Archive for February, 2012

Study: Nearly Three in Four U.S. Mobile Users Under 55 Use Smartphones

Monday, February 27, 2012

Smartphone use in the U.S. continues to rise across age groups, especially those under 55, according to a new survey conducted by Nielsen. The survey found that the number of smartphone users under 55 has reached nearly three in four U.S. mobile users (75%). Even usage for those over 55 is high – 33% of subscribers 55-64 and 22% of those 65 and over use smartphones .While smartphone usage did increase with income, the survey indicated that more than half of U.S. mobile users (over 50%) used smartphones across all age and income groups.

What’s especially exciting about these numbers is what we already know about the high affinity of smartphone users to use their devices to preview and shop for products and services. A survey released by Pew Internet and American Life Project last month found that more than half of U.S. adult mobile users (52%) used their devices while shopping in a store over this past holiday season. Among those users, 24% used their devices to research online reviews and compare products and services. Of those, 41% were ages 18-29, 34% were 30-49, and 13% were 50-64.

The results of these reports shine light on the growing importance of local businesses creating mobile-friendly websites and ensuring the most up-to-date information on local search sites ranging from Yelp to YP.com or SuperPages. Since most mobile websites and apps rely on GPS technology, local businesses have a new opportunity to reach customers as people increasing turn to these sites for shopping information on the go. As smartphones continues to become more afforable and accesible, mobile search and commerce will continue to grow and play a greater role in how local businesses get found.

Washington State Lawmakers Support Industry’s Consumer Choice Website

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I’m happy to share that a group of Washington State lawmakers announced yesterday that they support the industry’s national consumer choice website, www.YellowPagesOptOut.com, as a straightforward and easy-to-use tool for residents to choose which phone directories they want to receive or stop delivery altogether. As part of the announcement, local Yellow Pages publishers including Berry, Dex One, SuperMedia and Yellowbook have agreed to feature the consumer choice website address on the top right corner of their directories to drive further public awareness of the site.

Reps. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), Marko Liias (D-Edmonds), and Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), who met with industry representatives prior to the announcement, emphasized that the website “benefits publishers, consumers, and the environment.”

Rep. Caryle said, “This effort is a great example of how the government can work with the private sector to achieve results. Through some common-sense self-regulation, we avoid solving the problem by enacting more laws or government regulations.”

We look forward to an ongoing and productive relationship with Washington State. We hope our partnership here can serve as a model for other states and local municipalities across the country.

Search Starts Here: Webinar Preview with AXIOM CEO and Founder Bob Nicols on February 23

Monday, February 20, 2012

In advance of our 2012 annual conference Search Starts Here in April, I’m pleased to announce a Local Search Association free webinar preview this Thursday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m. EST featuring Bob Nicols, CEO and founder of AXIOM Sales Force Development. Bob’s topic: Sales Transformation: Improving Business Results by Changing Your Sales DNA.

Today’s economic uncertainty, the proliferation of technology, increased competition, lower margins, more informed buyers and increased market pressure for sales growth have forced business management to rethink the way they sell their products and services. “Sales transformation” has become the catch phrase for many C-level executives in the race to find solutions to questions about sales and earnings growth, positioning and differentiation; even survival.

In order to gain market share and protect and grow existing customer relationships, organizations must shift perceptions among their prospects and customers. They must move from being perceived as a “qualified vendor” or “sales rep” to being viewed as a “trusted advisor” and “partner.”

While there is plenty of evidence indicating that sales transformation is a necessity, the leap from sales rep to partner can feel daunting. Where do you begin?  If you are among the majority of organizations searching for ways to reach the highest levels of performance by transforming your relationships with your customers, what elements of your sales efforts do you focus on first?

Bob will share some of AXIOM’s best practices and insights developed from more than 20 years of dedication to sales force development and to improving the sales experience for the buyer no matter the size of the sale.

Join us February 23rd at 2:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register now!

Search Starts Here: SEO and Online Marketing Expert Chris Silver Smith to Participate in Executive Interview

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chris Silver Smith, the well-known SEO and online marketing expert and president of Argent Media, has agreed to participate in an Executive Interview session at our 2012 annual conference, Search Starts Here, scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida.

The session, which will take place Monday, April 23 from 12:00-12:15 p.m., will include a frank discussion on the future for Yellow Pages companies, how they will fit within the local online ecosystem, and what they need to do to continue to be relevant.

This will definitely be an interview you won’t want to miss!

Study: Nearly 7 in 10 San Francisco Bay Area Residents Use Print Yellow Pages

Monday, February 20, 2012

An interesting new study on print directory usage in San Francisco made the rounds within industry circles last week. Conducted last month by Market Authority Inc., the study found that nearly 7 in 10 (69%) of San Francisco Bay Area residents use the print Yellow Pages. This figure echoes the results of a study conducted last year by Burke, a premier independed research and consulting firm, which found that 71% of San Francisco residents used print directories in the past year.

Additional highlights from the Market Authority study include:

  • Younger consumers (in their 20s and 30s) turned to the Internet far more than older consumers (Those in their 50s, 60s and 70s)
  • That said, Baby Boomers and Matures, who control the majority of spending in the local market, turned to print directories first 64% of the time
  • 18% of consumers in the San Francisco Bay Area do not have Internet access
  • Print Yellow Pages account for nearly 50% of money spent as a result of a direct local search for a local business
  • Nearly 50% of those who reported using print Yellow Pages to find a local business said that if required to opt-in for directory deliveries (as the city’s recently passed ordinance prescribes), they would not do so

The results of this study further highlight the real, negative impact of San Francisco’s Yellow Pages ordianance, which would make it against the law to deliver Yellow Pages to home or businesses without advance permission. If this law is allowed to take effect, not only would it deprive thousands of San Francisco residents of a valuable resource that links them to vital community resources, but it would hurt manylocal businesses by virtually eliminating one of their most effective means of advertising.

We will continue our legal efforts to stop this destructive ordinance from taking effect. We look forward to what we hope will be a speedy and favorable decision in favor of helping San Francisco consumers and local businesses find one another, especially in today’s difficult economic environment.

Search Starts Here: Dex One CEO Alfred Mockett to Participate in Fireside Chat

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am excited to announce that Alfred Mockett, chief executive officer, Dex One has agreed to participate in a fireside chat with me at our 2012 annual conference, Search Starts Here, scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Our conversation will take place Monday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. The focus of our discussion will be on Dex’s digital strategy with a focus on execution. As you may be aware, Dex has demonstrated impressive digital growth of late and our discussion will delve into the drivers of that success.  We’ll also touch on Dex’s mobile plans. Given that backdrop, I’d welcome your thoughts on questions to ask Alfred.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Search Starts Here: Mary Boysman of Aspen Dental Announced as Keynote Speaker

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I’m excited to announce that Mary Boysman, vice president of Brand Marketing and Advertising at Aspen Dental, will be a keynote speaker at our 2012 annual conference, Search Starts Here, scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Ms. Boysman will provide a national advertiser’s perspective on digital media planning: how choices are made, how media performance is evaluated and how the media mix works together. She will also address the role of the print Yellow Pages in this media mix

I’m excited to hear Ms. Boysman’s remarks for two reasons. First, I’m interested in the process used by a sophisticated national advertiser and their agency in determining which media is most effective in communicating their messages to their key audiences, as well as their formula for allocating budget across that media mix. For the publishers in the audience, this will provide some terrific insight into what is necessary to increase and/or maintain their share of wallet. Second, this presentation gets to the essence of why we rebranded as the Local Search Association almost a year ago.  That is, how local media can work together synergistically to help marketers succeed and how that success is measured.

I’m really looking forward to Ms. Boysman’s presentation. I think it’s going to provide some great insights we can all learn from. I hope to see you there.

Search Starts Here: BIA/Kelsey and Local Search Association to Debut Latest Research

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We’re just over two months away from our 2012 annual conference, Search Starts Here, scheduled for April 21-24 in Boca Raton, Florida. Over the coming weeks, we’ll highlight the exciting sessions on our agenda so you’re fully aware of what’s in store!

An important aspect of our conference each year is our Industry Research Update session (April 19, 9:15 a.m.), during which we unveil preliminary results from our annual Local Media Tracking Study.

The study, which is conducted by Burke Research and analyzed by our research team led by Natalie Wuchenich, provides a comprehensive look at the habits of consumers searching for local business information across various local media. The results prove instrumental in helping our industry better understand and adapt to consumer behaviors. At the session, Natalie will be joined by Burke’s Stacy McWhorter to give attendees a first-hand look at the data and answer questions.

Additionally, by bringing on BIA/Kelsey as producers of this year’s conference, we’ll also benefit from a new research session: BIA/Kelsey’s Global Yellow Pages Outlook and Forecast (April 19, 8:30 a.m.). The outlook and forecast, which are regularly updated (most recently this past December), provide valuable insight on the projected path for revenues and margin in the global directories and local search industry. BIA/Kelsey’s Charles Laughlin and Matt Booth will lead this session. For more information, see BIA/Kelsey’s press release here.

Don’t miss out on these important research sessions! Register today for the conference so that you can have an inside look at where our industry is heading.

Latest Google Search Revamp Brings Opportunities for Local Businesses

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In our monthly Local Search column on Search Engine Land, I discussed Google’s recent revamp of its basic search tool and the resulting opportunities created for local businesses to boost their online visibility.

This update to Google’s search tool, which is considered the company’s most significant to date, will likely provide local businesses with the ability to merge aspects of their search optimization and social media strategies into a unified approach via Google+, the company’s new social network.

In my post, I outline the new lay of the land, the relevancy of more personalized search tools to local businesses, as well as various steps local businesses can take to leverage these changes to improve their search optimization now and down the road.

Click here to reach my full column.

Yellow Search TODAY! To Host ‘Social Media Marketing for the SME Market’ Workshop

Friday, February 3, 2012

European readers: be sure to check out Yellow Search TODAY’s upcoming workshop, “Social Media Marketin for the SME Market,” scheduled for April 18, 2012 in Hanover, Germany.

Arranged by Peter Buxton and Jesper Simonsen – who share more than 30 years of operational and practical experience in European directory markets – the hands-on event will explore a variety of questions, including:

  • What is the latest consumer buying behavior? What role does social media play?
  • How is social media marketing being offered today to SMEs, and how is it being packaged and priced?
  • What follow-up services are being offered to SMEs?
  • What are the revenue opportunities in social media marketing for the provider?
  • How do we deliver social media marketing to SMEs? Which tools are available?
  • How easily is social media marketing measurable?

For more information, visit the workshop website, or register directly here, and take advantage of this great opportunity.