by algorithm changes aimed at cutting off shortcuts to great search results performance. So what is the current state of SEO for SMBs? What do SMBs buy? And what actually works for them? Who is killing it with selling SEO to SMBs and why are they successful?

10:15 am

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: D. Scott Bowen, VP & GM, Digital Services, Vistaprint

Vistaprint is a company that has mastered the craft of selling to very small SMBs (VSBs) – offering a host of services from business cards to signage to stationary. Through its acquisition of, Vistaprint is bringing a full digital suite to its base of VSB customers. Bowen leads this effort and we will ask him to share some of Vistaprint's insights on what it takes to work successfully with VSBs at scale.

10:30 am
Networking Refreshment Break
Sponsored by: Hawthorne Research

11:00 am

HEADLINER SESSION: Video's Evolution Beyond Advertising

bieMEDIA's Mike Osbourne will show how video's use by SMBs has evolved past creating cheap video ads to a much more sophisticated, content-oriented approach. Today, SMBs are using video to establish their expertise, educate consumers and provide customer support. With SMBs, video is truly evolving beyond advertising.

11:20 am

Bringing Hollywood to Main Street – Evolutions in Video Advertising

Video drives engagement and it’s great for SEO. Taking video to market at scale in the SMB space has been a challenge. Quality issues abound (we’ll have good and bad examples on hand to illustrate just what we mean). This session will unpack how new technology and process improvements are making video a key element of the local media ecosystem.

12:00 pm
Networking Lunch
Sponsored by: Camilyo

1:30 pm

HEADLINER SESSION: Understanding the User's Path to Conversion

According to data from Millennial Media, 70 percent of consumers access the Internet across multiple devices. Microsoft's Kelly Thomas Nojaim will examine what the data says about how consumers move across devices from user intent to conversion. And further, Nojaim will explore how local business can use this data to help define their digital strategies.

2:00 pm

How Marketing and Sales Will Converge to Drive Success by 2017

Should traditional media publishers follow a rigid sales segmentation – letting traditional sellers do their traditional thing while digital hotshots focus on new revenue opportunities? How can marketing leverage big data for driving improved targeting? Is it madness not to use the existing reps’ relationships and volume to drive new digital revenues? This debate still rages, and we’ll extend the debate to the marketing suite and will explore all sides of it, with a sprinkling of best practices to cap it off. Then we will hear from you.
This session is being presented in cooperation with BuzzBoard

2:25 pm

Audience Voting: What’s the Answer for Sales Structures?

Once you’ve heard the debate, you will weigh in real time with how you handle sales structure – or believe it should be handled.

2:30 pm

Inbound Sales – Bringing Customers to You

For sales leaders, attacking the SMB market can seem like boiling the ocean. Maybe there’s a better way. We will look at some companies that have had success using inbound lead generation as a sales “force multiplier.”

3:00 pm

The Future of Search

The desktop to mobile search migration is already an entrenched phenomenon. But what's next? How should SMBs and the companies that enable them to reach customers adapt to a new search paradigm that factors in wearables, voice recognition and the Internet of things?

Afternoon Refreshments
Sponsored by: Convergent Mobile

3:30 pm

The BIA/Kelsey Alumni Roundtable

BIA/Kelsey analysts, current and past, will bring things to a lively conclusion with a session that promises to be both irreverent and insightful. Keep an eye out for more opportunities to earn fabulous audience prizes.


Save on registration until Sept. 28th!