Posts Tagged ‘YPA10’

The 2010 YPA Annual Conference, ‘Transformers,’ Defined by Optimism and Opportunity

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I’m thrilled to report that our 35th annual YPA conference, “Transformers” was a great success. More than 425 Yellow Pages industry professionals from across the country and around the world joined us in sunny Las Vegas for four days of informative and imperative dialogue about the changing nature of our industry.

Like our industry, our conference was transformed this year to include a new format that highlighted Strategic Exchange Sessions (SES) instead of the traditional exhibition hall. The SES program was designed to allow companies to easily make appointments with industry executives during the conference – and the feedback we received so far has been outstanding. We’ve heard that those who participated were able to make more connections and have more quality 1:1 conversations than ever before.

Our general session and breakout sessions were also well received. The level of engagement and enthusiasm about the topics was significant – as the posts (and video) on InsideYP and on Twitter (via our hashtag, #YPA10) clearly illustrate. Some highlights include:

  • YPA Chairman Chris Cummings kicked-off the first morning session with the argument that, despite the fast pace of change in the industry, print and Yellow Pages products are performing well. He called on the industry to continue to work together to promote the facts about offerings and their usage in a transparent way to advertisers.
  • Eastman Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett captivated the audience with a discussion of the transformation Kodak has made as the world moved away from film/print imaging to digital. As one attendee said, “If Kodak can go through that big of change in their business in that short of a time, and actually come out of it stronger, this industry should have no problem.”
  • Although unable to join us in person because of the volcanic ash situation in Europe, Jesper Karrabrink, CEO of Eniro shared a keynote address by video which discussed, among several things, the transformation necessary in our databases to be able to deliver truly relevant searches and to not be constrained by our traditional directory heading structure.
  • Local Matters CEO Mat Strover, who also participated in our “Being Built to Last” panel hosted by BIA/Kelsey, delivered a keynote today in which he explained why the future of the Yellow Pages industry will be all about relationships—and how social media is the most powerful and efficient environment to build those relationships.
  • Picking up on Chris Cummings’ point, our Advertisers Panel discussed the important of data in driving marketing decisions. Sales representatives from SuperMedia and Yellowbook, along with two long-time YP advertisers, expressed optimism that local businesses are increasingly realizing the importance of maintaining—or in some cases, reengaging—their Yellow Pages offerings.

In addition to these activities, our attendees enjoyed networking and reconnecting with one another – most notably during our Monday night Gala dinner (with our special guests!).

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s conference a success.

Mr. Business Builder: YP Sales Reps Must Believe in Themselves and Their Products

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Frank Rowan, founder of Mr. Business Builder, not only preached passion, belief and persistence as the key ingredients to successful selling, he demonstrably confirmed those traits in his presentation yesterday at our annual conference in Las Vegas.

The focus of Rowan’s speech was that YP sales reps must believe in themselves and in the products they sell before they can become successful.  He said that so little is sold when so little enthusiasm is offered. Successful sales reps are good listeners who have moved from a product-centric to a service-centric mindset. More importantly, they build relationships with their customers by identifying and fulfilling their needs.

Rowan went on to say that customers want our advice and are looking for the best executions in terms of reaching their target audience.

Top Ten Tweets from #YPA10 – Day Two

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

As we finish up our annual conference here in Las Vegas, I’d like to share our top ten favorite tweets from today’s sessions. And in case you missed it, click here to see our top tweets from yesterday.

  • OscarSMarques: #ypa10 Eniro’s Jesper gave the best presentation. his company’s on the right track
  • ym_sam: #ypa10 Both SuperMedia’s Bill Brewer & YellowBook’s Chris Heilbrock reporting uptick in Yellow Pages advertiser count & spending.
  • ym_sam: #ypa10 YPA Conference was great! Thanks to all! Travel safely.
  • MarketingMoxieMatt Stover nailing the future of local search: “It’s all about the relationships, stupid!” #YPA10
  • davehucker#ypa10 STATISTIC: 93% OF SOCIAL MEDIA USERS THINK COMPANIES SHOULD ENGAGE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT ONLY 16% OF BUSINESSES USE SOCIAL MEDIA
  • matterslocal: Local Matters CEO Mat Stover: The Future is All About Relationships #YPA10 http://ow.ly/1AQSK
  • ym_samCool YP stats: Municipal landfills consisted of 4.9% Newspapers & 0.3% YellowPages. #ypa10
  • davehucker: #ypa10 if yellow page users were a country. It’d be the 5th largest in the world
  • AlanSee: Checking out Buzz.com at YPA ... #ypa10 … Give it try
  • AlanSee: Good meetings with Acxiom and Century Interactive at #YPA10 … Thanks for setting them up

YP Advertisers: Data Drives Decisions

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charles Laughlin from BIA/Kelsey moderated an advertiser panel today.  The key takeaway: data drives marketing decisions.

“I like monthly reports with as much detail tracking as possible,” said George Bochanis, Esq., owner of George T. Bochanis Law Offices.  “It seems like the technology is increasing every year.  I would love to have something that shows tracking, timing, calls – whatever is available.”

Shannon Rodman, director, YPMG Marketing Ops, ServiceMaster, talked about the difference data can make in an organization where stores are a mix of company owned and franchised.  In the economic downturn, the company-owned stores have maintained ad levels with print Yellow Pages.  Franchisees, however, have been skeptical and want to move to Internet-based marketing tools.

“We need to go them to stay in the directory,” said Rodman.  “They need to see that the books are delivering and they need to stay in the directories.”

Chris Heilbock, regional vice president of national sales from Yellowbook and ServiceMaster account rep commented that franchisees are coming back to print Yellow Pages after other options haven’t worked out.  “Our corporate spender is more stable.  They’ve done measurement and understand the marketplace.  A lot of the franchise owners are influenced by other people around them without other statistics or data.  We’re seeing some of that come back now.  They’ve tried some other things and they’re coming back to what they had before.”

Bill Brewer, regional vice president of sales for SuperMedia, said building systems to give advertisers performance metrics is a key priority.  “We’ve doubled our testing budgets year over year for the last three years now.  We think it’s key to the future growth of all of our platforms.”

Local Matters CEO Mat Stover: The Future is All About Relationships

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In a thought-provoking address this morning, Mat Stover, CEO Local Matters, gave his decree on what he called “the bottom line on social”: The future of the Yellow Pages industry is all about relationships, and social media is the most powerful and efficient environment to build those relationships.

Stover argued that social media, more than any other communication platform available today, can build rich networks to engage customer, advertiser and internal relationships that lead to revenue and loyalty.  Used internally, social media can also benefit quality, production, expertise and innovation in organizations, particularly when used as a sales force tool to increase collaboration, share information and best practices and follow leads.

Here are some eye-opening statistics shared in the session:

  • 48% of the US population has a social media profile, and it’s not just young Americans: 64% of 25-34 year olds use social media and 51% of those age 35-44 have a profile
  • More people visit Facebook everyday than Google – and the gap is widening
  • 27% visit search engines a few times a week, 26% visit social networking every day
  • 30% of all Facebook users check the network when they wake up in the middle of the night
  • The average teenager texts more than 2,000 messages per month
  • 93% of social media users believe a company should have a presence in social media
  • 52% of small businesses believe having a social media presence is important, but only 16% of them leverage social media

The data presents a pretty compelling argument and highlights some great opportunities for local search providers.

Taking a page from the social media playbook, Stover gave some tips as the industry continues its transformation.  In his opinion, the successful media industry players of the future will absorb and enhance the best qualities that social media platforms offer today to users and advertisers:

  • Build loyalty by offering personalized content and value
  • Make it easy to bring friends along and share your experience
  • Make it a simple, efficient user experience that offers local insights
  • Don’t just wait for audiences to come to you – take content to the audience
  • Create widgets and tracking measures to evaluate value and impact
  • Make it easy for your network of users to add rich, unique content

YPA ‘Transformers’: Revolution 2.0

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Key Takeaways from YPA ‘Transformers’ Day One

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Attendees at YPA “Transformers” share key takeaways from their first day at the conference.

Mediatel’s Kimberli Lewis Highlights Female Purchasing Power at the Women’s Networking Receptio

Monday, April 19, 2010

The ladies of the YPA really look forward to the women’s networking reception each year at the annual conference, and this year’s gathering did not disappoint. Not only did the guests have a great occasion to network and hear updates from the women helping the industry to transform – but they were also treated to a fun and unexpected history lesson from Kimberli Lewis of Mediatel on the evolution of women’s purchasing power from the 18260 to present.

According to Lewis, women went from having no voice in their family’s day-to-day purchases the late 1800s to more voice in the 1920s during World War to becoming chief decision officers today – accounting for 85% of purchases.

“In Europe, our data shows us that three out of four women make the purchase in most households and 75% of those purchase are being made online,” she added.

Lewis argued that understanding the female approach to purchasing is a key to innovation.

“IYPs that integrate social media and brand-specific search functionality are essential,” she said. “They tap into two key insights: First, that 75% of online shoppers seek suggestions when making a purchase and second, that the average family mentions brands 90 times per week. This is the way consumers are operating and we need to adapt to that.”

Take notice, ladies: To better tap into the female purchasing cycle, Lewis suggested that more should be done to increase female executive leadership in the industry.

“If you want to know whether we are transforming, you have to ask who is leading the innovations in IYP platforms. Women make 85% of purchasing decisions – but represent only 18.2% of the CEOs in the industry globally.” An eye-opening number.

Special thanks are also owed to Lisa Mahoney of Century Interactive who led the annual raffle. A key prize among this year’s give-aways was a new iPad tablet… perfect to stay on top of the latest mobile innovations.

Top Ten Tweets from #YPA10

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our annual conference attendees here in Las Vegas are busy tweeting the latest news from our sessions today.

See our top ten favorite tweets below – and join in the conversation by using our #YPA10 hashtag.

  • matterslocal: LM CEO, built to last means a sales force that understands and uses social media to connect with their customers #YPA10 http://ow.ly/1ArSc
  • ym_sam: Eniro: changed White Pages into a social media hub with Facebook, Twitter & email! The directory is dead, long live the directory! #ypa10
  • jc_losangeles: At #YPA10. Buy, rent or build? overarching theme. Also, everyone loves Morgan Stanley’s internet trends report–mobile overtaking desktop!
  • davehucker: Krishna Pillai: “don’t build a rocket ship if your client needs a bicycle” #ypa10
  • ym_sam: Sergio did same search on his iPad, iPhone & desktop. All yielded diff results due to attempts to deliver ‘local search’ by Google. #ypa10
  • ym_sam: Kimberli Lewis saying they’re seeing consumers asking for more locally focused directories in Europe. I think that’s a global trend. #ypa10
  • TavisMcPherson: YPA sales force changing to trusted advisers – this means more time spent listening less time selling – #YPA10 (panel)
  • MarketingMoxie: Imperatives for survival = speed, customer-centric focus, fearlessness and relationships. #YPA10
  • brendanking: Speed, Service over products, fear of failure, relationships – things the YP industry needs to change to survive (panel says) #ypa10
  • peterrand: To everyone at YPA conference – spare a thought for those of us left under a cloud in Europe! Have a good one #YPA10

Eniro CEO Jesper Karrabrink: ‘Transforming with a Smile’

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jesper Karrabrink, CEO of Eniro rounded out today’s session with a video presentation made especially for “Transformers” after international air travel difficulties grounded him. Eniro has a global reputation for successfully transforming its business and Jesper shared insights with the audience on “transforming with a smile.” He spoke of transformation not as an option, but a requirement, emphasizing the transformations taking place at Eniro are not just about going from print to online, but represent at total transformation of the entire company. He also noted it was about “moving from print dependency to online opportunities.”

Eniro is focused on providing relevant search results, with Jesper noting that “those who can show the most relevant search results will be the true winner.” He showcased the search functionality on Eniro.se with an example for finding a hairdresser. They have taken their system to the next level, allowing consumers to not only search for the nearest salon, but to also input the date and time they are looking for the appointment, and actually closing the loop by allowing the consumer to book and confirm the appointment, all within the search.

Jesper acknowledged that these and other transformations take time, and require real investment in both the back-end systems and also in shaping the company’s culture to move forward in serving the needs of consumers in the way they think and search.