AOL Adds Heat to Local Marketing

The local marketing industry is certainly heating up, with AOL announcing the acquisition of a paid of locally focused companies: Patch Media and Going. Patch Media provides local news and information, which Going is more of a social network, allowing people to share information about cities and destinations.

These will be added to AOL’s current local properties MapQuest, CityGuide and Together, they provide a valuable channel for national advertisers to reach into geographically targeted markets.

It remains to be seen whether this will provide any opportunity to true local advertisers. Traditionally, AOL has had minimum commitments beyond the reach of smaller businesses, and a sales force that doesn’t know how to deal with them.