Posts Tagged ‘Radicle Consulting’

Day 2 at LSA|14 features speakers from Bing, Google, JiWire, PlaceIQ and more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You saw the exciting activities, events and Idea Labs set for Day 1 of our 3-day jam-packed event, April 27-29 in SoCal.  Now let’s take a look at some of the highlights for Day 2 of LSA|14:

Main Stage Sessions

  • Kristen Coit, Head of Directories and Web Hosting (Google)
  • The Cross-Screen Opportunity (Mobile Media Summit, Digitaria)
  • Making it Easy for Small Businesses (Bing)
  • Measuring Real World Results from Mobile Ads (xAd, JiWire, PlaceIQ, YP)
  • National Advertiser Perspective (VCA Animal Hospital)
  • How Digital Offers & Couponing Help Customers Find Locations (Street Fight, Retale, Wanderful Media)
  • Global Leadership Panel (YP, Sensis, Zap Group, Trudon Ltd., Radicle Consulting)

For a list of all the sessions and descriptions of each, visit the Agenda Page.

New Member/Partner Member Yacht Cruise (invitation only)
This exclusive networking event will take place on board the Ambassador yacht for a few hours of cruising the coast.  Sponsored by Thrive Analytics and Local Market Launch, this will be a great way to make new connections while taking in the beautiful scenery of Southern California.

Findability: Discovery and the Real Value of Content in Local Search
While enjoying breakfast, hear about the differences between consumers looking for a specific branded product, service or provider versus consumers looking without a product, service or provider in mind. The latter is how the vast majority of searches take place and represents a true growth opportunity in local search online and also the vast majority of the searches taking place. Local Market Launch will explore what content is important, how to produce it, who in or outside the organization should produce it and where it should be distributed to address this market opportunity.

For more details, visit our Agenda Page – and if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

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 awards@localsearchassociation.org 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 www.localsearchassociation.org/lsa14.

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.

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!

SMB Digital Marketing 2012 – Axiom’s COO Bob Sanders to Small Business: “What is the Negative Impact You Want to Eliminate?”

Monday, September 17, 2012

 

This morning started off with a great line-up of speakers in a special preconference workshop, Building a Winning SMB Sales Organization.

Bob Sanders, president and COO of Axiom Sales Force Development kicked off the presentations with a thought provoking segment tracing the evolution of sales from the “peddler”, through needs-based sales, to the current “Trusted Advisor” approach which has proven important in a dynamic marketplace.

He emphasized the necessity for specific, industry-based questions for each customer – this approach takes the relationship with the SMB to the next level, and creates a successful environment for selling.  Asking the advertiser, “What is the negative impact you want to eliminate?” allows the sales rep to get past the question of cost and into the SMBs specific needs and how they can be met.

Mike Centorani, cofounder of Sales Transformation Now, weighed in with a presentation that focused on the difficulty of gaining the attention of today’s overwhelmed and overworked SMB.  Centorani has firsthand experience – he’s worked with three YP firms and has gone out on hundreds of sales calls with their teams.

In addition to suggesting something that is in very short supply these days – patience – he reminded the audience that SMBs by nature are: risk takers, tellers vs. askers, and want to get straight to the bottom-line. Usually, sales reps have the same traits!

He suggested learning to speak the language of the client and make it about them.  Finding out:

  • What they are trying to sell?
  • Who is their target audience?
  • What do their customers care about when choosing who to do business with?
  • And why would the client be the best choice for their customer?

Next Todd Handy, VP at Deseret Digital Media, spoke about the guiding principles that have helped Deseret’s transition and boost revenues:

  • Digital Requires Digital – your sales team should mirror your customers
  • Leveraging Your Legacy – it’s not about your products, it’s about a solution for the SMB and a different model for sales
  • Focusing on the Long Tail – the average SMB is overworked and under-educated when it comes to available media, they need guidance and help understanding the importance of ROI

Paul Plant, principal at Radicle Consulting, rounded out the opening session by taking a slightly different approach, pointing out that we are in a dynamic marketplace requiring a team approach that includes multiple customer touch points and access to media specialists to meet the needs of most SMBs.  This creates a more positive experience for the SMB resulting in a stronger relationship with your brand.

Plant has consulted with Trader Media, O₂ and Pages Jaunes – all companies successfully using this approach.  He suggested that there are some common themes at these organizations that have enabled them to succeed in a changing marketplace, including:

  • Single-minded focus on delivering customer value
  • Compensation tied to Customer Satisfaction Index
  • Aligned leadership
  • Impeccable execution
  • Seamless business-wide technology
  • Workplace satisfaction

It was a busy morning, but these speakers had a large audience, and provided a good opening to the remainder of the event.  There’s still much more to come, so check in here over the next two days to see what’s going on at SMB Digital.

#DMS2011: New Models for Customer Acquisition

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A telling stat this week out of the DMS meeting is that business owners are approached around 40 times each month by sales reps. The local business advertising space is becoming more crowded so this figure is only going to increase. For sales reps, it’s going to be even harder to cut through the clutter and get the ear of a business owner who wants to focus on their work. Indeed, in one of the advertiser videos shown during the conference, a business owner was given a pie by a marketing company trying to get her attention – and it worked!

Mike Centorani, VP of sales training and development, MatchCraft and Paul Plant, founder and principal, Radicle Consulting, hosted a panel to share their insights on effective models for acquiring new small business advertisers in today’s media environment.

Both Mike and Paul advocated a similar model for customer growth where sales reps are closer to their customers, more educated on their potential clients’ businesses, and can offer a diverse portfolio so they become a trusted mini ad agency. To gain credibility with small business owners and to cut through the noise, Paul and Mike offered tips for sales reps to acquire new customers:

  • Focus on the customer and their customers — not on you and your products
  • Keep in touch, offer flexibility, and prove the ROI you deliver before you deliver a bill
  • Investing the time to learn about the verticals you’re calling and visiting, to be able to ask the specific, significant questions that will engage them early on. Business owners want someone who understands their industry and if reps can explain how their solution will help drive leads, the perceived value of the advertising package will be greater than the amount you’re asking them to invest.
  • Offer creative incentives and offers..  Plant mentioned some sales reps he works with offer a “try before you buy” approach for customers where it makes sense
  • Shorter-term contracts and/or big entry-level packages

All great suggestions for reps looking to up their game.

DMS ’10: Give Up Major Metros? No, Ignore Them At Your Peril.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“That’s where the future revenue is and that’s where the customers are,” said Paul Plant, founder, Radicle Consulting, in reference to the question whether Yellow Pages companies should give up metro markets.  “The innovations going on in this space should give the publishers what they need to address the needs of metro market customers.”

Plant said that publishers must overcome their current reputation of producing print products that are too big and cover too wide an area, are dated, and out of touch.

“Consumers in metro areas travel shorter distances to buy products than anywhere else, so why do we deliver huge directories?”

Plant recommends publishers look at smaller, more compact directories and create online products that don’t just replicate Yellow Pages data, but are dynamic and offer up-to-date content.

Because metro markets consumers are on-the-go all the time, Plant suggests rethinking the sales approach to one that’s 365 days a year, not driven by a 12- or six-month publishing schedule.  According to Plant, if a sales person only checks in twice a year with an advertiser, they miss out on many opportunities to provide marketing services for holidays and other time sensitive needs.

Isabelle Lascombe, marketing director of PagesJaunes in France, says her company has launched a number of initiatives to combat changes in usage of metro markets compared to rural markets, which continue to embrace print.

The company’s research finds that, of consumers in Paris, 16% use print only, 54% use online only; and 26% use both.  Rural areas are quite a different story, where 46% use print only, 15% use online only; and 38 percent both.

As print has changed, the company has looked for ways to cut costs related to print.  PagesJaunes has reduced the number of headings in its urban directories, eliminating B2B headings.  The company is moving to a more compact format that will save paper costs.  It has also launched an opt-out website and changed delivery logistics to produce fewer print directories, and pickup unused directories to adjust counts for next year.

Lascombe said that all printed books are accessible today on the Internet in a fully digitized, interactive format.  The company is releasing three new updates to its iPhone app per year and has launched a branded website geared to the 18 to 35-year-old consumer with maps, streets views, and interactivity with social networks.

Additionally, the company is demonstrating its commitment to print by launching a new mailed directory featuring “emergency” headings related to healthcare and home repairs.

“Metro markets present massive upside opportunity if you get your proposition right,” said Plant.  “Ignore them at your peril.”