Archive for October, 2010

Yellow Pages Finds October Spike in ‘Party Supplies’ References

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We’re just days away from Halloween, and consumers across the country are making last-minute preparations to celebrate the big day. In addition to finalizing their costumes, many people are also racing to party supplies stores to decorate their homes to host celebrations with family and friends.

In fact, more than 28.1 million references are made to the party supplies heading in print and Internet Yellow Pages each year, with a marked increase in searches occurring in October, according to the Local Media Tracking study conducted by Burke for the Yellow Pages Association.

The Burke data show not only that a high number of consumers search for local party supplies stores using Yellow Pages, but also many of those consumers begin the process with little preference about which store to visit.

Consumers searching the party supplies heading are more likely than the average user to be in search mode when referencing Yellow Pages.  They are also more likely than average to follow up by contacting the business and making a purchase, according to Burke. The study found that 78.3% of users searching the party supplies heading in print Yellow Pages had a decision to make about which business to select (67.4% with no names in mind and an additional 10.9% with two or more names in mind).

Additional stats highlight the value of print Yellow Pages advertising for local party supplies businesses:

  • 90.5% of consumers contact a business after referencing the heading. While 67% of consumers do so by phone, another 41% make an in-person visit to the store, which is significantly higher than the all-headings average of 23%.
  • 64.3% of consumers who reference the heading make a purchase, averaging $109 per visit. Of those consumers, 59.3% are new customers to the store.
  • Married women with families drive references in the party supplies category. More than four out of five references are made by women (83%), with higher than average usage among those who are married and have more than three total family members.

I think the data clearly show party supplies stores featured in Yellow Pages directories benefit significantly from having an advertising presence. I look forward to hearing about another great year for our local party supplies store clients. Until then, Happy Halloween!

For more information, read our press release about the party supplies heading here.

In the News: AT&T Launches New Apps, Canada’s YPG Creates Mediative, New Zealand’s Yellow Pages Group Announces Sales Positions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AT&T Launches New Version of YP App for iPad and iPhone
Just last week, we overviewed AT&T Interactive’s innovative YPMobile iPad app. In a release issued this week, AT&T noted that 90% of searches on its iPad app between May and September were category-based (i.e. pizza, plumbers, wine bars), demonstrating the usefulness of YP’s new “Eat, Live and Live” categories. Additionally, 60% of searches during this same period using the iPhone app were for specific businesses. Separately, searches on YP.com revealed that nearly 60% of searches were by business category. These stats do a great job of demonstrating the various ways consumers are searching on different platforms… all under the same integrated YP network.

Canada’s Yellow Pages Group Launches Mediative
The Globe and Mail reports that Yellow Pages Group will launch a new online advertising and marketing company, Mediative, in an effort to attract larger national agencies and advertisers. The company is also announcing a series of acquisitions that will be folded into Mediative, including the Internet ad firm Uptrend Media; Enquiro, an SEM and research firm; and retail advertising agency Ad Splash Media. This is just the latest effort in YPG’s full-force push into digital this year (See Canadian Press: YPG Expects More Digital Growth).

New Zealand’s Yellow Pages Group to Hire 100 New Sales Workers
NZ Herald News writes that Yellow Pages Group in New Zealand has announced plans for 100 new sales jobs across the country. Yellow’s chief executive Bruce Cotterill said that the company currently has 90% market share in the local advertising market, and that he “[expects] this investment in new sales jobs will raise profitability over coming years by a decent margin.” The move will enable Yellow’s sale staff to provide more face to face and telephone time with fewer customers each.

Yell Offers Charity Donations in Exchange for Local Business Reviews

Monday, October 25, 2010

Over the weekend, Screenwerk’s Greg Sterling wrote a post noting that TrustedPlaces, the popular UK local review site purchased by Yell in May, is now fully integrated into Yell.com.

With the integration complete, Yell today announced plans to promote its new offering by launching a major online initiative to drive consumer reviews and ratings of local businesses and services on its website,  while at the sime time generating donations for national and local UK charities.

According to today’s release, Yell.com users will now have the opportunity to write reviews for local businesses such as restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons, with the service soon to be extended to plumbers and accountants. Under the program, users can select a charity they wish to support, with every review they write resulting in a 25p (approximately $0.40) donation from Yell to that charity. Yell said is is developing a network of national and local charities that consumers can choose from.

I think Yell’s program is a great idea because it builds interest and visibility for Yell.com’s local listings and business reviews, while simulanously allowing consumers to do a good deed for the charities they care about most. I look forward to seeing how much money is raised as a result of this initiative!

AT&T Interactive’s YPMobile App for iPad

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This week, we’ve spent time covering the iPad and tablet devices and the opportunities they provide the Yellow Pages industry to deliver new leads for our local business clients.

One company that is leading Yellow Pages’ expansion onto the iPad is AT&T Interactive. AT&T’s free iPad offering, YPMobile App for iPad, provides users with a variety of tools enabling them to easily find and contact the area businesses they’re searching for.

The well-designed YPMobile app allows users to view comprehensive business details such as phone numbers, addresses, service hours, and ratings and reviews. These details are displayed next to a helpful integrated map that also features driving directions suited specifically to the iPad’s location.

The app, which integrates the “Eat. Pray. Love” branding introduced on YP.com in August, also lets users browse businesses by category, save businesses to favorites for easily recall, quickly add businesses to contact lists, send business information to mobile devices, among other features.

Be sure to check out AT&T’s YPMobile App for iPad next time you’re searching for a local business on iPad. And if you don’t have an iPad, choose from AT&T’s large local mobile search portfolio, which includes apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, and Android.

Yellow Pages Group: ‘Allow us to (re) introduce ourselves’

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This year, we’ve blogged frequently about ongoing digital transformation and growth at Yellow Pages Group in Canada.

Since rebranding in March as “a performance media and marketing company,” YPG 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, launching an open API for developers, as well as adding an iPad app and group buying offering.

With so many new digital tools and offerings, YPG this week announced the launch of its first multimedia advertising campaign targeting local Canadian businesses. The campaign’s theme, “Allow us to (re) introduce ourselves,” is aimed at conveying that Yellow Pages is now digital and can help local businesses generate leads online.

In addition to the print ad above, check out the company’s three radio spots here.

I think YPG’s campaign does a great job of highlighting the company’s strong digital portfolio with local businesses, many of whom may not be aware of how many different advertising options YPG offers in the online space.

For more information, visit GetFound.YellowPages.ca.

Pew Research: Mobile Device Ownership on the Rise

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Earlier this week, Neg Norton wrote a column on Search Engine Land about the growing importance that the iPad and similar tablets will play in our industry as more consumers adopt the devices. As Neg noted in the post, one of the reasons he’s so confident about the future of these new offerings is that they “merge the traditional online and mobile platforms into an unprecedented advertising delivery medium.”

Today, mobile is increasingly key to a device’s success among consumers. According to a new study by Pew Research, the cell phone is the most popular consumer gadget on the market—owned by approximately 85% of Americans. Additionally, laptop ownership is up from 30% to 52% of Americans since 2006, while desktop ownership is down slightly.

While e-Book reader and tablet computer ownership are still in the single digits, it’s important to note that they are relatively new arrivals on the consumer technology scene. There is no doubt that in the coming years, we’ll see their ownership figures grow significantly—likely overcoming some of the long-standing gadgets currently included in this study that don’t offer the mobility that consumers are coming to expect.

UniversalBusinessListing.org Adds Verification Process to Improve Business Listings

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Over the years, the Yellow Pages industry has built a strong reputation for delivering highly trusted and reliable business listings.

In keeping with that tradition, UniversalBusinessListing.org—a service that allows local businesses to post their listing information in one location and have it automatically fed into Internet Yellow Pages, search engines, and other local search sites—has announced a new service which will increase visibility for small businesses and verify their backgrounds to prevent fraudulent listings.

According to the release, many legitimate small businesses are not being found in online directories because they operate using new technologies such as mobile and the Internet from their owners’ homes, as opposed to using traditional landlines and offices, which are more uniformly included in listings.

UniversalBusinessListing.org’s new verification process will ensure that active small businesses are also included in listings through a tool that checks the business’ credit card information, public and private databases, government filings, and even establish direct contact in order to establish proof of identity. The company notes that even the most difficult business categories—those that most frequently attract fraudulent listings —show that more than 95% of businesses can be verified with its new automated methods.

At the end of the verification process, each business listing will be submitted to major local search platforms with an indicator of the level of verification confirmed.

I think this new service will be a great tool in ensuring that our industry’s listings are the most complete and accurate available and look forward to seeing it in action.

For more information on this offering, read the full release here.

Tech Headlines: Foursquare Helps SMBs, Android Market Share Grows, News Outlets Circle Tablet

Friday, October 8, 2010

NYT: Geolocation Services: Find a Smartphone, Find a Customer
The New York Times reports on small business success stories using Foursquare, the popular geolocation service, to create promotions and buzz about their offerings. The article includes tips for how small businesses can get started and emphasizes the value of the site’s analytics tool to learn more about customer behavior. As geolocation continues to gain momentum, Yellow Pages companies are a creating a variety of apps to ride the trend—one of my favorites being Yell Group’s augmented reality app.

Praized: Android Rapidly Gaining Mobile OS Market Shares
Sebastien Provencher notes a new Nielsen study which found that Google’s Android was the top Smartphone platform for recent acquirers from January through August—accounting for 32% of new purchases—followed by both iPhone and BlackBerry at 25%. When looking at the overall market, BlackBerry remains on top at 31% of Smartphone users, followed by iPhone at 28% and Android at 19%. YP companies including SuperMedia’s SuperPages, AT&T’s YP.com, and DexOne’s DexKnows have mobile apps for all three platforms either available or in development.

WSJ: News Outlets Circle Tablet
The Wall Street Journal writes that several major news organizations—including The New York Times, USA Today, and the WSJ itself—are developing applications for a new tablet device from Samsung built on Google’s Android software. Given that Yellow Pages companies were so quick to create apps for the popular Apple iPad, I look forward to hearing more about what our industry has in store for this new offering.

SuperMedia and Local.com Extend Expanding Distribution Agreement

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Less than a month after announcing a new cross-distribution agreement with Dex One, SuperMedia announced this week that it has expanded their distribution agreement with Local.com, a leading local search site and network, to further increase the value of their Internet directory listings.

SuperMedia clients will now be distributed across Local.com’s OCTANE360 network, which features 80,000 locally-targeted sites. According to the release, a SuperMedia client who is a tax attorney in Burbank, California for example, will now be prominently featured on the homepage of www.burbanktaxattorney.com.

Additionally, the new agreement will provide for increased collaboration between the companies on new distribution, traffic, product and revenue initiatives.

This is yet another example of an industry leader expanding their online distribution networks to generate qualified leads. For more, read the full release here.

SuperMedia Appoints Peter J. McDonald as Interim CEO

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yesterday, SuperMedia announced that its Board of Directors appointed Peter J. McDonald  as interim CEO.

Peter is a solid choice to lead SuperMedia during the company’s continued transformation. With more than 35 years of industry experience, he clearly recognizes the opportunities and challenges facing the company. Most recently, Peter served as President and COO of RH Donnelley (now known as Dex One) and has held numerous other senior roles within the industry, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Yellow Pages Publishers Association.

I know Peter will be a stabilizing force at SuperMedia during this transition and I look forward to working with him in the days and weeks ahead.