Archive for August, 2010

YPG and Yellowbook Add Group Buying Offerings

Monday, August 30, 2010

Group buying—or social buying—is one of the fastest growing retail trends on the Internet. Businesses and consumers across the country are increasingly taking part in this new concept, in which products and services are provided at exceptional discounts once a minimum number of consumers agree to make the purchase.

Last week, two leading Yellow Pages companies announced plans to introduce group buying offerings that provide local businesses with additional opportunities to generate new leads and visibility in the digital space.

  • Yellow Pages Group’s RedFlagDeals.com will feature Deal of the Day, a daily newsletter that includes savings of up to 95% on local restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and events. The site’s deals will be featured on a variety of online properties including RedFlagDeals.com, YellowPages.ca, and LesPAC.com. The deals will initially be available to Toronto and Montreal customers before expanding to other Canadian cities in the coming months.
  • Yellowbook launched Weforia.com, a consumer-facing group buying destination focused on delivering special, limited-time deals and discounts. According to the news release, the site will initially focus on three test markets—Boston, Phoenix, and Ft. Meyers. In addition to the site, group offers will be promoted on Yellowbook.com, Yellowbook’s mobile apps, and its partner network.

With all the hype about group buying these days—most notably, Gap’s unprecedented group buying sale on Groupon last week—I couldn’t be more thrilled about our industry’s participation in this growing phenomenon. I look forward to seeing how our local business clients take advantage of this new tool to increase sales and buzz about their brands.

AT&T Interactive Expands YP.com Rebranding

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back in April, we blogged about AT&T Interactive’s introduction of YP.com as the new name of its flagship YELLOWPAGES.COM web property and brand.

Now the company is debuting a new logo, tagline, and homepage for the popular Internet Yellow Pages destination. YP.com’s new tagline, “Click Less. Live More”—as well as its new vibrant, image-based homepage focused on encouraging users to “eat, play, and live” within their local communities—reflect the site’s goal “to help consumers easily discover ways to live locally.”

While users can still take advantage of YP.com’s popular search tools to find and browse local businesses, the new graphics on its homepage encourage visitors to discover places as well:

  • Eat: One-click access to local restaurants and dining categories, with the option to book reservations at select restaurants through Opentable.com.
  • Play: Ability to check local event listings and movie times, and buy tickets for select theaters. Can also search for hotel availability and book rooms.
  • Live: Options to search for a new or used car, find a florist, or browse YP’s extensive list of service business listings.

Additionally, YP.com features a variety of other useful tools, including money-saving coupons, the ability to share businesses and events via social networks and mobile, and 16,000+ local business videos.

I’m excited about AT&T’s ongoing efforts to expand and improve YP.com, which with more than 36 million unique monthly users, plays an extremely important role in representing our industry’s successful embrace of the digital space. Be sure to check out the new YP.com by clicking here.  Then Eat, Play, Live!

DMS ’10: Reflecting on a Big Year for Yellow Pages

Thursday, August 26, 2010

If you’re trying to determine how much our industry has changed over the past year, look no further than the agenda for this year’s BIA/Kelsey Directional Media Strategies (DMS) conference, scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2010, at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas:

A year ago, our industry was focused on building a new business model to reflect fast-paced changes in how consumers access media. Today, we’re beginning to reap the rewards of our hard work — the results ranging from new and rebranded offerings, to acquisitions and partnerships with popular local search sites, new SEO/SEM visibility and website building tools, digital coupons, and more. We’re clearly a new breed of local business information providers.

DMS ’10 is a chance for us to come together to talk about what’s changed– and what’s to come– with many of the leading minds in the field. For more information about DMS ’10, including registration information, visit the DMS ’10 page on the BIA/Kelsey website.

I hope to see you there!

Determining the Most Effective Local Advertising Strategy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In our monthly Locals Only column on Search Engine Land posted earlier today, I talk about how local businesses of every kind are tackling the same challenge of determining which advertising platforms to incorporate into their marketing mixes.

As we discuss regularly on this blog, the tools available for businesses to reach consumers are continuously expanding across print, online, and mobile platforms. That said, not all tools are appropriate for every business.

In order for advertising to be successful, local businesses must conduct background research on several components of their business: the demographics of their customers, the geographics of their area, and the psychographics of local consumers. Research will help guide a local business’s decisions about advertising tools that will be successful and achieve high return on investment.

In my Search Engine Land piece, I take readers through a hypothetical scenario about a local ice cream store’s process of developing its advertising strategy.

Once you’ve had a chance to read my full column, I’d be interested in hearing from you about the advertising strategies you employ for your business. You can leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

IYPs Among comScore’s List of Top 50 U.S. Web Properties

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I’ve been catching up on my blog reading, and came across an interesting mention on BIA/Kelsey’s Global Yellow Pages blog about several Yellow Pages companies ranking well on comScore’s June list of top 50 U.S. web properties.

With all the innovation taking place on our online properties—everything from the revamping of Internet Yellow Pages directories to new vertical websites—it came as no surprise to me that not only are three IYP networks ranked among the top properties on the web, but that these networks alone attract nearly one hundred million unique monthly visitors.

These top performers include:

For years, our industry has benefited from being the leading provider of local business information through its print directories. Now, we’re continuing our legacy by expanding our presence online and venturing into new platforms like mobile and the iPad. Along the way, we’ll continue to attract consumers because of the high trust they place in our listings and the innovative services we provide.

August Auto Rental and Leasing Searches Kick Into Overdrive

Thursday, August 19, 2010

With summer winding down and the start of the school season just weeks away, many of us are taking our last vacation getaways while we still can. So it’s no surprise that in August, Americans nationwide will turn to Yellow Pages local search tools in record numbers to rent or lease a car.

In fact, more than 55 million references are made to automobile renting and leasing in print and Internet Yellow Pages each year, with the highest number of lookups occurring in August, according to the Local Media Tracking study conducted by Burke for the Yellow Pages Association. Additionally, “Auto Rental and Leasing” is among the top 40 most referenced headings from more than 4,000-plus.

Our data show that businesses advertising in this heading reach a highly-favorable customer base:

  • Nearly two-thirds (62.7%) of consumers referencing the automotive rental and leasing heading follow up with a purchase compared with 49.3% for all headings combined.
  • Because an auto rental is such an infrequent purchase, most consumers need information to help them decide where to make a purchase. Seventy percent of Yellow Pages users either have no company name or multiple names in mind when looking at the heading, and more than half of shoppers (52.5%) end up doing business with a business that they have never used before.
  • Purchasers who used print or Internet Yellow Pages are about three times more likely to spend $101-200 than the average headings user, and two times as likely to spend in the $201-500 range.
  • Those most likely to reference this heading are 25- to 34-year-old males with a college degree. They also tend to be single and live in the Northeast.

These data points show the great value and return-on-investment that Yellow Pages directory ads provide for automotive businesses seeking to reach ready-to-buy consumers.

For more information, read our press release about the auto rental and leasing heading.

BIA/Kelsey’s Charles Laughlin Previews DMS ’10

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In a free public webinar yesterday entitled “Yellow Pages, Local Search and the Path to New Digital Revenues,” BIA/Kelsey’s Charles Laughlin discussed the current state of the Yellow Pages industry,  and his predictions and  suggestions for providers looking  to transcend the obstacles of today’s changing media landscape.

According to Laughlin, our industry is expanding from its traditional core business—print directories, and by extension, Internet Yellow Pages—to also include a wider range of product areas that will serve as attractive growth drivers moving forward.

Specifically, Laughlin discussed how providers are increasingly looking for the right group of partners to help build and diversify their product offerings to include everything from reputation management to social media, mobile, SEO/SEM, and direct mail.

Laughlin believes changes in the industry can be summarized by the following key themes:

  1. Financial results are driving the need for transformation rather than incremental change
  2. Companies are working furiously to reinvent themselves
  3. The industry’s future depends on success across a wide range of products and services

Laughlin also noted that as the industry adapts to changing consumer behavior, the fundamentals of Yellow Pages advertising are shifting from print-central to digital-centric, where the focus is on the local business’ website as opposed to its directory listing.

Click here to watch the complete webinar.

Laughlin’s webinar served as a preview for the jam-packed Directional Media Strategies (DMS) conference, one of the most important industry conferences of the year, scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2010, at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas.

In addition to the high-profile list of speakers and panelists already announced, Laughlin confirmed that Randy Wootton, VP of Global Search and Online Marketplace for Microsoft Advertising, has joined the schedule to discuss Microsoft’s approach to local, where its strengths lie and its approach to partnering with other providers. That will definitely be a presentation worth attending!

For more information about DMS ’10, including registration information, visit the DMS ’10 page on the BIA/Kelsey website.

Canadian Press: YPG Expects More Digital Growth

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There’s no shortage of news on this blog about Yellow Pages Group’s extensive push into digital this year.

YPG—which rebranded in March touting its “evolution into a performance media and marketing company”—has made several major moves, including purchasing online directories 411.ca and Canpages.ca and vertical websites RedFlagsDeals.com and CanadianDriver.com, integrating new Facebook social plugins on its flagship YellowPages.ca website, adding an iPad app, and other initiatives.

So I wasn’t surprised to read a Canadian Press article late last week discussing a pending addition to the company’s digital portfolio: website building for small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the president and CEO of Yellow Media (which owns YPG), Marc Tellier, the company will create a new website building offering that focuses on the functionality, not just the look and feel, of business sites.

“The aesthetic nature of your site has sweet nothing to do with how you are going to get indexed on one of the leading search engines,” Tellier said in an interview for the article.

Tellier predicted 25% growth in digital revenues for 2011, as the company continues to expand its portfolio. YPG’s outlook trends well with BIA/Kelsey’s recent prediction that digital YP revenues in the U.S. will grow at a 17.2% compound annual rate through 2014.

With the addition of website building, YPG is poised to become a one-stop destination for the digital needs of local businesses. YPG is a great model for Yellow Pages companies globally, demonstrating how to grow and adapt to today’s changing media environment. I look forward to seeing what is next in store for YPG’s local business clients and consumers.

SuperMedia Uses QR Code Technology to Link Old and New Media

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We frequently blog about the strong value that Yellow Pages’ integrated advertising options provide for businesses in their efforts to reach consumers.

Now, SuperMedia is taking “integrated” to another level by becoming the first U.S. Yellow Pages company to introduce Quick Response (QR) code technology nationally on the covers of its Yellow Pages directories—seamlessly linking its traditional print offerings with its newest mobile apps and tools. The QR codes will also appear inside directories and in direct mail advertising.

If you aren’t familiar with QR code technology, it has to do with a matrix barcode, readable through QR scanners and mobile phones, that’s encoded with data. The barcode can include text, URL, or other data that provides the device with information or action items, like directing users to a specific website or downloading a file.

SuperMedia will use QR code in a variety of ways:

  • QR codes located on the cover and in the SuperYellowPages as advertisements promoting SuperMedia will prompt users to download the free SuperpagesMobile app.
  • SuperMedia ads with the QR codes in the SuperYellowPages will prompt users to register for the SuperGuarantee program.
  • QR codes on the back of SuperpagesDirect card packs will direct users to an array of local online coupons on Superpages.com.

The integration of QR technology will give SuperMedia print users more opportunities to take advantage of the company’s growing array of online and mobile offerings. For some, it may be the first time they’ve heard of SuperMedia’s mobile app or its online coupons site—and there couldn’t be an easier way for them to get on board.

I look forward to hearing more about how the QR code helps drive awareness for SuperMedia’s digital and mobile products, as well as the benefits it provides not only for consumers, but for our clients advertising with these new tools.

BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’10 Conference Just Weeks Away: Sept. 14-16 in Dallas

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This year, Yellow Pages Association is proud to once again partner with BIA/Kelsey to present Directional Media Strategies (DMS), one of the most important industry conferences of the year, scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2010, at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas.

For those of you who haven’t yet signed up for DMS ‘10, be sure to check out the latest version of the agenda and list of speakers to get a better sense of the exciting lineup we have in store for this year’s conference:

Several highlights include:

  • Bruce Cortterill, CEO of Yellow Pages Group in New Zealand, will provide an inside look at how one incumbent operator has successfully focused on increasing value in the short-term while preparing the organization for long-term success.
  • Paul Dawalibi, President and CEO, Praized Media; Michael Francesconi, Director, Content and Community, CityGrid Media; and Andrew Shotland, Proprietor, LocalSEOGuide.com, will discuss how Yellow Pages publishers can realistically make the shift from traditional to social media.
  • The future of Digital Yellow Pages will be debated by top minds in the industry, including Eitan Ackerman, Executive Director of Marketing and Sales Engineering, Amdocs; Gianluca Carerra, VP New Media, Truvo; Sivan Metzger, GM, Kenshoo Local; Neil Salvage, Executive VP Advertising, CityGrid Media; and Gregg Stewart, President, 15Miles.

We’re really looking forward to DMS ‘10 and the great exchange of ideas and building of business relationships that will take place. To register, visit the conference registration page today to benefit from reduced pricing. See you in Dallas!