Archive for July, 2012

Louisiana’s SunShine Pages Relaunches as Sunshine Media

Monday, July 30, 2012

To better showcase its wide array of local search offerings, Louisiana firm, SunShine Pages, this week relaunched as Sunshine Media.

“The new name is more reflective of our expanded online offerings, coupled with our highly successful print directories, providing our clients a diverse directional marketing tactical lineup,” said Joshua Descant, General Manager.

Sunshine serves more than 300 local communities throughout South Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf region with its 1.7 million print directories and online and mobile offerings.

In the same vein as our national campaign, Local Pays Off, Sunshine Media has rolled out a community campaign – “We Are Local” – in conjunction with the rebrand announcement. The campaign aims to build a stronger local business community in the Gulf region through education and awareness. Check out the campaign’s new microsite at www.WeAreLocal.com and see the brand new ad below.

Go to www.mysunshinemedia.com for more.

 

Study: U.C. Berkeley Finds Mobile Users Leary of Sharing Information

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 

A new study from U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Law and Technology found that U.S. mobile subscribers consider information stored on their mobile phones to be private.

According to the report, U.S. mobile users “overwhelmingly reject several types of data collection and use drawn from current business practices.” Specifically, many consumers reject the collection of contact lists stored on the phone for the purposes of tailoring social network “friend” suggestions and providing coupons, the collection of location data for tailoring ads, and the use of wireless contact information for telemarketing, even where there is a business relationship between the consumer and merchant.

With geo-location apps and targeted ads becoming more popular in local search, this study provides some important insight for all of us. While we continue to innovate the mobile space and create exciting new offerings for advertisers and consumers, we also need to be conscious of privacy standards and keep consumers informed on how we’re using their information.

Do you agree with the study’s findings?

You can find the full study from U.C. Berkeley here.

New Advertising Campaign Highlights Superpages Mobile App

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SuperMedia just rolled out a great new campaign for its award-winning Superpages Mobile App. The multichannel campaign, dubbed “The Wheel,” focuses on the app’s animated wheel feature, which allows users to spin to find the most up-to-date information on local businesses including restaurants, retailers and services.

As you may remember, the Superpages Mobile App won the Appy Award for the Best Marketing and Advertising App in 2012. In addition to the wheel tool, other innovations for the free app include voice-activated search, intelligent auto-fill and a 3-D augmented reality viewer.

Check out the campaign’s TV spot below and visit www.superpages.com/mobile for more on the app.

 

Local Search Association Releases New Podcast Series

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Local Search Association provides a number of products, services and informational updates to keep our members up-to-speed on activities in our industry. We invite you to listen to our ongoing Podcasts series featuring the following new additions:

  • A View from the President’s Office – a two-part interview with Neg Norton, president, Local Search Association
  • Research Trends – presented by Natalie Wuchenich, director of research, Local Search Association
  • Local Search Association Communications Update – presented by Stephanie Hobbs, vice president, communications, Local Search Association
The podcast library can be accessed by clicking here using your member password (If you need to obtain a password, please contact Barb Parrott at barb.parrott@localsearchassociation.org). Download the selected podcast to your iPod or listen right from your computer or mobile device! And as always, let us know if there are other subjects you’d like to hear about.

NOT a Local Search Association member? Get in touch with Terri Stabnick at 248-244-0743 or terri.stabnick@localsearchassociation.org to learn about the value of joining us.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and right here on our Local Search Insider blog.

YP: New Geo-Fenced Ads Allow Local Businesses to Target Customers at Neighborhood Level

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Earlier this week, YP announced a new offering called Dynamic Store Locator. The new feature, a part of its Local Mobile Display Network, allows local businesses to advertise to consumers within a specific radius of storefronts or given geo-fence. The program can potentially reach more than 100 million location-enabled smartphones in the U.S.

Consumers who click through Dynamic Store Locator ads are taken to a mobile optimized landing page that automatically adapts to an advertiser’s brand requirements (including logos and colors) and encourages users to take action – including making a call, getting directions, taking advantage of promotions, visiting a website, or engaging with a business through social media.

Through the Booyah Advertising agency, YP helped Blockbuster launch a mobile store locator last month that is currently delivering banner click-through rates that are 25% higher than the industry average. YP’s location targeting platform enabled the agency to create customer geo-fences around Blockbuster stores and target nearby consumers. More than 20,000 customers accessed the store locator via the banner ad campaign to find a Blockbuster store in just a one-month period.

National and local businesses alike will find increasing value in mobile advertising because of programs like this, allowing advertisers to better target niche customers while they’re on-the-go. Click here to read YP’s news release.

 

Join Us for Geo-Centric Mobile Advertising Webinar on July 19

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Please join the Local Search Association and MOASIS for a special webinar, “Geo-Centric Mobile Advertising,” taking place Thursday, July 19 from 2:00-3:00pm ET.

Learn why mobile will dominate the future of media and advertising and how mobile will save retail. MOASIS will provide a comprehensive overview of their geo-centric approach to mobile display advertising.

Space is limited so sign up today!

Sign up for the “Geo-Centric Mobile Advertising” webinar here.

YP.com Launches Refreshed Homepage

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Earlier this week, YP introduced a new face to its flagship website YP.com, which continues to rank as a top 40 web domain, according to comScore. Since spinning off from AT&T two months ago, YP has introduced several product updates including a new YP.com homepage, as well as a new mobile app called Gas Guru.

As the video tour above shows, the YP.com updates give businesses more visibility among potential customers within their local YP community, right on the homepage, enabling users to discover more local businesses. The new homepage aligns with YPs focus on building products and features that shift search to be more about decision-making to help users get things done.

Yesterday, we blogged about the recently released YP Local Insights Digital Report, which noted that YP’s mobile apps drove two calls to a business every second in Q2 2012. While mobile apps present a different on-the-go opportunity, YP believes this same approach can be allied to online search.

Take a look at the YP.com and let us know what you think!

vSplash’s BuzzBoard Transforms Sales Experience for Reps & Merchants

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last week, former BIA/Kelsey CEO and President Neal Polachek presented a very impressive sales tool developed by the vSplash team. The tablet tool (currently for iPad and web-version) named “BuzzBoard” is designed to drive to efficiency and effectiveness for local media sales representatives.

First a bit of background on vSplash. Via its managed services business, vSplash currently delivers thousands of high quality digital media executions to its array of local media partners around the world. This includes producing traditional and mobile websites, display ads and mobile apps in multiple languages across multiple time zones. vSplash operates out of its New Jersey and Hyderabad, India offices.

As Neal tells the story, the launch of the BuzzBoard tool is a natural outgrowth of vSplash’s value-added services to large local media companies. The idea for BuzzBoard was germinated by vSplash CEO and founder Umesh Tibrewal as he witnessed first hand the sales challenges his clients were facing in the marketplace as it related to digital media products. One of vSplash’s clients began sending the vSplash analytical team merchant websites for evaluation. These websites were be analyzed by the team and a report was sent back to the sales representative. The sales representative was then able to meet with the merchant and offer a more precise and empirical assessment of the merchant’s digital presence. The empirical assessment enabled the sales representative to feel more confident during the sales call and often led to better conversion and higher revenue generation. As Umesh and team witnessed this, vSplash began building a platform to automate the website assessment process.

BuzzBoard is the manifestation of this learning process. There are some key elements of the BuzzBoard tool that Neal took our team through during the call last week. First, at the core of BuzzBoard is the audit of the merchant’s website. This audit focuses on the presence and performance of the website. Presence is defined as where and how consumers can find a merchant’s website. The audit therefore determines if the website is being properly indexed in the search engines, on the key directory sites and whether or not the site can be access and viewed via a mobile device. In terms of performance, BuzzBoard analyzes the functional aspects of the merchants’ website. This includes key technical aspects and assesses the site in terms of search engine optimization.

The second key aspect of the BuzzBoard tool is the automated proposal generator. The tool takes the website assessment and automatically creates a proposal for fixing and improving the presence and performance of merchant’s website. The tool offers the sales representative three options for generating a proposal – an automated proposal, a proposal based on one-time and ongoing investment and a menu based option. Neal showed us some other important features of the tool that we’ll describe in forthcoming post.

It seems clear that BuzzBoard has some great potential to transform the sales experience for the sales representative and the merchant. Early evidence suggests the tool can greatly reduce the time spent by sales representatives preparing for a sales call while enabling the sales representative to have a more effective presentation and merchant interaction and engagement. Just imagine if BuzzBoard could enable outside sales representatives to see one more merchant a day and improve overall revenue conversion by say 10-20% –  then BuzzBoard could be a real game changer.

YP: Restaurants Still the Most Searched Category Locally

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 Last week, YP released its quarterly Local Insights Report, which focuses on online and mobile data trends from its Local Ad Network. The report’s findings provided some interesting perspective on continued trends in local search and offered new data on which local businesses are advertising the most through its network.

In Q2 2012, Restaurants continued to be the most searched category for both mobile and online platforms. Financial Services, Auto Repair, Real Estate, and Beauty Services rounded out the top five.

The fastest growing search categories in Q2 were Family Services, Wedding Planning & Supplies, and Pharmacies.

YP also included its list of Top Local Advertiser Categories by ad spend based on its network of more than 500,000 advertisers. The top three categories were Medical, Contractors & Construction, and Legal Services.

YP recently did a study about the ready-to-buy consumer and the quality of leads from its search products, which found that 56% of visitors to its local ad network followed up their search with a purchase. Those consumers made an average of 2.7 transactions per month with the businesses they found on YP’s properties, at an average value of $159 per purchase. Those are some pretty impressive numbers!

YP’s Local Insights Report does a great job of illustrating the central role Yellow Pages products play in connecting local businesses and consumers in a variety of business categories. Click here to read the full report.

Yell Realigns Corporate Responsibility Efforts with New Digital Focus

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yell, the UK-based local search provider and parent company of Yellowbook here in the U.S., debuted a comprehensive corporate responsibility program to reflect the company’s new focus as a digital business. The new program, featured in Yell’s 2012 annual report, is built on the company’s commitment to becoming a trusted partner to its small- and medium-sized business customers and a reliable resource for consumers.

Yell’s corporate responsibility strategy concentrates on three main areas:

  • Being a responsible, sustainable business: Yell is committed to being environmentally conscious. The company sources directory paper from sustainable forests and has made efforts to introduce smaller directories. Yell also encourages consumers to recycle old directories alongside other household waste by sharing information in its directories and on its website www.recycleyellowbook.com. Since 2009, Yell has reduced its collective CO2e emissions by 29% and plans to reduce them by a further 15% by 2015.
  • Championing local business: Yell continues to develop effective advertising solutions and counsel local businesses on strategies that help them grow. The company’s 5,800 sales consultants – who participated in 180,000 hours of training last year – play a vital role in devising the best possible advertising options for quality leads to more than 1.2 million customers worldwide. Yell also offers programs that enable local businesses to get the most from their advertising program. For example, Yell worked with partner Race Online 2012 to spread the word to UK small businesses about the importance of having an online presence and providing easy, cost effective ways for them to do so. In the U.S., the Yellowbook 360 Business Center is an online resource that offers a variety of tools and services to help small businesses succeed.
  • Helping local communities: As an industry, we recognize that the role we play as providers of local search services is to encourage consumers to think about how buying locally pays off for the entire community. Yell is committed to supporting and encouraging people to get involved in local charities and causes. For example, In 2011, Yell’s Yellowbook subsidiary contributed more than $250,000 to United Way of America, while its operations in in the UK, Spain, Peru and other countries also provided for local community and giving efforts.

I’m impressed by Yell’s corporate responsibility initiative to date and think it serves as a great example for our entire industry. Click here to read Yell’s full corporate responsibility program.