LSA Members in the Business of Local: Yext

Yext lets companies manage their digital presence in online maps, directories and apps. Over 400,000 businesses make millions of monthly updates across 85+ exclusive global partners, making Yext the global market leader. Digital presence is a fundamental need for all 50 million businesses in the world, and Yext’s mission is perfect location information in every hand.

We caught up with Howard Lerman, co-founder and CEO at Yext, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does Yext solve? How?
If you’ve ever found wrong information about a business in a map, Yext can solve it.

If you have searched for store hours, you know how annoying it can be when the directions lead you to the wrong destination or when the business has already closed even though store hours said “open.” Local geodata and content about business locations are fragmented across the online ecosystem, and managing where it appears is only getting more challenging as the number of sites, maps and apps and devices used for search continue to increase.

Yext set out to solve that problem and make sure you always find accurate information about business locations online. With Yext’s software, marketers can manage and optimize their presence to improve customer experience and ensure customers make it to their front doors.

What makes Yext innovative?
Yext pioneered this space by investing in building a network of exclusive API-integrations with the most prominent online publishers, including Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, etc. Yext is the only solution provider that can offer marketers total control of their online listings, including real-time updates across tens of thousands of locations at just the touch of a button.

The company also recently launched Powerlistings Global, the world’s first global listings network with native country networks in the UK, Germany, Canada, and Turkey. Yext’s advanced technology and expansive network ensure that brands always have accurate online information and rich content so their business locations get found, and then chosen.

Overall, Yext’s technology is transforming the way businesses connect with their customers. Before mobile, digital marketing was focused solely on e-commerce transactions; marketers couldn’t effectively use their online presence to get customers into their physical store locations. But the rise of mobile has turned that purchase funnel on its head. Marketers can now reach potential customers wherever they’re searching on their mobile device, and Yext provides them with the tools to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to improve customer engagement and drive offline sales.

How does Yext make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
Yext’s technology improves the space for the entire ecosystem. The businesses want to have an accurate and up-to-date digital presence for each of their locations to ensure customers can get to their front doors. With correct information in the maps, the customers have a superior experience with the business and the mapping provider.

Once the information available is correct, other providers can build on top of it – like how Uber uses your location to set your pick-up location. In this case, everyone’s interests are aligned and accurate digital presence helps everyone involved.

What is next in local?
As the world becomes more saturated with connected devices and consumer demand for hyper-local content increases exponentially, a strong digital presence is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity. The Internet of Things trend, particularly the development of beacon technology, is all based around where you are. Retailers, restaurants, and even government entities are exploring how to leverage this new technology and information to reach nearby customers with featured messages, promotions, and pertinent information to increase business profitably as well as improve customer experience.

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