Localist revamps digital tools for businesses and the socially inclined

  • Online
  • November 21, 2013
  • Amanda Sachtleben
Localist revamps digital tools for businesses and the socially inclined

Localist has refreshed its business and consumer platforms with a new window on business performance and lists of likeable things to make and share.

The overhauled Localist for Business is aimed at a mix of customers, some of whom have made forays into online.

"We've have about 20 percent of our customers that have zero digital presence and 80 percent have a toe in the water, but are looking for someone staying on top of the latest trends in digital marketing," says CEO Christina Domecq.

"Some have teams of four to five people and nobody is very digitally savvy. Some have no marketing department and say, 'can you guys handle everything?'"

The dashboard for free or paying customers has analytics showing how the business is performing online. There are also services to drive sales and leads, use Google AdWords and display advertising, manage a company's social media presence and get a website or app.

Domecq says 20 percent of the emphasis is on content creation, the rest on continuous storytelling. "It's not just creating a website and letting it die. It's engaging with all of your online communities. The focus is on ongoing income potential and building the story of who they are.

"We have over 4000 customers in Auckland that have a legacy with us from the print media to the digitally savvy world Localist is now in," says Domecq. She adds it wants a broader customer base across New Zealand, so will look to grow in Wellington and Christchurch.

The refreshed platform for consumers has a very social feel. Users can log in using social networks, get followers, 'love' businesses and create lists of what they like.

The shift towards lists as a way to recommend products and services was driven by the discovery that Localist's previous site wasn't making the most of reviews, says Domecq. "We brought together a control group of 50 users of our last site, which was very much a review site. We realised reviews were getting lost in the noise of Google reviews and Menu Mania and Yelp. Putting four or five reviews, like the most kid-friendly places or the best place to walk your dog, together as a list, created a story about the person."

The platform update includes a revamp of the app Localist has had for about the last two years, which has been downloaded 24,000 times. It also the introduction of local gurus — a status people get by having at least 40 followers.

Trending lists are those most shared and clicked on.

Localist expects the platform to be out of beta next February.

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