Posts Tagged ‘annual conference’

At Keep America Beautiful with hibu, YP, Dex Media

Friday, February 14, 2014

Returning again to the annual Keep America Beautiful (KAB) conference allowed us to renew good friendships and make many new ones.  Matt Krug (hibu), Charlotte Shepherd (YP), Sarah R. Wilson (Dex Media) and myself spent three days in Charlotte, NC in conversation with hundreds of attendees from throughout the United States, many of them volunteer leaders in their communities dedicated to the environment and sustainability.

The highlight of the event was meeting eight-year-old Owen M. Stamm who, according to his local newspaper the Citizen Tribune, “… has been running a recycling mission for his neighborhood for years” and “helps collect garbage with the janitors” at his school.  The Russellville, TN youngster is the owner and president of Project O.W.E.N. (Our World’s Environment in Need) and was at the KAB conference to accept a well-deserved award.

LSA is proud to showcase the good work of KAB, especially in advance of the annual America Recycles Day when we encourage local businesses and consumers to recycle their outdated print phone directories through curbside recycling and other local recycling initiatives in their communities.  In turn, LSA is proud that KAB lends its logo to be featured on

Matt Krug (hibu), Sarah R. Wilson (Dex Media) and Charlotte Shepherd (YP) with eight-year-old community pro-environment leader Owen M. Stamm.

Introducing the Ad to Action Awards: Enter Today!

Friday, December 13, 2013

When I meet with local advertisers to ask what they’re looking for next from our industry, the answers are always resoundingly similar: new tools that engage consumers that are smarter, richer and are delivered in the right places and on the right devices. 

We have an amazing opportunity – one worth $140 billion annually by 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey – to align our offerings with local advertisers’ needs to further drive consumer action and accelerate growth for their businesses. The potential worth for those companies that “get it right” in local advertising is tremendous.

In order to encourage innovations that engage consumers in the final step of the path to purchase, the Local Search Association today is launching a new awards competition called the Ad to Action Awards.” Open to all local advertising providers, the competition is designed to bring forward the most creative and effective new local advertising products that drive calls, clicks and store visits for local businesses.

Unlike most awards competitions, the Ad to Action Awards will provide winners with much more than the usual awards plaque and ceremony. Winners will receive invitations to a private luncheon with Steve Wozniak, the Silicon Valley icon and co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., at the 2014 LSA Annual Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, 2014. Winners will also receive broad industry support in testing, partnering and promoting their products so they have the best shot of succeeding in the marketplace.


Who Should Enter

Our awards competition is designed to encourage innovations in local advertising by providing low barriers to entry for companies interested in participating:

  • All local advertising providers, including LSA members and non-members, are invited to enter their products to the competition. Potential entrants include but are not limited to: publishers, search engine companies, ad solution providers, local websites and social networks.
  • There is no cost to submit an application.
  • There is no limit to the number of products submitted by one company.
  • Entries must apply to one of the following categories: Business Listings, Mobile, Social Media, Print, Vertical Specific, Video, Deals/Loyalty/E-Commerce, and Implementation.
  • Entries must be products that are new to the market or have been introduced within the past six months.

Selection Process

A diverse judging panel of notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry will review submissions and select winners for each category based on those that are most compelling and best address current market needs. The initial judging panel will include:

Winning Benefits

In addition to the private luncheon with Wozniak, winners will be partnered with a dedicated LSA team, who will bring together advertisers, agencies and publishers to further develop and test the products in the marketplace. In addition to recognition at the LSA annual conference, the Association will also showcase winning products in communications with its members and other industry leaders and influencers, in ongoing outreach to business and tech reporters, and through its digital and social media channels.

Enter Today

The Ad to Action Awards is an opportunity to not only honor the top local advertising solutions in our field each year, but also to put our full weight behind them so they have the best possible shot of succeeding in the marketplace. I believe that by putting forth our best innovations in response to key insights directly from advertisers, we will elevate opportunities for everyone in our industry.

I encourage you to visit our awards website or to e-mail for more information. We look forward to seeing what you have to offer!

Also learn more and register for the 2014 LSA Annual Conference at

7 Takeaways from ‘Search Starts Here’

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Last month at our annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” we were fortunate to hear from local search marketing leaders from the U.S., Canada and 12 other countries about the numerous opportunities and challenges facing our industry, ranging from the growing importance of original digital content to the rise of mobile and social media.

In our Local Search column on Search Engine Land this month, I discussed my top 7 key takeaways from the conference, which included:

    1. Content is powerful
    2. Mobile is a significant disrupter
    3. Mobile ROI is more than just clicks
    4. As lines between devices blur, context is gaining prominence
    5. Vertical specialties are on the rise
    6. Social media is meeting local search
    7. Investment in sales team is becoming even more crucial

Check out my full column on Search Engine Land, and be sure to share your feedback!

‘Search Starts Here’: Sales Differentiation in a Hyper Competitive Local Media Market

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bob Sanders, president and COO of AXIOM Sales Force Development, believes that sales teams must invest in their own people. In order to realize success, Bob thinks local marketing companies must not only invest in new products and innovation but also in developing and teaching their sales force to adapt to the evolving landscape.

A recent survey found that 53% of small business owners say that conversations with a local salesperson have more impact on their buying decisions than products, brand and price. Bob believes local sales teams need to invest in programs that help team members better engage with SMBs.

There are seven things businesses can do to drive significant improvement in sales:

  • Create a common selling model
  • Gain 100% buy-in from your team
  • Become trusted advisors to SMB clients
  • Invest in elevating the skill and knowledge of your sales team
  • Establish coaching and accountability methods
  • Integrate all customer contact
  • Integrate methodology with CRM

Now more than ever it’s imperative that sales teams become trusted advisors. With so many products and solutions available, SMBs aren’t just looking to buy, they’re also seeking an advisor to help them weed through the options and find what’s best for their business in their environment.

Sales teams must devote time to understanding the current environment every aspect of their client’s business.

See you at Search Starts Here 2013!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Over the next several days, local search industry leaders from the U.S., Canada and 12 other countries will be arriving in Las Vegas for our annual conference, “Search Starts Here.” We’re looking forward to learning, sharing and networking – all in beautiful 80-degree weather!

If you’re in town, be sure to stop by the Yellow Pages Group Golf Tournament at the Arroyo Golf Club on Sunday. It should be a great day to be out on the green!

We’ll be live blogging throughout the conference here at Local Search Insider and live tweeting via @LocalSearchAssh using hashtag #SearchStartsHere. Be sure to follow us and join in on the conversation!

What You Need to Bring to ‘Search Starts Here’ in Vegas

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The “Search Starts Here” Conference in Vegas is quickly approaching and we are just 11 days away.  Help us spread the word and let the Twitter world know you’re coming by using the #SearchStartsHere hashtag.

But before you make your way to Vegas, we want to make sure you are prepared.  Here are some things you are going to want to bring:

  • Business Cards: With an expected attendance of around 400 people and a variety of networking events, you’re going to need a lot of business cards to pass out.
  • Bathing Suit: With the poolside Strategic Exchange Session (SES) cabanas, you might want to take a dip and cool off between meetings because the temperature is looking to be in the upper 70s and 80s.
  • Lucky Rabbit’s Foot: If you have anything that will improve your chances of winning, then bring it.  You can also improve your odds of winning an iPad mini. Each time you get a friend, co-worker, vendor or business partner to sign up for our conference, you will be entered into a raffle for an iPad mini. Just make sure they submit your name and company in the appropriate field when they register.
  • Black and White, Business Casual Attire: This year’s Industry Excellence Awards theme is “A Night in Black and White.”  Come see some of the most innovative and creative work taking place in the local search space as we honor our winners with a brief black and white movie.
  • Chargers: The 4 day, jam-packed agenda is will give you plenty of strategic and tactical insight that you’re going to want to take notes on. Come see our influential speakers and workshops with a full charge.
  • Golf Clubs: This year’s conference golf tournament is sponsored by the Yellow Pages Group and will be held at the beautiful Arroyo Golf Club nestled alongside the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas.
  • Cocktail Attire: Dress up and get pictures with some special guests, enjoy some food and drinks, and take advantage of even more opportunities to network during the Viva Las Local Cocktail Reception and Dinner.
  • Smartphone: The updated LSA mobile app also acts as your personal concierge for the conference. Find out who the next speaker is, where the workshops are being held or get the phone number of a company that you want to do business with, all from your phone!
  • Questions: Be ready to get concentrated access to executives and the many influential local search pros while at the conference.  Pick their brains, get their insight and make the partnerships you need to drive your organization forward.

In addition, TODAY is the last day to take advantage of our special room rate at Planet Hollywood. After today, the price will increase! When booking your room, simply use the attendee group code “SMLSA3″ to guarantee the rate. BOOK ONLINE or you can call the hotel directly at (866) 317-1829.

Register today and we will see you in Vegas!

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 ( 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.

Networking Opportunities at ‘Search Starts Here’ in Vegas

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In addition to all the great speakers and workshops, our conference is a great opportunity to network with decision makers from some of the most influential companies in local search.  We offer a variety of networking events ranging from formal, informal and everything in between.  The events planned are as follows:

Conference Golf Tournament (Sunday, April 14)
Sponsored by Yellow Pages Group
This year’s conference golf tournament will be held at the beautiful Arroyo Golf Club nestled alongside the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas. Make some new connections and enjoy a nice relaxing round of golf on a course designed by Arnold Palmer himself. For just $250, you get 18 holes of golf, breakfast, transportation from the hotel and a chance to win some great prizes! You can sign up for golf when you register for our conference.

Women’s Round Table Event (Sunday, April 14)
Sponsored by Ponytale Talk and Global Business Therapy
Come and hear from Kimberli Lewis, President of the European Association of Data Base, Search and Directory Publishers (EASDP), for her talk titled, “10 Problems Women Face in the Workplace and their Similarity to Hot Dogs.”  Yes, we know it sounds strange, but Kimberli offers some great insight into the topic.

Night in Black and White (Sunday, April 14)
Sponsored by YP
Join us for a “Night in Black and White” as we honor the most innovative and creative work in local search during the Industry Excellence Awards.  Watch a brief silent film that highlights all of our winners and stick around for drinks and networking after the show. (black & white business casual attire)

Viva Las Local Cocktail Party (Monday, April 15)
Sponsored by Local Market Launch
Before the “Viva Las Local” dinner, join us for cocktail hour just above the casino floor on the mezzanine level.  This casual setting is a great opportunity to unwind after a packed day of great speakers and presentations. Talk business or anything but, and make some connections that are sure to continue after conference.

Viva Las Local Dinner (Monday, April 15)
Sponsored by SuperMedia – Celebrity look-alikes sponsored by hibu
After cocktail hour, the party continues during the “Viva Las Local” dinner.  Join us for food and drinks at The London Club. And Vegas just wouldn’t be Vegas without some celebrities.  Get pictures with some special guests and take advantage of even more opportunities to network.

For all of the events, speakers, workshops and more, check out our Conference Agenda or register today.  See you in Vegas!

Paul Plant: Making Transformation Happen

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Paul Plant of Radicle Consulting returns to guest blog on Local Search Insider. Paul has over 30 years of experience in directive media and advertising.  Since launching Radicle Consulting in 2010, Paul has acquired a diverse client portfolio, which he advises on all aspects of organizational and transformational change. Paul previously spent almost 20 years in senior management at Yell Group, in key marketing, sales and strategic operational positions in both the U.K. and U.S. See Paul’s previous post here.

The past decade has witnessed levels of new and disruptive technological and social change on an unprecedented scale, with the effect on the media sector being felt perhaps harder than most.

All companies, large and small, old and new have been affected, including traditional media providers such as Yellow Pages companies, as well as a number of the newer digital players, Yahoo being a good case in point.

Large numbers of Yellow Pages companies have made bold forward-looking visionary statements along the lines of, “We are transforming our business from print directory publisher to media solutions provider for SMBs.” Yet to date, the industry is still facing headwinds in its efforts to transform.

The troubles encountered  by many publishers around the world  are proof that to bring about a successful transformation is not easy. It calls for courageous and committed visionary leadership, combined with an energised and aligned workforce dedicated to creating a new digitally-enabled customer-centric organization. CEOs and their Boards must understand and mitigate the risks, something that cannot be delegated.

I’m looking forward to sharing my observations on the topic of Transformation from both inside and outside the Yellow Pages industry with attendees at LSA’s annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” next month in Las Vegas. My presentation will take place Monday, April 15 from 9:45-10:15 a.m.

I recently wrote a paper entitled “Making Transformation Happen”, in which I exposed some of the common issues facing large organizations when confronted by disruptive change. I put forward some sound guidance as to how companies should respond.

My work also outlines the new performance drivers, required behaviors and key measures for retaining salience with customers and building a sustainable future in the new digital economy. I am optimistic that traditional media publishers can carve out a strong positioning in the new digital environment, and will detail how the industry’s core strategic assets can be leveraged and adapted in order to achieve competitive differentiation.

I believe my presentation will serve as a tasty appetizer for the conference’s Keynote Address from Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes Groupe) President & CEO Jean-Pierre Remy, who will share the story of his company’s transformation journey from traditional directory publisher to become one of the world’s most successful digital media organizations.

But it is not only traditional media companies who have had to face up to change and competitive threat. One of the founding pioneers of the Internet revolution, Yahoo, had hit on difficult times until the arrival last July of Google’s “first lady” Marissa Meyer as President & CEO.

Yahoo, since Mayer’s appointment, has shown how a troubled media company can right its course. Her turnaround plan had just two central themes: 1) focus on the company’s core competences; and 2) nurture and re-energize the people throughout the organization, recognizing that they are the most important asset in any transformation. For more on Mayer’s efforts, check out this Forbes article.

Look forward to seeing you soon in Las Vegas!

The Last Frontier – or is it?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today’s guest blogger, Paul Plant of Radicle Consulting has over 30 years of experience in directive media and advertising.  He launched Radicle Consulting in March 2010, and has acquired a diverse client portfolio, which he advises on all aspects of organizational and transformational change. He previously spent almost 20 years in senior management at Yell Group, in key marketing, sales and strategic operational positions in both the U.K. and U.S.

I had some thoughts regarding Neg Norton’s recent blog post, The Last Frontier: The Sales Call.  It cannot be argued that the local media solutions marketplace is increasingly being commoditised by an influx of new competitive media properties, each offering a suite of solutions that, to all intents and purposes, are very similar.

It is therefore hardly surprising that many industry commentators and observers view the sales call as one of the key points in the relationship between the media provider and the SMB where some degree of differentiation can be achieved. Neg Norton describes it as “The Last Frontier”.

For large numbers of traditional media players, the relationship between the salesperson and the SMB is the last frontier. In fact, for many it is the only remaining frontier. But why? It is because the vast majority of traditional publishers have almost given up on the consumer – the end user.

Significantly reduced investment in core product development, accompanied by a lack of advertising and promotional spend on core brands has seen a widescale erosion of proprietary print and new media brands and product solutions. This has allowed the likes of Google and others to lay claim to the lion’s share of modern-day consumer usage.

One publisher has consistently bucked the trend, and has equally stayed relentlessly true to the principle that the virtuous circle remains at the heart of the core media publisher business model. The governing principle that “content drives usage drives revenue” is the central strategic pillar of the Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes) business mantra.

Solocal retains high levels of both consumer and SMB customer loyalty, achieved through no less than seventeen different proprietary media brands and channels. New digital channels comprise almost 60% of Solocal’s €1.1bn revenues, driving an overall EBITDA margin of c.45%.

You can learn more about how Solocal bucked the trend, and how they continue to compete successfully on multiple frontiers, when their President & CEO Jean-Pierre Remy addresses the forthcoming Local Search Association annual conference in Las Vegas.