Archive for March, 2013

Apple Boosts Mapping Credentials with New Acquisition

Friday, March 29, 2013

Earlier this week, Apple acquired a two-year-old GPS start-up called WifiSLAM. The geo-location space is rapidly growing with GPS technology being used widely from smartphone apps to in-car dashboard technology. What sets WifiSLAM apart is its focus on indoor-GPS.

Most GPS models use cell towers to measure location which can be about 10 meters off. When driving or walking 10 meters don’t make much of a difference but when trying to measure location inside a building, those 10 meters can be troublesome.

The Next Web dug up how WifiSLAM is able to pinpoint indoor location using multiple methods then create maps from data gathered from users:

“WiFiSLAM uses a combination of various methods to get better indoor locations. Obviously, WiFi and cell tower trilateration doesn’t work indoors. Instead, WiFi signals can be measured by any device to get an approximate location. In order for that location to be accurate, though, you have to use WiFi fingerprinting to get an idea of what the materials and construction of a particular building are going to do to WiFi signals. Enough scans in one place and you’ll have an accurate profile of a building that can be used to make a map.”

Apple quietly acquired the Silicon Valley company for a reported $20 million but hasn’t revealed its full plans just yet. Analysts are reporting that this is another step in building a mapping platform more competitive with Google’s, which already offers indoor mapping for select venues.

Imagine the possibilities for this new, more accurate technology – perhaps in the future indoor spaces like malls, shopping centers and department stores could pinpoint customer location to send geo-triggered alerts, deals, and advertisements at exact points within the venue. The company has already been offering its platform to app developers for indoor mapping and social networking.

There is certainly more to come on this and it will be interesting to see how Apple uses it in the near future.

geo.to Webinar: Mobilizing Locations to Drive and Measure Calls, Visits and Sales

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Please join LSA and geo.to for an exclusive webinar presentation this upcoming Thursday, April 4.

In this webinar, geo.to will discuss the phenomenal increase in mobile local search, the primary wants and needs of mobile users, and the data that is reinforcing the importance of providing instant access to extremely accurate and timely location based information. Whether you are a single location business, a large brand with thousands of locations, a publisher, or an agency representing businesses, geo.to will explore tools you can use in traditional print, display and digital marketing to increase click through rates, conversions, calls, visits, sales, customer satisfaction and loyalty, including a new type of digital web presence for every business location.

geo.to is a mobile, local, social media technology platform company enabling businesses to make it easier and faster for customers to find, share and interact with their locations. geo.to specializes in providing an easy to use, special purpose mobile website for every location dedicated to helping customers instantly find, visit, call and share business locations when they are on the go and ready to buy.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!

Top 10 Reasons to Come to ‘Search Starts Here’ Conference April 13-16 in Vegas

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Our conference has really come together nicely and with such great content, it got me thinking about all the compelling reasons local search professionals should come.  Here is my top 10 and while it doesn’t capture every benefit of attending, it gives a good glimpse into the relevancy and importance of our event.

10. Venue: The dynamic Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in the heart of Las Vegas is a one-of-a-kind venue for a one-of-a-kind conference. Book your room today!

9. Las Vegas: Shows, clubs, dining, tours, shopping, gaming, golf, spas, hiking, attractions and more! Take in the great content of our conference while taking advantage of the exciting city of Las Vegas.

8. Industry Excellence Awards: See some of the most innovative and creative work taking place in the local search space during the Industry Excellence Awards.

7. Strategic Exchange Sessions: Whether you registered for an SES or not, these are great for networking and making connections with executives from influential local search companies. There are still tables and poolside cabanas available. For more info, check out our SES Brochure or contact Terri Stabnick (terri.stabnick@localsearchassociation.org) today at (248) 244-0743.

6. Networking Events: With all the networking events planned for the conference, you can catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and, most importantly, develop partnerships with the companies that will help drive your business forward.

5. Vegas: Just in case you forgot, the conference is in Vegas!

4. Workshops: The subject matter and panelists for this year’s workshops are particularly relevant.  Come learn about the latest and greatest technologies and innovations that are impacting areas such as mobile, SEO, social media and more.

3. Speakers: The biggest names in digital, mobile, social and print media will discuss many strategic and tactical topics that are driving the local search industry forward.

2. Attendees: With an expected attendance of about 400 people, our conference puts all of the biggest names in local search in one place.  Don’t miss your chance to network with this influential group.

1. Search Starts Here: Local search is evolving and so are you. Get ahead of the latest trends and be part of the conference that influences the industry. Search truly does start here…

We look forward to seeing you there!  Register today.

Amdocs Discusses How to Enhance Value Contribution to SMBs

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

During their webinar last week, Amdocs discussed current multimedia selling practices – what is working, what is not – and demonstrated some innovative capabilities to help the local search publishing industry enhance its value contribution to small and medium sized businesses. Check out their presentation below.

For access to all of our past webinars and a look at what’s to come, visit http://bit.ly/LSAwebinars.

Updates to DOL Search Results and Cart

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We are pleased to announce even more enhancements to LSA’s Directories Online (DOL) that were implemented over the weekend. The enhancements improve the ‘Search Results’ directory and heading selection experience as well as the Cart appearance on DOL.

  1. The Search Results screen will now allow the user to ‘Select All’ directories or headings, select/unselect specific directories and associated headings, or re-select/unselect specific headings within a selected directory.
  2. We removed the unselect/select icons from the far left side of the screen making the application more intuitive.
  3. The repetitive text “* COMPLETE HEADING” from the Listing Name section was removed.
  4. The Listing Name section will now be blank unless a Listing search is performed on Listing Searchable directories.  If a match is found, the listing name will appear in the Listing Name section.
  5. The Search Results screen will now show when a search generated a Listing Name in both the Yellow Pages and White Pages.

Finally, the Cart has been changed to look and feel more like the Search Results screen.  We added the same select/unselect functionality as the Search Results screen and reformatted it accordingly.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for future enhancements, please contact Kevin Kalinowski at (248) 244-0713 or via e-mail at kevin.kalinowski@localsearchassociation.org. If Kevin is not available, please contact Ed Halasz at (248) 244-6201 or via e-mail at ed.halasz@localsearchassociation.org.

Dex One Discusses Focus on SMBs, Digital Products at BIA/Kelsey’s Conference

Monday, March 25, 2013

I attended BIA/Kelsey’s “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference in Boston on March 18-20 and really enjoyed the terrific content and speakers.  David Sharman, Dex One senior vice president and chief strategy officer, was particularly interesting during his keynote presentation.

Sharman discussed Dex One’s growth opportunity — providing SMBs with the latest marketing services.  Using  more than 1,000 sales reps, Dex One is making strides to build on its long-standing relationships with local businesses.  While print still is an important aspect of the business, Sharman acknowledged the necessity of offering digital solutions that work for SMBs. To show its commitment to digital, Dex added digital expertise to staff and started to report digital revenues separately from print revenues.

Dex also has made some new partnerships with companies such as xAd, PaperG and Google to offer products that are fast, flexible and capital efficient.  Dex’s digital product portfolio includes SEM solutions, Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), SEO, and websites which have helped Dex’s digital business grow by 30% making it worth around $300 million. Sharman attributed much of the digital growth to product bundles, which have a renewal rate of about 70%.  Another driving force is the company’s Guaranteed Actions program, which is Dex’s commitment to deliver a certain number of leads across multiple media.

According to Sharman, Dex One still faces some challenges including finding new customers, identifying a way to soften the decline in print yellow pages revenue and being smarter with book distribution.

On the financial front, Dex reduced its debt by $1.8 billion, and the company has met guidance every quarter.  Regarding the merger with SuperMedia, Sharman said it provides “more runway to transition to a growth company,” and both companies are focused on delivering value to their customers.

BIA/Kelsey: National Advertisers to Boost Local Media Spend over Next Five Years

Friday, March 22, 2013

Local media advertising revenues will climb from $132.5 billion in 2012 to $148.8 billion in 2017, according to a new study from BIA/Kelsey. Interestingly, the firm predicts that national advertisers will make up a significant portion of that increase, accounting for nearly $51 billion of local media ad revenue by 2017.

“Local media has become a key channel, not only for local small businesses, but for regional businesses, national franchises and national brands targeting locally,” said Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “This is clearly seen in our tracking of market shifts in mobile, social, search, promotions, coupons and deals, native ads and sales transformation.”

Though increased focus from national brands could create more competition in the local advertising space for small- and medium-sized businesses, the additional investment will surely spur innovation, likely positive for all.

Visit BIA/Kelsey’s website for more insights from their newly released “U.S. Local Media Forecast

CEO Transition at Yellow Media

Thursday, March 21, 2013

According to a press release on Yellow Media’s website, the Board of Directors and Marc Tellier have collectively agreed that Tellier will be leaving the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.

“We thank Marc for his leadership and many years of devoted service to Yellow Pages Group and his agreement to remain in order to assist in effecting a smooth transition,” said Robert MacLellan, Chairman of the Board.

The board has created a search committee responsible for finding Tellier’s successor.  Tellier will support the transition process and will remain CEO until August 15, 2013 or when a replacement is selected.

For more info, see the official press release.

Hispanic Local Search Leader YaSabe Secures $2.7M in Funding

Monday, March 18, 2013

YaSabe, America’s largest and fastest growing local search destination that caters to Hispanic consumers, announced today that they have closed a seed round of institutional and angel funding totaling $2.7M. According to the press release, they plan to use the funding for product development, marketing, and continued development of content, traffic, and advertiser partnerships.

YaSabe, which means ‘now you know’ in Spanish, connects millions of users annually to online listings, cultural content and community-sourced information with their fully bilingual interface. They provide content publishers and advertisers with syndicated, relevant content, revenue opportunities and expanded audiences.  Because of its scale and focused bilingual content, YaSabe has helped to elevate search rankings across the Web for information that targets U.S. Hispanics.

Azim Tejani, YaSabe’s Executive Vice President, will be leading a workshop titled “Winning the Hispanic Market” at our upcoming conference in Las Vegas and we are really looking forward to his discussion.

For more info on YaSabe, visit YaSabe.com and to see all of the great content planned for our conference, check out our jam-packed agenda.  See you in Vegas!