A BIA/Kelsey report recently revealed that local on-demand economy (LODE) has the power to completely change the way businesses market to local consumers. While it may turn current advertising models upside-down, buyers and sellers will be able to interact in a more direct way, much as has been seen with the Uber business model.

While local search certainly still has its place, LODE apps are able to more efficiently match buyers and sellers within close proximity, often creating a better user experience. In a very real way, LODE is the natural evolution of marketing that started with low-urgency print ads and continues to evolve as users demand faster access to the products and services they want.

With the LODE model, users are the ones driving the process, rather than having sellers and marketers push their wares on them through advertisements. LODE is all about placement and positioning for marketers, not discovery. Instead of trying to create the demand for a particular service, marketers in the local on-demand economy must look for ways to position themselves in front of consumers at the time when they have the most urgent buying intent.

While it was all about keywords and ad clicks in the model where search engines reigned supreme, the ability to rapidly respond to consumer demand as it happens is key in LODE.

Essentially, this means that the days of putting together advertising messages in hopes of anticipating consumer demand is becoming a thing of the past. With the LODE model, buyers express their interest in a particular product or service and local sellers respond accordingly. This is a complete inversion of the previous marketing model.

Perhaps the true beauty of LODE apps is that sellers don’t have to devote resources to advertising and all that it entails. Rather than spending time and money to acquire reviews, they can focus more of their attention on meeting the needs of buyers in real-time.

Although this is a reactive way of doing business, it may prove to be more cost-effective and user-friendly in the long run. In a way, this new marketing model is similar to the principle of Just in Time manufacturing. By moving the bulk of the labor closer to the point of sale, businesses often gain better cash flow.

The increased transparency that LODE apps bring can also cut down on frustration on the buyer’s side. Instead of having to go back and forth about appointment times or product availability, they’ll have access to that information at their fingertips.


Boland, Mike. Local On-Demand Economy: Flipping Local Search as We Know It. BIA/Kelsey. May 27, 2015.