Lara Mehanna, the U.S. General Manager, VP Sales & Business Development at SONATA notes that, at a recent conference, local business owners seemed perplexed over computational phrases such as polygons and beacons and worried over “creepy, Big Brother, NSA-type” of information discussed. Strategies were of no concern to local business. Mehanna points out that this disconnect does not occur with how ad tech is applied, but with the way in which the strategies are presented.

SONATA is described as the first global mobile advertising platform focused on tying online advertising to offline results. Prior to SONATA Mehanna was GM of Mobile at DataXu.

According to Mehanna, local businesses need assistance in utilizing, understanding, and applying emerging technology so that they are able to focus on driving and maintaining customers. There is a need to make technology easy for all, enabling local businesses to find what is applicable and make the most of it, according to To do this, three steps must be taken, says Mehanna:

Make Technology More Financially Accessible

Make technology more accessible via low-cost tests that are scaled for local business. In this way, risk is maintained and solutions are more meaningful to the business.

Make Technology More Understandable

To best manage local businesses’ expectations, speak to local businesses in a way that makes sense to them. For example, present ad technology as a solution to daily local business issues using straightforward language. Focus on real-world, relevant results and minimize technical jargon.

Make Technology Applicable Locally

Ensure that messages are clearly disseminated and always applicable at the local level. Local businesses must understand how ad tech is applicable to their marketing strategies and they must feel that their particular needs and challenges are met and understood. For example, local business may not be concerned with sales in the same way as national brands and may, rather, be more concerned with community loyalty. Local business need to see how to utilize technology in today’s online world to ensure their strategy is followed and their business remains relevant.

Technology providers must express benefits clearly and clarify issues to local business. As with local businesses and their communities, tech providers must learn to build business to ensure success, Mehanna explains, “We simply need to show local businesses how they can do what they’ve always done, but on a pinpointed scale. Once local businesses understand how advertising technology fits their needs and their business plans, they’ll be more open. It’s our job not only to supply the tech, but to educate about it too.”


Mehanna, Lara. Small Biz and Big Tech: How to Connect Local Merchants With Today’s Ad Technology; Street Fight Mag, June 17, 2015.