U.S. small business advertising will be a $15 billion opportunity by 2013, and Yellow Pages companies will continue to serve as an important channel in connecting local businesses with new offerings, said Randy Wootton, VP of Global Search and Online Marketplace for Microsoft Advertising.
Wootton noted that in the past, local businesses were limited to print Yellow Pages, newspapers, and radio for their advertising needs, and that they were only required to speak with sales reps a few times a year. Today, the local advertising space has quickly become overwhelming for local businesses, who are unable to make sense of the wide variety of opportunities available, everything from video and banner ads, to SEO and website development, and speak to dozens of sales reps to meet their needs.
Ultimately, local businesses need three things: trust, leads, and cost/ease, according to Wootton. He said local businesses are looking to make the advertising process simple again, save time and make money, and feel valuable and back in control of the world around them.
Wootton said the Yellow Pages industry will continue lead the partner pact as the “first-stop” for local business search because they are the trusted advisor that can help local businesses make sense of their advertising options. He called on the industry to take advantage of Microsoft’s advertising offerings, which with its partnership with Yahoo provides a large new audience for local businesses to reach.