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As Industry Transforms, Opportunities for Success

Recently, I’ve watched with interest as many of our members have continued to take bold steps to transform their business models from traditional print publishing to innovative local search offerings.

Just last month, Sensis announced plans to restructure its workforce to meet changing needs and opportunities. The Yellow Pages publisher in Australia eliminated some backroom and management roles, while adding 50 new jobs at a new digital customer service management center.

Implementing this new strategy is not easy, but it is necessary. I was particularly impressed by how John Allan, Sensis’ managing director, described it:

“Until now, we have been operating with an outdated print-based model — this is no longer sustainable for us. As we have made clear in the past, we will continue to produce Yellow and White Pages books to meet the needs of customers and advertisers who rely on the printed directories, but our future is online and mobile, where the vast majority of search and directory business takes place.”

The approach Sensis and many other industry players are taking is one that Solocal (formerly known as PagesJaunes), the Yellow Pages publisher in France, has already pursued – and with great success. That’s why I’m pleased that Jean-Pierre Remy, president and chief executive officer of Solocal, will serve as the keynote speaker at our 2013 annual conference, “Search Starts Here.”

Jean-Pierre led the remarkable transformation of the company from a traditional print publisher into one of the world’s most progressive local search companies. Today, Solocal reaches 90% of French consumers through its portfolio of print, digital, mobile and social products and ranks as one of the top 10 global companies in terms of online revenues, with 59% of its approximately $1.5 billion annual revenue coming from its digital offerings.

There are significant lessons we can all learn from Solocal’s transformation and Jean-Pierre’s leadership. For more information and to register, visit our conference website today.

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