Archive for May, 2012

Yell Group To Rebrand as ‘hibu’

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yell Group, which operates Yellow Pages and Yell online in the UK, Yellowbook in the U.S. and Paginas Amarillas in Spain and some countries in Latin America, announced last week that the company will soon rebrand its corporate identity as hibu.

Coming at a time when Yell is transforming its business to increasingly focus on the digital consumer, the new brand and logo are meant to better convey the company’s mission of connecting communities and helping them thrive.

From the company:

“In addition to being consumer oriented and a symbol in its own right, we wanted our identity to tell a story. We have developed a new positioning for the organization – ‘connecting communities’. Communities are built on the connections people make and people are connected at the heart of the hibu logo. The identity utilizes typography with soft shouldered edges like the human body and colored dots represent the people behind the identity, diversity, connections and conversation. By using bold lower case typography with soft edges we project a human and approachable company.”

Yell’s rebranding to hibu is the latest in a round of corporate rebrandings by traditional Yellow Pages companies, including Idearc’s transition to SuperMedia, R.R. Donnelley’s switch to Dex One Corp., and Yellow Pages Group’s introduction of a new logo, among others.

Mayor Wellington E. Webb: Yellow Pages Publishers Build Partnerships to Promote Consumer Choice

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wellington E. Webb, who served as Mayor of Denver from 1991-2003, continues his series on the importance of raising visibility for our industry’s national consumer choice website, www.YellowPagesOptOut.com, which enables local residents and businesses to easily determine whether or not they want to receive directories. Here is the second post in Mayor Webb’s series.

In recent years, several cities and towns across the country have introduced legislation regulating the delivery of print Yellow Pages to homes and businesses.

As a former city leader, I understand and respect community efforts to cut back on the number of unused directories. However, in this instance, I disagree that regulation is the right approach.

Regulating the industry threatens the future prosperity of many local businesses that drive the local economy, and could forcibly take an important resource away from local consumers.  It also disregards the industry’s impressive efforts to go green while remaining an effective tool for local businesses and consumers.

Yellow Pages publishers have had some recent successes working with organizations and local elected officials to get the word out to residents about the industry’s opt-out program. For example, after the industry met with Alameda County’s Stop Waste organization, the group agreed to help educate residents about the industry’s opt-out program by including a link to www.YellowPagesOptOut.com on their website.  Additionally, California councilmembers Lena Tam of Alameda, Jim Prola of San Leandro, Mark Salina of Hayward, and Bill Harrison of Fremont have distributed press releases in their communities to help spread the word about the program.

Yellow Pages publishers recognize the need to cut back on unused books.  The opt-out site at www.YellowPagesOptOut.com is a common-sense approach that doesn’t cost taxpayers any money, but gets the desired result of cutting back on the delivery of phone books to those who don’t want them.

Partnerships like those described above help ensure that the industry’s opt-out program is as effective as possible, so we’re off to a great start!  I hope the industry achieves more successes like these as we continue our work to promote this great program.

American Idol Finale Showcases Yellow Pages in Tribute to Randy Jackson

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last night’s American Idol finale gave some unexpected airtime to the Yellow Pages in a satirical tribute to judge Randy Jackson.

In a skit watched by more than 20 million viewers across the country, the finalists played on Jackson’s frequent comment that contestants sing so well they “can sing the phone book” by doing just that! Check out the clip below to see American Idol finalists take out their phone books and put the Yellow Pages to song.

Yell Strengthens Digital Offerings with Acquisition of Moonfruit

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last week, UK-based Yell Group announced its acquisition of Moonfruit, a free website and online shop builder for local businesses.

Moonfruit’s intuitive, do-it-yourself platform has helped build nearly five million websites and more than 230,000 online shops for local businesses in 160 countries. Mootfruit allows users to choose from among a number of blogger-style templates to build websites that fit their brand’s style and target customer. The platform also offers business owners a holistic approach by providing mobile and social capabilities all in one place. Each website created via Moonfruit can be mobile-friendly enabled, and website owners can update Facebook content directly through the Moonfruit platform.

Yell’s acquisition of Moonfruit puts the company in a stronger position in the local business community by increasing its already powerful array of digital services. Yell CEO Mike Pocock said, “We believe there are significant strategic, cultural and operating synergies between Yell and Moonfruit. The addition of Moonfruit’s services and team helps us provide competitive advantage to our global SME customers in connecting with consumers through digital, mobile and social.”

Check out Moonfruit’s offerings at www.moonfruit.com and find the products and services you’re looking for on one of the nearly five million websites hosted on the platform.

Trevor Nadeau: ‘Build It and They Will Come.’ Yellow Medya – Turkey’s POI Powerhouse

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We’re pleased to invite Trevor Nadeau, managing director of Turkey-based Yellow Medya (formerly Turkey Yellow Pages), to guest blog on Local Search Insider. Since joining Yellow Medya in 2008, Trevor and his team have transformed the company from a traditional Yellow Pages publisher into one of Turkey’s most dynamic local search media agencies. Read Trevor’s post below to learn more about the leading role Yellow Medya in playing in Turkey’s local search space.

I am very excited about the future of our Yellow Medya business here in Turkey. Let me tell you why….

A couple of years ago at the board of directors meeting of Turkey Yellow Pages, I told the board members that there was no longer an appetite for our Yellow Pages offerings in Turkey and we needed to re-invent and re-engineer our business offering for the fast paced digital economy in Turkey. As a relatively young Yellow Pages publisher in a very unique market – a market that has already seen a number of Yellow Pages and directory publishers come and go in the past 20 years – we knew that the momentum was already in Google’s favor for online search and it made no sense for us to compete with them, so we had to identify a “need” in the Turkish marketplace and leverage it to the max.

We have all heard the saying “Content Is King.” It was in this saying where we found our marketplace “need” in Turkey. With the board’s support we made the strategic decision that Turkey Yellow Pages would create, grow and maintain the most accurate, up-to-date categorized and geo-coded business listing database Turkey has ever seen. This business listing database asset has now formed the foundation for our success in establishing key strategic partnerships both locally and globally. It has also enabled us to introduce new products that have transcended traditional Yellow Pages offerings.  Today, we are the “one and only destination” for business owners to come to in order to have their businesses found on virtually every possible local search platform in Turkey and the world. Our business has changed so much that we even changed our name from Turkey Yellow Pages to Yellow Medya (“Medya” is the Turkish word for “media”). We have become a local search media agency in reality.

As Yellow Pages publishers, we all have a particular expertise in business listing compilation and cleansing. I might venture to say that in emerging markets and less mature markets, Yellow Pages publishers by necessity are forced to hone their business listing compilation skills even more so.  Often there is not a reliable “telecom” database to serve as the source for business listing data or if there is a telecom DB available it is usually in pretty bad shape. I talk from real experience.

And herein lies what I feel is one of our industry’s strongest yet maybe least leveraged assets: the high quality local business listing database. In Turkey’s for example, the market has never seen a quality local search business listing database. None of the previous Yellow Pages or directory publishers in Turkey had ever taken the time nor invested the money required to create a great business listing database for local search. We at Yellow Medya recognized that by leveraging our existing expertise in local search business listing compilation, our purpose built database applications, and our expanding data compilation team, we could quickly became the owner of the best business listing database Turkey had ever seen.

“Build it and they will come.” A good line from a great movie and so very true when it comes to a quality business listing database.

Even though our Yellow.com.tr website is one of the busiest local search websites in Turkey, it is still a Google world here. That is okay though, because Yellow Medya is in most cases the company that is giving those business listings to Google through our business listing partnership agreement. We also now provide our business listings to Yandex, Nokia Location & Commerce (formerly NAVTEQ), TomTom, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and countless other platforms through various APIs. All of these partnerships are a result of our focus on ensuring that Yellow Medya possesses the best business listing database available in Turkey today.

We have also found fantastic new ways to repurpose all the great rich business listing content we collect for our database into over 25 different local search advertising products. We have created phenomenal new opportunities for our business through these partnerships, not only with small businesses but now brand owners are knocking on our door in order to ensure Yellow Medya can make sure we get all their brand points of sale in the market discoverable on all the SoLoMo related local search platforms.

With SoLoMo marketing activities becoming so important for brands and small businesses alike, it is absolutely essential that a business listing be accurately named, addressed, geo-coded, categorized and brand associated.

Yellow Pages and directory publishers around the world should realize they are sitting on a priceless asset. Take a look at your database and enhance each and every business listing with an accurate geo-code, a full and complete address including suite and floor number as well as nearby landmarks. Get store operating hours and forms of payment accepted while you are at it. Get some or all of the brand names each business carries and you are on your way. You will have built something the SoLoMo platforms of the world desperately need – quality location based business listing content.

Now here is the kicker. Once your database is that good and your company becomes the data supplier to all the local search and map platforms in your market, major brand owners and SMBs will be paying you to add their points of sale to your database. This phenomenon now transforms your data compilation department from a cost center to a profit center. And to put icing on the cake, by growing and maintaining the database quality in your market, there is no chance your content licensing partners will ever leave you.

Build it and they will come. They are in Turkey. They will in your market.

Don’t Miss BIA/Kelsey’s MLM Conference, June 27 in San Francisco

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You may have heard, BIA/Kelsey is hosting a new one-day conference on June 27 in San Francisco – Mobile Local Media San Francisco (MLM San Francisco). This event will examine the convergence of mobile, local and social and the opportunities for local media players.

Speakers at MLM San Francisco represent some of the top companies in our business, including Google, Yelp, PayPal, and shopkick, to name a few.  Additionally, BIA/Kelsey just announced the addition of tech investor and Silicon Valley luminary Stewart Alsop to the speaker line-up. Looks like a jam-packed day focused on mobile local media! Check out the full agenda and list of speakers.

For a preview of the key topics to be discussed at MLM San Francisco, think about attending BIA/Kelsey’s upcoming webinar, “Mobile Local Media’s Top 10 Trends,” which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22 at 2 pm ET. Click to learn more about the webinar and to register online.

I hope to see you at MLM San Francisco. Here’s an additional incentive: Save $100 when registering by using sign up with promo code MLMLSA. We’ll share more details in the weeks ahead, right here on Local Search Insider. Stay tuned!

YP Announces First Mobile App to Offer Menu Item Search

Monday, May 14, 2012

YP is taking a deeper dive into the menu territory with a new feature for hungry local searchers. YP app users can now not only search for restaurants by location and type of cuisine, but also by specific menu items as well. Looking for lobster rolls? Schnitzel? ….YP’s new app features can help you find restaurants in your area with the exact menu items you want and user reviews to help guide you to the best choice.

Leveraging its database of more than 300,000 menus from restaurants across the country, the YP app offers more than 13,000,000 dishes for its users to choose from

David Williams, VP of Consumer Products said, “We believe local is evolving from ‘search’ to a deeper experience that’s helpful in actually making a decision. Adding menu item search is a simple, yet powerful new option for smartphone users. It empowers them to express what they’re looking for and leads them to restaurants offering what they crave.”

YP’s announcement marks the latest innovation in the continuing evolution of local search tools that enable more customizable and specific search capabilities. It comes on the heels of Yelp’s new “Yelpy Insights” feature that helps searchers customize local business results based on age group and affinity group – another way of leading customers to the exact products and services they’re looking for.

Download the YP app and find your favorite dish in the neighborhood!

AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive Officially Become YP Holdings

Thursday, May 10, 2012

YP Holdings LLC (YP), which combines the assets of AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive, officially launched following the acquisition of a controlling interest in YP by Cerberus Capital Management. The new company, which will be based in Tucker, Georgia, will publish the iconic Yellow Pages and operate YP.com, the top-rated YPmobile app, and the expansive YP Local Ad Network.

I’m glad to see that David Krantz, the former CEO and president of AT&T Interactive, has been named CEO of YP, leading YP’s overall strategy and operations. Joining Krantz is a new leadership team including executives from AT&T Advertising Solutions, AT&T Interactive, Cerberus Operations, as well as executives recruited from outside AT&T.

According to Krantz: “We have a great future in front us. We also have an extensive customer base, the largest local sales organization, an unmatched product portfolio, industry-leading platforms across the web, mobile and print ecosystems, and a great brand. We are ready to invest in this business, innovate and provide excellent service to our customers.”

Check out the YP launch press release, which includes some impressive stats on the size, scale and effectiveness of YP’s local advertising solutions.

Sensis Asks App Developers: How Will You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sensis, the Australian local search provider, is incentivizing app developers to create innovative apps to promote its business listings. The company, which launched an API service (or SAPI) for its Yellow Pages listings and advertising content, is encouraging developers, entrepreneurs and designers to create viable apps through a new SAPI Bounty Program. The program’s first content asks developers to create an app that helps consumers survive the “inevitable zombie apocalypse.”

Sensis asks:

  • How will you survive and thrive during the inevitable zombie apocalypse?
  • What should you have prepared?
  • What do you need to know when the walking dead come looking for brains?
  • How do you make your way in a post-apocalyptic world?

Sensis is awarding $2,500 to the developer with the best app based on originality, usability and design, effectiveness, back story, and SAPI integration and use.

Entrants are encouraged to submit their app idea by May 24 at developers.sensis.com.au. What great idea to tap into the current craze for the walking dead!