Posts Tagged ‘Jean-Pierre Remy’

‘Search Starts Here’: Backstage Interview with Solocal CEO & President Jean-Pierre Remy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We spoke backstage with Solocal CEO and President Jean-Pierre Remy about key takeaways from his keynote address and why attending our annual conference was important to his business.

For more on Jean-Pierre’s keynote address, read our full post here.

‘Search Starts Here’: A Look Inside Solocal’s Business Transformation

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jean-Pierre Remy, CEO and president of Solocal, gave us a deep look into Solocal’s impressive transformation from a traditional print Yellow Pages publisher to France’s leading local search company.

The transformation has resulted in strong results.  Today, Solocal’s online business represents 58% of revenues, and is expected to rise to 75% in 2015.  Solocal is the No. 1 local portal in France, and ranks as a top 5 destination for web and mobile reach.

So how did they do it?

Jean-Pierre said an intense focus on executing against a simply articulated strategy became the focus of every employee in the company.

Core to the strategy is the company’s focus on “local communication,” which broadened the company well beyond its print history.  Supporting the strategy is a three-pronged approach:

  • Digital content: Jean-Pierre said investing in content that isn’t available anywhere else, is the most important factor in driving value for advertisers and consumers.
  • Local media: Solocal has focused on building leading brands and partnering with leaders in local and social, including Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Communications advisors: Retraining and recruiting talented communications advisors who can build trusted relationships with advertisers.  (Solocal has 2,500 local communication advisors.)

Jean-Pierre said the challenge now is for the communications advisors to go deep in their understanding of their clients so that Solocal’s customer focus can lead to specialized and customized offers and media for each client.

“When you go online, you have many more opportunities to help your clients adapt their local communication, but it means you really have to understand their business in much more detail.”

Looking to the future, Solocal is setting its sights on mobile growth, noting that the company is seeing traffic migrate from the web itself to mobile and social.

Jean-Pierre said Solocal must constantly innovate and look for new approaches to leverage social.  The company most recently experimented on Facebook with a brand called “Zoom On.” Zoom On creates an audience within special cities or regions.  Zoom On has been successful in terms of audience traffic, but Jean-Pierre said it still needs to convert that traffic into a monetization strategy.

That’s a key question we’ll all be asking as we continue to integrate social into local search offerings.  Based on what Solocal has done so far, I’m sure they’ll find the answer.

As Industry Transforms, Opportunities for Success

Monday, March 4, 2013

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.

France’s PagesJaunes Rebrands as Solocal

Friday, February 15, 2013

Solocal Group

PagesJaunes, France’s Yellow Pages publisher and one of the world’s most progressive local search companies, yesterday announced the launch of a new corporate brand – Solocal Group. The name change comes at a time when online revenues are becoming a greater share of the company’s bottom line: today, 58% of the company’s revenue comes from online, a figure that is expected to rise to 75% by 2015. The company chose the new name Solocal to better reflect digital growth and its leadership in online and mobile local search.

Though the corporate entitity will now be known as Solocal, it appears that the company’s consumer-facing products will continue to be branded as PagesJaunes for the time being.

In conjunction with the rebranding, Solocal also launched a new initative called “Digital 2015.” While the company has been rapidly transforming from traditional to digital over the past few years, Solocal will introduce Digital 2015 to fully make the switch. The company’s new objectives will include:

  • Accelerating online growth by specializing offers, focusing on client needs by business category and developing new capacities to support them in digital marketing
  • Enhancing media platform efficiency, fixed and mobile, by providing an enriched user experience and maximizing benefits for clients
  • Adopting a digital, flexible company model, through talent, IT systems, organization and culture
  • Embarking all teams on transformation, to facilitate development both in France and internationally

As you may know, Solocal CEO, Jean-Pierre Remy will be traveling from France to deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Search Starts Here Conference in Las Vegas. We’re very excited to hear more about the new iniative, the new name, and the company’s incredible transformation.

To hear fantastic insights from Jean-Pierre and other Local Search leaders at the 2013 conference, log onto to register.

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.