Posts Tagged ‘annual conference’

Industry Transformation – Opportunity for Success

Wednesday, March 6, 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 read with interest Neg Norton’s recent blog, which makes reference to Sensis and Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes). His post reminded me of one of ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s great quotes – when asked to explain his extraordinary talent, Gretzky is quoted as replying, “Skate to where the puck is heading, not where it is now.” His quote is a metaphor that many major companies would do well to heed.

The Sensis case study is a sage, and indeed sad, lesson for others to be mindful of, for here is a publisher that failed to grasp the opportunity, despite having more advance warning and insight than any of its peers.

Australia, by being so far removed geographically from the rest of the world, has typically been three or more years “behind the trend” with regard to what else is happening within the industry. Sensis was still growing print revenues as recently as 2009, while most of its global peers were by then facing up to the inevitable consequences of new consumer behaviours brought about by disruptive digital change. Its print business, both white and yellow, held up revenues and high margins for longer than any other publisher. Yet, when the inevitable migration away from traditional media came along, the company was unprepared. Even today, more than 70% of Sensis’ revenues come from print, while digital sales are heavily reliant on the reselling of Google Adwords.

Another worrying factor is that circa 40% of Sensis’ income has traditionally been derived from large premier and national account customers. And as these started to slash their print spend, Sensis simply did not have the digital product inventory available to compensate for the decreases.

Sensis still operates as a division of its Telstra telco parent, which perhaps in part explains its situation, for the telco has not viewed the directory publisher as a strategic asset, and continues to milk the business for its profits. New Sensis MD John Allan certainly has his work cut out if he is to turn the company around.

Solocal (PagesJaunes) did not have the luxury of the crystal ball that Sensis had yet failed to use. That said, they still had the foresight, vision, and courage to embrace the undeniable shift towards new digital products and media solutions.

It will indeed be fascinating to listen to Solocal President & CEO Jean-Pierre Remy at the forthcoming LSA Conference in Las Vegas, when he explains the PagesJaunes success journey from traditional directory publisher to thriving modern digital media provider.

LSA Annual Conference Welcomes Influential Speakers from Google, Groupon, YP and more

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The speakers and panelists coming to our 2013 “Search Starts Here” Conference in Las Vegas include experts, veterans and thought leaders from all areas of the local search space. 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.

In addition to the great keynote speakers from Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes Groupe), Facebook and CityGrid, here are some more exciting subjects and speakers you can’t afford to miss:

SMB State of the Union
Greg Sterling (Opus Research)
Neal Polachek (Industry Observer)

Making Transformation Happen
Paul Plant (Radicle Consulting)

What’s Working in Mobile
Tim Garcia (Moasis)
Dan Hight (xAd)
Tae Kim (Google)
Michael Rubin (YP)

State of the Industry
Bill Dinan (Telmetrics)
Neg Norton (Local Search Association)

Print Directories in a Multi-Platform World
Matt Centofanti (YP)
Eric Webb (Marquette Group)
Dave Wolf (Linkmedia 360)
Emil Morales (TNS)

Sales Differentiation in a HYPER Competitive Selling Environment
Bob Sanders (AXIOM)

Building the “Local Commerce Operating System”
Ethan Anderson (MyTime)
Dave Gilbertson (Constant Contact)
Sean Harper (Groupon)
Bob  Gregerson (hibu)

Finally, as announced earlier, we also have some great workshops and breakout sessions with Yelp, Yext, edō, Supermedia and many more.

To learn more about all of our impressive speakers, visit our Speakers Page and don’t forget to check out the agenda for all the great content planned for the conference.  Register today and we will see you in Vegas!

The Last Frontier: The Sales Call

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lately, I’ve noticed that my conversations with sales leaders and practitioners in the local media space have taken on a new theme.  A last frontier if you will.  And what is that frontier?  It is the sales call itself.

Many media organizations have already transformed their sales structures with the addition of client support specialists to attend to the “24/7” optimization opportunities inherent with new media.  They have tested digital only versus traditional sellers.  Many have transformed their tool set by giving sellers i-pads pre-loaded with value presentations and collateral.  And most have transformed their sales forecasting and productivity management by implementing CRM systems.   Now attention is turning to the final frontier – the conversation between buyer and seller and how it is in need of a transformation all its’ own.

Kimberly Senior, Executive Director, is driving such a transformation at AT&T Business Solutions, which is producing improved sales results and customer relationships.

We have invited Kimberly to our conference in April to share her evolving story. AT&T Business Solutions might seem like an odd choice at a local media conference but their story is relevant and their success is keenly measured to assure an outstanding ROI.

AT&T Business Solutions has seen the same technological disruption in their landline business as media companies have seen in theirs.  Like media companies, they are also experiencing an increasing number of new and traditional competitors creating what appears to be a commoditization of the marketplace.   But perhaps most importantly the majority of customers that AT&T Business Solutions calls on is exactly the same customer local media companies speak to each day – the SMB community – and they are responding to the new conversations.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Kimberly speak about AT&T’s success at our Search Starts Hear Conference at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, April 13-16.

CityGrid CEO Jason Finger to Speak at LSA Annual Conference

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We are pleased to announce our third and final keynote speaker for the “Search Starts Here” conference: Jason Finger, CEO of CityGrid.

During our fireside chat with Jason, he will discuss the current environment and future of “local” including merchant product offers and the investment landscape.  In addition, he will give a glimpse of what’s to come for CityGrid’s properties such as Citysearch, Urbanspoon and Insider Pages.

CityGrid is one of the largest content and advertising networks for local and small businesses.  Jason oversees the entire ad network in addition to all of CityGrid’s owned and operated websites that include Citysearch.com, insiderpages.com, Urbanspoon.com and GetFelix.com.

Prior to CityGrid, he cofounded SeamlessWeb in 1999 and was responsible for growing the company’s presence to 22 cities throughout the U.S. and London.  SeamlessWeb was acquired by Aramark in 2006 at which time Jason was responsible for setting and executing corporate strategy for 260,000 employees in 19 countries.

In addition to his success at CityGrid and SeamlessWeb, Jason has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year by the Corporate Executive Council of New York, and to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list of leading young executives.

Don’t miss out on this great discussion with Jason. Register for our conference today!

60th Annual Keep America Beautiful Conference

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gene Wilk of LSA at the train station.

I’m traveling from New Jersey by train today to attend the 60th annual Keep America Beautiful conference in Washington, DC.  Joining me are Yellowbook’s Matt Krug and YP’s Felicia Smith, flying from Iowa and Georgia respectively.

For these next three days, the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC’s Woodley Park neighborhood will be home to hundreds of local leaders from throughout the United States and Canada.  These community advocates work hard all year long to promote recycling, sustainability and anti-littering.  I’m sure they’re going to be pleased to learn more about our industry’s good efforts with consumer choice and sustainability.

Keep America Beautiful has been an important partner to the Local Search Association, most notably, having its logo featured in the lower-right corner of YellowPagesOptOut.com.  This past November, KAB featured an LSA “toolkit” for America Recycles Day that helped event organizers show people how they can select the directories they want delivered by using YellowPagesOptOut.com.

This conference is the first of many stops on LSA’s 2013 conference collaborative where we’ll be reaching out to state and local leaders.

Keep checking the blog because I’ll be updating it with more news direct from the conference.

Facebook’s Dan Levy to Discuss ‘Nearby’ at LSA Annual Conference

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We are looking forward to hearing from another great keynote speaker at our annual conference: Dan Levy, Director, Small Business, of Facebook.

Dan will be discussing Facebook’s “Nearby” feature that has captured a lot of press recently for its impact on local search.  He will share insight into some of the recent updates to Nearby as well as plans for future updates such as the addition of information from third-party services.

Facebook’s Nearby combines the social elements of Facebook with its geo-location services by allowing users to find local spots that friends have checked into or “liked” such as restaurants or other local stores and businesses.  In addition to social information, users are provided with addresses, contact info and hours of operation for these local businesses.  Facebook also goes a step further by tapping into the hugely successful online reviews space with features that allow users to rate and review local businesses and recommend them to friends.

Dan leads the Small Business team at Facebook. He is responsible for sales, marketing, and service for the millions of small businesses who use Facebook to connect with their customers and grow their businesses. Dan joined Facebook in 2008 to start the Payments and Risk organization leading Facebook’s efforts to expand payment acceptance, industry relationships, and operations. Prior to Facebook, Dan started his own marketing business – Justarrive, and spent seven years at PayPal.

Dan will be speaking on Day 2 of “Search Starts Here” to close the conference via a fireside chat format.  Get your questions ready!

Visit our conference website for more information and make sure to register for our conference by February 13th to receive $200 OFF the full registration price!

Special Early Bird and First Time Attendee Pricing for ‘Search Starts Here’ Annual Conference

Friday, January 25, 2013

Planning is in full swing for our annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” taking place April 13-16 in Las Vegas. As you may have seen, we were pleased to announce last week that Jean-Pierre Remy, president and CEO of PagesJaunes, will be delivering the conference keynote on his company’s remarkable transformation from a traditional print publisher into one of the world’s most progressive local search companies.

Today, I’m excited to share that we are offering two special discounts to help you make it to our event:

  • Returning annual conference attendees who register today will receive an Early Bird Discount of $200 OFF their registration price. This offer ends February 13.
  • First time annual conference attendees can take advantage of attractive member and non-member prices that are both nearly half off the regular prices.

Our annual conference, which is one of the largest industry gatherings of the year, will be held this year at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The event will feature a four-day jam-packed agenda of exciting speakers and panelists, coordinated with industry veteran Greg Sterling. Attendees will also benefit from popular Strategic Exchange Sessions to meet and discuss strategic opportunities with partners, the Industry Excellence Awards ceremony, and opportunities for professional networking at several receptions and dinners.

So whether your work is in traditional or digital local advertising media, our conference is a great opportunity to learn and network with the best in the industry. Attendees will include local search experts, innovators and professionals who specialize in print, digital, mobile and social media. Don’t miss out on this chance to raise your company’s visibility with this influential group, while benefiting from the latest insights into the future of our industry.

After registering, don’t forget to reserve your hotel room. Be sure to book early and use our attendee group code “SMLSA3” to guarantee our special room rate. Feel free to call Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino directly at (866) 317-1829 or book online.

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit our conference website.

Strategic Exchange Sessions Bring Concentrated Access to Local Search Professionals & Free Conference Registration

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“The SES sessions guaranteed us a date to the dance by providing the opportunity for meaningful dialogue with decision-makers.”

-Tammy Osborne, The Andersen Group

During our annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” April 13-16, 2013 at the Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, there will be plenty of opportunities for local search professionals to network, exchange ideas and discuss the industry’s leading issues. In order to allow for more private discussions to take place, we are once again hosting our Strategic Exchange Sessions (SES).  SES’s are a very popular component of our conference – in fact, last year they sold out!

SES’s are held at tables, private cabana tents and executive suites at the hotel and are a great way to get concentrated access to other attendees and companies while at the conference.  Once an organization reserves an SES, they are periodically sent an updated list of attendees with contact information. We recommend that companies participating in the SES program schedule appointments prior to the conference in order to make the most of their time.

We are also offering one FREE conference registration for every company that registers for their SES before Thursday, January 31, 2013.  Reserve today and take advantage of this opportunity to network with some of the biggest players in traditional and digital local advertising. And for the first time, at registration SES participants will be offered the opportunity to take advantage of complimentary webinars to communicate with attendees in advance of the conference.

For more information, visit the Strategic Exchange Session page on our conference website.

PagesJaunes Groupe President and CEO Jean-Pierre Remy to Delivery Keynote at LSA Annual Conference

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We are really fortunate to have secured a phenomenal keynote speaker for our 2013 annual conference, “Search Starts Here”: Jean-Pierre Remy, President and Chief Executive Officer of PagesJaunes.

PagesJaunes is the Yellow Pages publisher in France. Since taking on his role in 2009, Jean-Pierre has led the remarkable transformation of the company from a traditional print publisher into one of the world’s most progressive local search companies.

Recently, MIT’s prestigious Sloan Business School, in association with CapGemini Consulting, conducted a study into digital transformation within large traditional billion-dollar-plus organizations. The purpose was to identify companies from traditional business sectors who had successfully embraced digital technology in order to radically transform their performance. Jean-Pierre’s ability to successfully capitalize on new digital opportunities for PagesJaunes within the directive media-publishing was specifically cited in the report as a model example for the industry.

Today, PagesJaunes 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. In my opinion, PagesJaunes represents one of the greatest transformation stories from traditional to digital media ever.

PagesJaunes’ successful realignment serves as a model for all traditional media companies looking to evolve into forward-looking digital media players.  I encourage anyone who is looking to make a similar transition to the digital world to join us in learning how Jean-Pierre led the transformation of his company.

Visit our conference website for more information and to register for “Search Starts Here,” April 13-16, 2013 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. We’ll be posting additional details throughout this week on the exciting things we have planned for this year’s gathering.

Yellow Search TODAY! Annual Conference Set for November 14-15 in Hamburg, Germany

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our friends at Yellow Search TODAY! are actively preparing for their popular annual conference, taking place November 14-15 in Hamburg, Germany.

This year’s timely and relevant topic, “How To Drive Revenue by Effective Customer Segmentation,” will focus on key questions including:

  • Which products do we offer to which segments?
  • How does segmentation increase the salesman’s credibility?
  • How do we put segmentation into action?

In Europe, everyone is talking about customer segmentation, as well as user segmentation, as key to future success in our business. The two-day event will feature expert speakers discussing a wide variety of relevant topics, including the latest developments and strategies to exploit the small business market directly through Facebook and Google. The event will also discuss the latest changes in the sales process introduced by Pages Jaunes in France.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.yellowsearchtoday.dk/. We’re pleased that Local Search Association members based outside Europe will receive a 35% discount on conference registration. Interested attendees should contact co-organizer and Local Search Association member Peter Buxton at Peter Buxton at mail@yellowsearchtoday.dk or by phone by + 49 172 961 3192.