Kara Alcamo, Director of Search at R2integrated, believes that local is about to become a standard part of digital marketing and that now is the time to develop your local strategy. She uses Yext to give her customers a complete view of their digital presence, which is now more essential than ever before. Hear more from Kara:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m the Director of Search Marketing at R2integrated. I co-manage our marketing department at our Baltimore headquarters and directly oversee paid search, organic search and content marketing.
Tell us a bit about R2integrated — how did you start? What inspired you to strike out on your own? Who founded the business?
R2i actually started as two companies. Our co-founder Chris Chodnicki owned a technology firm primarily focused on open source web development called Bi4ce. The other co-founders David Taub and Matt Goddard owned a web design firm called Round 2 Communications. The two companies were constantly partnering together and, after jointly winning the business of TV Guide in 2004, the two companies merged to form R2integrated, known as r2i.
R2i is a technology-enabled integrated marketing experience agency and was founded with technology and digital roots. We recognised early on the importance of tying technology to online marketing efforts and believed that the engagement that comes when consumers use technology would be the future of marketing.
Today we’re headquartered in Baltimore, MD with offices in Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York. And we recognise that marketing cloud technology is how enterprise brands are reaching customers across channels so we have continued to build a company that helps brands bridge marketing and technology to connect with their customers.
Every client has different needs and we work together with them to identify how we can best partner with them.
How does Yext fit into your product/service offering? How does it help you do your job better?
Yext has been great for us within our search and social teams. As search and social have become tied even closer together, Yext’s integrated capabilities allow us to give our clients a more complete picture of their web presence and to manage it appropriately. It allows us to provide better service at scale without losing efficiency.
What does Yext make it possible to do that you wouldn’t have time for otherwise?
Definitely the management of multiple listings across directories and the monitoring of those listings. When they came to us initially, many clients had to manage their listings manually and gathering insights on reviews and other metrics was very time consuming. Now it’s all contained within the Yext platform and very easy to monitor, optimise and measure.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with Yext? Why?
9 – Only because I always think there’s room to improve.
Where do you see Local Search headed in the next 1 to 2 years?
I see local search as being in a position today similar to where mobile was a few years ago. Mobile started as a footnote to desktop but quickly came to dominate digital. I see the current digital landscape becoming heavily personalised and, as it does, local will be a major component of that shift. I’d argue that you already have to have a local strategy in place to find true success, but as local search grows in importance, it will really become impossible to ignore.
What are the top 5 mobile apps you use on a day-to-day basis? Which one is the most "fun"?
Google Now is my favourite. Not because it’s the most useful, although it is a useful tool. As a professional in the digital space, I find the development of this app to be interesting and reflective of the overall trend towards a predictive, hyper-personalised experience.
I also like Facebook, Uber and Mint. And finally, we are also lucky enough in Baltimore to have Amazon Prime Now, which is perhaps a blessing and a curse. It’s too easy to buy whatever you want!