Archive for December, 2011

Yellow Magic Capitalizes on the Growth of Kindle, Nook

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Outstanding products always shine during the holiday season. This year, Amazon’s Kindle is standing out from the crowd.

Amazon is selling Kindles at an unbelievable rate of more than 1 million per week – and demand is only increasing. At its current rate, the Kindle family is outpacing the iPad’s post-launch sales.

The newest addition to the Kindle clan is the Kindle Fire, which remains the No. 1 bestselling and most gifted product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com.

Yellow Magic presaged the growth of digital platforms early on. Recently, the company launched a version of its YelloReader application that transforms white and Yellow Pages directories into eBooks for Kindle. Additionally, Yellow Magic also recently launched a version for Barnes & Noble’s e-book reader.

Millions of Kindle and Nook users now have access to Yellow Pages in the print-like format they’ve known for years. To find out more about how to navigate Yellow Pages from your eReader, check out these Kindle YelloReader and Nook YelloReader demonstrations on YouTube.

5 Minutes for Mom: ‘Using the Yellow Pages for More than Just Local Business Info’

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We’re partnering with a great blog for mothers, 5 Minutes for Mom, to spread the word about different uses for print directories.

In a post on the site this week, blogger Jennifer Sikora shared some interesting information on practical uses for Yellow Pages beyond finding local business information.

For example, did you know that your Yellow Pages includes important emergency contacts, background on local parks and recreation activities, and maps of nearby arenas and stadiums?

Take a look at Jennifer’s blog for details!

BIA/Kelsey ILM West ’11: Facebook’s Matt Idema on Opportunities for Local Businesses

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In his keynote yesterday afternoon, Matt Idema, director of monetization product marketing at Facebook, talked about the No. 1 social network’s success and promise as a platform connecting local businesses with consumers.

Facebook, which now has more than 800 million users worldwide, is one of the most visited sites around – with users averaging more than 7 hours on the site monthly. And local businesses are doing a nice job taking advantage of consumers’ interest in Facebook. In California alone, more than 40 million people are connected to local businesses on the site.

Idema focused on two key components to helping local businesses succeed on Facebook: first, instilling the importance of creating a presence that is authentic and second, stressing the need to engage users on a regular basis.

Idema noted that local businesses should first focus on building quality connections on Facebook before worrying about impressions. He explained how each local business connection multiplies out to a user’s average of 130 friends – and can continue to multiply out if content is shared by those friends with their connections, and so on.

As Facebook continues to play a central role in the online experience, Idema’s perspective is an important one for us to share with our clients.

BIA/Kelsey ILM West ’11: ‘Converting Calls to Local Sales (and Competitive Intel)’

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the session “Converting Calls to Local Sales (and Competitive Intel), Matthew Berk, executive VP at Marchex, stressed the ongoing value that local businesses place on calls as a key driver of new business. Berk said that the promise of mobile as a local marketing tool becomes reality when it results in a phone call to a local business.

Berk stressed the importance of the quality of calls delivered to local businesses through advertising – in short, the ability of a call to turn into a sale. He discussed Marchex’s tool that enables audio analysis that classifies the nature of call conversations. But he also said that local businesses need to do their part by being call-ready at all times and adapting their marketing strategies to take advantage of robust growth in mobile search.

BIA/Kelsey ILM West ’11: Dex One Chief Strategy Officer on ‘The New Marketing Services Company’

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the session “Digital First Directories: The New Marketing Services Companies,” Dex One’s Chief Strategy Officer David Sharman discussed his company’s strategy as it adapts its business to service today’s digital world.

Sharman said that today, Dex is faced with the reality of engaging local businesses that are overwhelmed with marketing options and need help.

He talked about some core challenges facing Dex, including:

  • The likely turnover of about two-thirds of Dex’s employees to achieve alignment as a digital company and to move from being “order takers” to “service partners”
  • Managing the decline of print while not allowing it to affect current growth in digital

Sharman also discussed Dex’s evolving product set, which included several significant additions in 2011 with more coming in 2012, including SEO, display, social and mobile offerings. He said the company is beginning to see healthy margins from digital offerings and hopes more is to come.

BIA/Kelsey ILM West ’11: ‘The Data on Local Usage’

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In a research presentation yesterday entitled “The Data on Local Usage,” Gillian Heltai, senior director at comScore, provided a great overview of current consumer trends in mobile.

As Heltai noted, small businesses today are overwhelmed by local advertising opportunities, so our industry has a major opportunity to provide guidance on their marketing strategies – especially in hot growth areas like mobile.

Some of the most striking mobile statistics Heltai shared include:

  • One-third of consumers own a smartphone
  • 77% have GPS on their mobile device
  • 25% of mobile users conduct searches on their phone, making search is the top activity on mobile browsers
  • 40% of all mobile users access local content, while 75% of smartphone users access local content
  • Smartphone users are scanning QR codes primarily from print media – a trend that is getting retailers attention

Heltai’s data echoed the points made by my colleague Stephanie Hobbs in her Search Engine Land column this month, in which she described the growing role that mobile is playing in the average shopping experience.

ILM West: ‘Facebook Next: Leveraging the Platform for Local’

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Neg Norton and I are in San Francisco this week for BIA/Kelsey’s ILM West 2011 conference,Closing the Local Loop.” The three-day event features an impressive agenda of speakers and panels focused on exploring the new wave of commerce-centric local solutions – everything from location-based services and geotargeting to deals, online coupons and customer engagement and retention solutions.

One of my favorite sessions from Monday’s jam-packed agenda was “Facebook Next: Leveraging the Platform for Local,” which explored Facebook’s emergence as a leader in social local media as well as targeted advertising and marketplaces. The 45-minute panel discussed the strategies that local businesses, agencies and publishers should pursue to succeed in driving customers in the world’s largest social network.

Facebook experts Craig Donato, CEO, Oodle; Sivan Metzger, GM, Kenshoo Local and Social, Kenshoo; and Niel Robertson, CEO, Trada led a spirited conversation. My key takeaways came from Craig, who argued that:

1) Facebook is more like TV than search.  The focus is on social discovery with the browse model.

2) Local businesses must have a footprint on Facebook to be successful. Businesses should keep existing and potential customers on Facebook – not send them to other sites.

3) Friends are necessary but not good enough for commerce. We need to attract neighbors and coworkers, too.

The group also talked about the importance of using Facebook as the top of the funnel to push through higher customer conversion rates.

Neg and I will be sharing some of our other takeaways as the conference moves on. Be sure to check back here on Local Search Insider, or visit BIA/Kelsey’s Local Media Watch blog for real-time updates.

Local Search Association Announces 2012 Annual Conference, ‘Search Starts Here,’ April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our president, Neg Norton, announced plans for the Local Search Association’s 2012 annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida, at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM West today.

For years, our annual conference has been known as one of the most important industry gatherings of the year. So we’re excited that in 2012, we will build on expertise with the help of BIA/Kelsey, which will help produce this year’s conference. By combining our experience in creating memorable industry meetings with BIA/Kelsey’s well-known reputation for developing dynamic, content-rich agendas, attendees will benefit by getting the best of both worlds.

Speakers from around the world will be on hand to discuss industry trends, lessons learned, success stories, new technology applications, and useful innovations in the local search industry.  We will be leveraging the knowledge and experience of our talented teams to ensure that the program exceeds your expectations and that networking opportunities – both formal and informal, yield positive results for your business.

The successful Strategic Exchange Sessions will be available again in 2012 and sponsorships are still open for the event.  In addition, you can book your hotel registration at the beautiful Boca Resort here.

So plan to join members of the local search industry, including international CEOs and other influencers, for an unforgettable meeting.  Schedule an SES, consider a sponsorship and bring your team for three days of information, discussion and networking.  This is a meeting you won’t want to miss.

Five Steps to Capturing Mobile Customers in 2012

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In my Locals Only column on Search Engine Land this month, I talk about the growing role that mobile is playing in the average shopping experience.

With a fast-growing and appealing consumer base now utilizing mobile devices throughout the purchasing process from pre- to post-sale, local businesses are taking note and investing in mobile marketing at an unprecedented rate.

In the column, I map out a five-step process to better understand the mobile shopping phenomenon to enable local businesses to better influence customer decisions in 2012. The process includes:

  • Recognizing that mobile is a big deal – and that it’s only better bigger
  • Understanding that young and wealthy customers are the most common mobile shoppers
  • Paying attention to the geographies where mobile is hot
  • Influencing mobile shoppers’ pre-purchase decisions
  • Ensuring in-store visits result in sales

Click here to read my full column on Search Engine Land.

AT&T Interactive Launches Reseller Program; SuperMedia Joins as First Partner

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In a joint press release this morning, AT&T Interactive and SuperMedia announced an agreement for SuperMedia media consultants to offer YP.com subscription-based advertising products nationwide to small businesses beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

SuperMedia will serve as the first premier channel partner to join AT&T Interactive’s new YP Authorized Reseller Program. According to AT&T, the reseller program will also be available to other resellers in the near future, helping to supplement the company’s existing local advertising sales force – which it says is the largest in the country.

Click here to read the full release. We’ll be watching these developments with interest over the coming year.