Archive for January, 2012

EPA Data Shows That Yellow Pages and Other Directories Have Minimal Environmental Impact

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yellow Pages companies take their responsibility to the environment very seriously, so I’m always interested in what the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) data shows about our industry’s environmental record. Even though the Internet is full of “facts” about the impact of directories, the EPA data over the past few years demonstrates that some of these aren’t quite so factual.

The EPA has recently released its 2010 Municipal Solid Waste report, and there are some changes to the way it measure directories. The data tells a good story about where we are as an industry.

  • Directories make up a tiny portion of the municipal solid waste stream: I was encouraged by last year’s EPA report, which found that directories were the smallest contributor of paper and paperboard products to the solid waste stream at 0.3%. This figure was significantly less than other paper categories like newspapers (3.2%). In this year’s report, the EPA has stopped measuring directories altogether and is instead including them with newsprint and other mechanical paper. This signals to me that directories continue to make up a tiny portion of paper in the waste stream.
  • Recycling rates are strong: With the proliferation of curbside recycling, more than 71% of the paper used in directories, newspapers and similar products is being recycled. That’s a strong participation rate and I’m pleased to see that so many people are recycling.

As I mentioned, these stats do not lessen our focus on sustainability. We are still working hard in this area.

  • Directories are being printed with less paper: Yellow Pages publishers have made substantial reductions in paper usage. In fact, paper suppliers project the industry will use 50% less paper by the end of 2012 than they did in 2007. This decrease has been driven by changes in the size of directories, more efficient manufacturing, an industry-sponsored effort to reduce printed residential white pages, a general decline in the number of directories distributed, and our national consumer choice website at www.YellowPagesOptOut.com.
  • Our national consumer choice program makes it easy to control directory delivery: Consumers nationwide can visit www.YellowPagesOptOut.com to easily manage directory delivery to their homes and businesses. We’re continuing to update our site to make it an even better user experience, and I can tell you that we’re economically motivated to get it right. Delivering a phone book to someone who doesn’t want one is an unnecessary expense to our publishers.

I’m proud of our progress to date and look forward to continuing to expand the reach and visibility of our sustainability and consumer choice programs in 2012. Please take a look at a column I wrote for Triple Pundit, a popular sustainable business website, about our industry’s ongoing efforts.

BIA/Kelsey’s ILM East Coming to Boston This March

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In advance of our highly-antipated 2012 annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” taking place this April in Boca Raton, Florida, BIA/Kelsey will be hosting its popular ILM East conference from March 26-28 in Boston.

This year, ILM East, which is the local favorite among digital advertising and marketing events, will focus on channels, commerce and engagement – the key elements to winning local.

The conference will feature a variety of interesting panels, including “Mobile Local Targeting: Reaching Smartphone Users,” which will explore growing opportunities in mobile. Recently, BIA/Kelsey forecasted that U.S. mobile advertising will grow to $3.4 billion in 2015 – so there will definitely be a lot of interest in this topic.

ILM East will kick off with “BIA/Kelsey by the Numbers: The Case for Local Online Advertising (and Commerce)”, and conclude with “Local Business Success: Picking Winners.” Be sure to check out the full agenda and list of speakers.

I hope to see you there as well as in Boca Raton, and look forward to attending the conference.  I’ll be sharing what I learn right here on Local Search Insider. Stay tuned!

 

Local Search Association Annual Conference, ‘Search Starts Here,’ to Feature BIA/Kelsey Experts

Monday, January 23, 2012

BIA/Kelsey’s team of local search experts are working with the Local Search Association to  pull together a jam-packed agenda for the 2012  annual conference, Search Starts Here, scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Our annual conference has been known as one of the most important industry gatherings of the year. We’re excited to be building on our expertise and partnering with BIA/Kelsey to produce this year’s event.

Sessions on our preliminary agenda include:

  • The Local Mobile Ecosystem — Where Are the Dollars?: Michael Boland, program director, mobile local media for BIA/Kelsey, will host a panel of mobile movers and shakers to explore the most compelling revenue opportunities.
  • In 2017: A Retrospective View on the Future of Local Search: Charles Laughlin, senior VP, BIA/Kelsey, will lead a panel of local search leaders in predicting how our industry will look five years into the future and the steps to get there.
  • Thought Leaders Roundtable: Matt Booth, senior VP, BIA/Kelsey, will join some of the brightest people in and around the directory and local search industry in discussing the deepest and most difficult questions raised by this year’s conference, including if directory organizations can change, who the power players will be in five years, and the path to a sustainable business strategy for directory organizations.

In addition to posting our preliminary agenda – which we’ll continue to update in the coming weeks – we’ve also listed the growing number of participants for our popular Strategic Exchange Sessions. Be sure to check them out!

Also, don’t forget to submit your entries for our Industry Excellence Awards, which are open to all Local Search Association members. Entries must be received by February 10, 2012.

Make sure to register as soon as possible to join your fellow local search industry colleagues at this year’s conference and book your hotel registration at our beautiful Boca Resort.

We look forward to seeing you in April!

Local Search Roundup: Telmetics Credits Mobile for Pay Per Call Boom, Valley Yellow Pages Launches Veterans Program, VoodooVox Inc. Lists on Toronto Stock Exchange

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Telmetrics: Pay Per Call Search to Go Mainstream with Mobile

Telmetrics, the call measurement provider, said that mobile is now playing a pivotal role in local search and advertising performance management, according to an article on Mobile Marketer. The company noted that the proliferation of smartphones is driving increased mobile searches for – and direct calls to – local businesses. Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics, said that he believes that the success of pay per call in mobile media is helping to revitalize pay per call in traditional media, as advertisers better understand the value of tracking calls. Telemetics is also increasing in-app call tracking, including social apps such as Facebook and Yelp.

Valley Yellow Pages Launches Program for Military Veterans

Valley Yellow Pages has launched a program aimed at helping American military veterans get ahead in business. The program, entitled “American Hometown Heroes,” provides veterans interested in starting a business with access to Valley account executives to help develop a marketing strategy. Interested veterans will get free marketing guidance, as well as advertising with Valley Yellow Pages’ print, online and mobile offerings, for a full year. The program was created in response to the national American Hometown Heroes initiative created by a coalition of independent Yellow Pages publishers nationwide.

VoodooVox Inc. Listed on Toronto Stock Exchange

VoodooVox Inc., which represents the combined assets of three companies including VoodooVox, Inc., Call Genie Inc. and UpSnap Services, LLC., was listed this week on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company will provide mobile advertising services to publishers, advertisers and operators. According to Michael Durance, CEO of VoodooVox Inc., “[The company has] assembled all the critical pieces to become the smarter mobile advertising company. Our ability to capture the mobile consumer with a specific need and marry them with advertisers/merchants is distinctive within the mobile advertising space. Our analytics capability allows us to improve targeting and optimize returns.”

AT&T Interactive Kicks Off YP Developer Challenge

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Earlier this week, AT&T Interactive launched a new YP Developer Challenge. The contest encourages app and web developers to exercise their creativity by using YP APIs to create innovative local apps. Contestants have the opportunity to win $5,000 and a sponsored trip to the SXSW trade show (March 12-15, 2012) in Austin.

The Developer Challenge kicks off ATTi’s YP Developer Program, which provides developers free access to local business data from more than 17 million local businesses across more than 4,600 categories nationwide. It provides developers free access to maps, ratings, reviews, deals, and coupons through the YP APIs as well. The program also helps to bring consumers even closer to small businesses with its solid set of APIs that extend the reach of advertisers beyond ATTi’s owned and operated YP branded properties.

To apply to the YP Developer Challenge, submit your local app between January 26-February 19. Find out whether your team will be demonstrating its app or website at SXSW on February 28. For more information on the YP Developer Challenge, visit the YP Developer Portal.

I’m looking forward to the exciting new apps that will result from the challenge!

Small Businesses Seek Customer Engagement on Social Media

Thursday, January 12, 2012

According to a new report by Borrell Associates, small businesses are quickly adjusting their online advertising spends to invest in social media.

The report found that local businesses expect to spend nearly 14% of their online advertising budgets on social media in the coming year. Borrell Associates anticipates that small businesses will spend $2 billion on social media in 2012, and double their investments to $3.9 billion in 2013.

Although approximately two-thirds of small businesses have already established a strong social media presence, the number of small businesses adopting social media will continue to climb in 2012. According to more than 4,000 small businesses surveyed, social media is the third-highest category in online spending in the coming year – ahead of banner ads, streaming video ads, and mobile advertising.

In 2012, numerous businesses will funnel cash into bolstering their social media engagement. When done right, these efforts can enable better customer service, build greater customer loyalty, and drive sales.

Integrity Marketing Solutions Acquires Simba Yellow Pages

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In a news release yesterday, Integrity Marketing Solutions announced its acquisition of Simba Yellow Pages, a leader for news and objective analysis on the Yellow Pages industry and directional media for more than 25 years.

As part of the move, Dave Goddard, who served as editor and senior analyst at Simba Yellow Pages, will join IMS as executive vice president. Goddard is a seasoned journalist, researcher and analyst with more than a decade of experience covering the Yellow Pages industry.

In the near future, IMSLocalSearchAuthority.com will transform to become a go-to resource for breaking news, insight and analyst on the evolving Yellow Pages and local search industries. Additionally, the Yellow Pages & Directory Report will continue to provide ongoing coverage of the industries, including metrics, analysis and short- and long-term perspective. The much-anticipated 2012 Market Forecast will be released in March, with pre-sales available soon.

I’m excited about the joining of IMS and Simba and the various new opportunities presented by their partnership.