Archive for December, 2010

Looking Back on 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 was another year of dramatic change for our industry.  Our team at the Yellow Pages Association spent the year working on many fronts to help our members succeed and thrive.

Despite the many challenges of the year, I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made:

  • We achieved industry support for a new national consumer choice clearinghouse to be housed at www.yellowpagesoptout.com – due to go live in early 2011.
  • We worked hard to educate stakeholders about the value of printed Yellow Pages and the important economic role publishers play in local economies, ultimately helping to stop harmful legislation in five states and several local jurisdictions.
  • Launched new leading local search research from Burke and call tracking information.
  • Added 36 new members (more on these exciting developments in 2011).
  • Better positioned all of our members to take advantage of growth opportunities from local search.

And with this momentum, we look forward to continuing our work in 2011.  Next year will be a turning point for our association and our industry.  I predict that you’ll see the results of a lot of the work we’ve been doing over the past two years come to fruition – from the www.yellowpagesoptout.com clearinghouse launch, to our re-designed annual conference “Search Starts Here”, to many other surprises we have in store.

On a final note, Kathy Roush, Vice President of Operations and Larry Small, Director of Research, will be leaving us at year end.  Kathy and Larry have been with YPA for a number of years, and each has made significant contributions to the growth and well-being of our industry. They will be greatly missed.

On behalf of all of us at YPA, thank you for following us here at InsideYP.  All of us at YPA look forward to seeing you again next year.  Happy holidays.

2011: The Year of Performance Reporting

Friday, December 24, 2010

I came across an insightful article on ADOTAS earlier this week that discusses the growing role that local advertising performance transparency will play in the coming year. Now more than ever, our industry must take a leadership role in developing the services necessary to meet increased client demand for transparency.

Key trends we should watch for include:

  • SEM adoption of key measurement tools to quantify performance and retain advertisers
  • Demand for detailed lead generation and caller data
  • Performance reporting as part of social media campaigns
  • The adoption of post-call, auto-transcription technologies to capture and analyze consumer-advertiser conversations
  • Online platforms moving to performance measurement tools to highlight ROI

This last point is especially good news for IYPs. Bill Dinan states, “this transparency spells good news for more traditional ad channels, including Internet Yellow Pages, which now have another chance to showcase their reputation for delivering quality leads and compete on a more level playing field.”

Yahoo! Local Launches New Limited Beta Listings

Monday, December 13, 2010

We’ve shared several stories in recent months about local sites updating their business listings to include more features and additional interactivity.

That trend continued last week with Yahoo! Local announcing that it is upgrading its listings to add local news, deals and nearby events, according to a blog post on its Yodel Anecdotal blog. The company, which offers its listings online and on mobile, wants Yahoo! Local to “be the best place for people to find what’s happening in their neighborhoods, whether they’re at home or on the go.”

In addition to local content provided by area publishers and Yahoo! editors, the new Yahoo! Local will enable community members to contribute content on the topics they care about most through the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Individuals and organizations can also add local events. Additionally, Yahoo!’s new Locals Offers program allows consumers to quickly and easily access a wide selection of local deals and offers from partners such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt City, BloomSpot, and more.

Yahoo’s test will involve 30 neighborhoods and cities in the U.S., including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn itself is subdivided into multiple neighborhoods with their own pages, including Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and Fort Greene.

For more on the new Yahoo! Local, click here — or check it out for yourself.

Peter J. McDonald Stays On as SuperMedia CEO

Friday, December 10, 2010

In October, I wrote about SuperMedia’s announcement that its Board of Directors had appointed Peter J. McDonald as interim CEO. Today, I’m happy to learn that Peter has officially been appointed CEO of the company, effective immediately.

As I noted in my previous post, Peter is a solid choice to lead SuperMedia during the company’s continued transformation. He has more than 35 years of industry experience and clearly recognizes the opportunities and challenges facing the company.

Congratulations, Peter! We look forward to continuing to work with you to better our industry.

BIA/Kelsey ILM10: Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The last morning of the BIA/Kelsey ILM10, in rainy Santa Clara, started off with a great keynote from Steven Johnson, the best-selling author of six books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. His writings have influenced everything from the way political campaigns use the Internet, to cutting-edge ideas in urban planning, to the battle against 21st-century terrorism.

“Steven’s newest book is titled Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. His previous book The Invention of Air tells the story of Joseph Priestly, the Founding Fathers, and how innovative ideas emerge and spread in society and drive historical change. Like his award-winning book, The Ghost Map, The Invention of Air uses a surprising historical and biographical narrative to discuss ideas that have profoundly shaped our modern world.

The Ghost Map was one of the ten best nonfiction books of 2006 according to Entertainment Weekly. Drawn from one of the defining moments in the invention of modern life—the emergence of modern public health during the London cholera epidemic of 1854—The Ghost Map is a gripping case study in how change happens, the turbulent way in which wrong or ineffectual ideas are overthrown by better ones.”  – The Leigh Bureau

Johnson lived up to his reputation as a brilliant speaker, covering (in an all too brief amount of time) some of the patterns that lead to innovation: The Slow Hunch, The Liquid Network and the importance of group diversity to creativity.

Engaging and informative, Johnson was one of the highlights of ILM10.  To get a taste of his presentation, take a look at the brief video of his presentation at TED (Technology Entertainment Design) on YouTube.

The audience had a number of questions for Johnson and BIA/Kelsey hosted a book signing after the session.  I’m looking forward to downloading his book.

As the event comes to a close, I can only say that this was one of the best conferences I’ve been to and very well attended right up to the last session.

BIA/Kelsey ILM10: Wednesday Update

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So much going on this morning, from Zillow to Google to Pandora, interesting speakers discussing issues that all of the attendees are facing.

Over 200 new attendees from dozens of new companies, indicative that BIA/Kelsey has the right agenda in the right location at the right time.  To learn more about becoming a client, visit: www.kelseygroup.com.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for another opportunity to be at the right place at the right time with the right people – the Yellow Pages Association’s Annual Conference – ‘Search Starts Here” will be at Caesars Palace Hotel and Resort, April 16-19, 2011.

Check out www.ypassociation.org to find out more.

‘Small Business Saturday’ Gives Incentives to Buy Local

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We all know the importance of buying local and the positive impact it has on our communities. That’s why I’m thrilled to share news about an ongoing campaign by American Express that offers incentives for local businesses to advertise and for consumers to shop locally.

Initially, the campaign “Small Business Saturday,” held the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offered 10,000 small business owners $100 worth of Facebook advertising, financed by American Express, and provided $25 credits to the first 100,000 clients using their cards at area shops and boutiques. American Express then extended the offering on Sunday through the end of December and raised its commitment to credit 300,000 cardholders.

The program is being spread exclusively via a dedicated website and social media properties on Facebook and Twitter, according to the Associated Press. As of this writing, the Facebook page had nearly 1.2 million “likes” — a strong indication of support for buying locally.

I think this program is a great reminder of the vital role we play as local search providers in connecting neighborhood business clients with area consumers. I look forward to hearing more about the success of this program and hope to see others like it soon!

BIA/Kelsey ILM10: ‘Traditional Media, Revolutionary Thinking’ Panel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yesterday, I attended the “Traditional Media, Revolutionary Thinking” panel at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM10, which featured three leaders driving digital and mobile initiatives at traditional media brands:

  • Greg Gittrich, VP – Digital Media and Editor in Chief – NBC Integrated Media
  • Peter Weinberger, President – Advance Internet
  • Stephen Weis, VP – Digital Sales, Hearst Newspapers

The panel was moderated by Tom Buono, founder and CEO, BIA/Kelsey and Peter Krasilovsky, VP – Conferences and Program Director.  Acknowledging the challenges facing traditional media, the moderators showed some of the intriguing new sites these companies have created and then asked about their strategies.

Greg Gittrich was attracted to the challenge by an opportunity to do something new.  After shutting down some of the older NBC websites, NBC proceeded to identify their new audiences and target their interests – lifestyle, entertainment, etc.

NBC’s new sites – “The Thread”, “Eat, Shop, Play”, and “The Feast” all reflect deep, focused local content that can be pulled through a variety of different platforms.  He noted that there was strong support up through the executive levels for these initiatives.

Peter Weinberger addressed the question of “cluster strategy” that allows his company to go beyond the traditional newspaper footprint and offer advertisers an opportunity to go national.

Stephen Weis is using digital media to give his advertisers a broader reach, offering turn-key services that have been scaled to meet their needs.  He believes that SMBs expect access to a “powerful suite of services” designed to meet their economic needs.

And don’t forget to let us know what you think about some of these presentations, leave us a comment!

Now back to the discussion.

ILM10 Opening Keynote: Yelp CEO Jeff Stoppelman

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yelp CEO Jeff Stoppelman’s session at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM10 targeted the power of reviews and reviewers, and included several recommendations for successful distribution via mobile:

  • Leverage your Web assets – create your own app
  • Use Store Promotions
  • Create Partnerships
  • Try to get “on deck” (pre-installed apps on cell phones)

Stoppelman pointed out that reviewers tend to be people who enjoy writing and that reviews, like blogging, give the reviewer an outlet and an audience.  The larger the number of reviews, the more impact they have in making consumers comfortable with the business.

Yelp demographics are diverse, Stoppelman explained, but the 22-40, college-educated demographic is most active.

As to expanding into new countries, Yelp is moving deliberately and only where they can “go deep.”  And while they are working with Google Places, there is additional work to be done on placement.

José Gutiérrez Appointed President and CEO of AT&T Advertising Solutions

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I’m excited to share news that José Gutiérrez has been appointed president and CEO of AT&T Advertising Solutions. José replaces Frank Jules, who led the organization since 2007 and will take José’s previous role as executive vice president-global enterprise solutions.

José is a veteran of the local search industry and the type of leader the organization needs during this period of rapid transformation. From 2001-2004, he served as senior vice president of sales at AT&T Advertising Solutions. Before that, José held several executive positions at AT&T and SBC, including president and CEO of AT&T Southwest, SBC president-industry markets and diversified businesses, and SBC managing director-investor relations.

Please join me in welcoming José in his new position.