Monthly Archives: April 2013

Yellow Page News Briefs – April

This regular article provides a snapshot of Yellow Page recent industry news you may have missed.

Industry Recycling News:

Seattle Councilmember and handful of residents still venting over opt-out

Don’t want yellow-pages (etc.) directories? Opt-out deadline ahead West Seattle Blog (blog) Both Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and a PR agency for the yellow-pages-directory industry have sent reminders today that a deadline is ahead for opting out of the next big round of deliveries – go to this website by May 6th if you want to …

Phone Book Recycle Kickoff Party – Branson, MO

Recycling locations for telephone directories are available at various locations in the City of Branson. Any resident and business that wants to recycle their directories may do so at Jubilee Foods, Dewey Short Visitor Center and the Branson Recycle …

Unwanted Phone Book Drop Off Planned – Nebraska

Now is a good time to get rid of unwanted phone books since new phone books were recently distributed to Lincoln homes and businesses. Laura Cole of The Berry Media Company says 51,000 pounds of outdated telephone directories were recycled last …

Berry Company noted for recycling efforts

Dayton company urges phone book recycling WHIO Dayton The Berry Company’s “Think Yellow, Go Green” program has kept 1.5 million outdated phone books out of landfills by recycling more than 750 tons of them. Earth Day was the fifth anniversary of the program. Berry has teamed up with schools, The Boy …

Industry Conferences:

EADP conference in June

The European Association of Directory Publishers (EADP) in cooperation with the European and German Search, Directory and Database association and will have its next conference in Berlin on June 10-11, 2013.  You can now register on the EASDP Conference site.

This year’s conference will have a theme of “Using the creative chaos of speed and innovation”.  All information, program, exhibitors, speakers, and online registration are available on the EADP site.

Kelsey Group – Leading in Local

Austin will play host to the Kelsey Groups annual “LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing” conference that will take place Sept. 11 – 13, 2013. This conference will focus on the fast-changing SMB marketing solutions space and examine the digital innovations that are transforming how SMBs attract, retain and upsell their customers.  Today is the last day for early registration discounts.

Yellow Pages in the News

Green light for Dex – SuperMedia Merger

Bankruptcy court gives OK to Dex One-SuperMedia merger WRAL Tech Wire By Staff, wire reports Cary, NC — Dex One and SuperMedia, two money-losing phone-book publishers, won a judge’s permission on Monday to merge and exit …

New Cover Girl for the Phone Book

Phone books are being delivered across the Townsville region at the moment, and the woman on the cover has a really interesting story to tell. Angie D’Arcy is mother to a child with special needs and in 2008 she founded The Umbrella Network to give …

Bogus Yellow Pages still out there

Company knocks off Yellow Pages invoice to dupe business owners A Knoxville businesswoman says she received a bogus invoice from a company claiming to be the real Yellow Pages and requesting a fee to renew the listing in …

Angie’s List remains hot

All the indicators are going in the right direction as modern-day yellow pages Angie’s List, which helps people find trustworthy carpenters, dentists, mechanics, and more, reported its first quarter results today. Revenues were up 68 percent to $52.2 million, paid memberships were up 60 percent year-over-year — hitting two million just two days ago — and its cost-per-acquisition was down 12 percent.

Ziplocal Partners with Marchex

Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX), a leader in mobile performance advertising, today announced a partnership with Ziplocal, an advertising platform that

Other news:

Print Yellow Page penetration “amazes”

Foursquare Has 93% Penetration In Retail – Plus New $41 Million Note Forbes Foursquare = 93%; Citysearch = 66%; Facebook = 65%; Google+ = 59%; Yellow Pages = 55% (I am often amazed at this sort of penetration for a physical book, however, it might also include digital presences the Yellow Page industry has been slow to create …

 

Advertisements

How can the industry collaborate?

Just got back from the Local Search Association annual conference, and once again I heard a lot suggesting/pleading/begging from various speakers that the industry really needs to think differently, act differently, and most importantly collaborate better.

In the 25+ years I have been in the industry, the one thing you can be guaranteed to hear at an industry conference is that the industry needs to work together.  Conceptually, everyone agrees that all boats will rise if the overall industry can grow.  But usually within 10 minutes of arriving back in the home office, the issues of the moment take over and that whole collaboration thing gets filed away for another year.  Perhaps now more so than in the past, we can’t let that happen.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that today the industry faces massive change both internally and from forces external to the industry.  It wasn’t very long ago that there were usually three, four, five or more print directories in a market and that was it.  Then about ten or so years ago, this “digital” thing started, and toss in a prolonged business slowdown (some would even call it a recession), and small business owners/marketers have had to change their attitudes and philosophies about promoting their businesses to often just keep their lights on, and maybe even pray they could grow a little.

Industry collaborations are possible, and can be very successful.  got milk 1For example, remember the got milk” campaign?  Often hailed as one of the most successful ad campaigns in marketing history, got milk? was launched in 1993 when fluid milk processors in California agreed to allocate $.03 of each gallon sold to fund an overall promotion effort. The campaign was licensed nationally in 1995 for use in print ads featuring celebrities with “milk mustaches.”got milk 2

The program still continues to this day with an interactive website promoting various health benefits.  The campaign is managed by the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, which has an approximate annual budget of $110 million.

Another example is the “Pork: The Other White Meat” effort from pork other white meatthe National Pork Board.  This original campaign, which is often cited as one of the most memorable campaigns of all time, was intended to promoted pork as a healthy meat option.  Realistically, as the National Pork Board acknowledged it was really an effort to stem the steady decline in pork sales.

The original $7 million budget in 1987 contrasted to the $30 million spent primarily on network   television ads for the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” campaign from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the $112 million spent on ads for branded chickens.  Using this program promoting pork as a lean meat to more health-conscious consumers, pork sales in the United States rose 20%, reaching $30 billion annually by 1991

This year the Pork Board is launching its new $11 million Pork: Be Inspired campaign, which aims to increase sales by targeting customers who already eat pork.

So there are examples where industry players, competitors in effect, have banded together to promote their overall value, and as a result everyone in the industry saw higher sales.

Which brings us back to our beloved Yellow Pages industry, and to you the readers of this newsletter.  The topic for discussion is simply:

  1. How can the industry work together?  Now, not a year from now, but right now, to show the outstanding value we bring to advertisers??
  2.  What steps are needed?? 
  3.  Who needs to get together in a room to start to make this happen??

We want you views and suggestions, and if you’re worried about your company not being pleased to see your name (or the company’s) in the comments, we’ll block them out and change names.  But the clock is ticking…

Send me your thoughts at ken@yptalk.com..

 

 

Survey: SMB’s Wasting Their Time With Social Media

Ouch.  The digital fanatics’ aren’t going to like this one:  As reported in the USA TodayMost small businesses feel like they are wasting their time on social media, according to a new survey.

The survey indicated that about 61% of small businesses don’t see any return on investment on their social-media activities, according to a survey released from Manta, a social network for small businesses. Yet, the big disconnect is that almost 50% of those SMB’s say they’ve increased their time spent on social media.  What’s going on?

In reality, many small businesses just don’t have a true place they fit in yet when it comes to social media.  Most SMB’s will jump in because of peer pressure, or media pressure, or the perception that their business will be left behind even if they have no clue what they’re trying to get out of a social-media campaign. The quote of the day in the article is from Stephanie Schwab, CEO of Crackerjack Marketing:

“Just thinking that Facebook alone will send droves of customers to your doorstep is a mistake a lot of people make”

Why are SMB’s getting into social media anyway?  The study indicates that:

  • 36% said their goal was to acquire and engage new customers,
  • 19% said to gain leads and referrals,
  • 17% said to boost awareness.

And I’m willing to bet that 90+% of them think it’s cheaper than traditional media like print Yellow Pages.  And it may be at the onset.  But isn’t it usually true that you get what you pay for?

Take this one SMB quoted in the article:

“…Regina Hartt, owner of Hartt’s Pool Plastering in Turlock, Calif., says social media hasn’t helped her business because there are too many disreputable companies in the construction business, and no amount of “Likes” on Facebook is going to sway a prospective customer to spend $5,000 to $40,000 on a pool-plastering job. Hartt created a Facebook page for her business over a year ago, but she says out of the 200 to 300 jobs she does a year only three or four come from people who have found the business online…”

How many jobs do think this pool company could get from a print and online Yellow Pages ad program over the course of a year?  I would be willing to bet it far exceeds what they are getting from Facebook.

Perhaps the industry can help SMB’s through this dilemma.  Aren’t we the people who do the “fact finding” on each and every call to help identify where a business stands?   And aren’t we the industry that has simple, one stop solutions in print, online, and mobile?

Folks, we just need to show them the “power of yellow…”

Say Hello to Local Market Launch

I recently ran an article that “Mom & Pop Are Still Not Advertising Online”, and I think I figured out why. Two reasons actually:

1) It’s not easy. The Internet is a big, wide open, complex, even formidable space with lots of moving parts. There’s search portals, social media, hyperlocal directories, niche sites, IYP’s and on and on. Even geeks really into this stuff have trouble keeping up. And then throw mobile on top and you have a real mess to navigate.

2) It can be very expensive. One SMB showed me a recent proposal he got that would cost him several thousand dollars for something he wasn’t sure he could even get a decent ROI on.

So naturally, many small business owners are reluctant and unsure on who to trust and how to proceed. We think we may have found just the solution for this dilemma, a new supplier for the Yellow Pages industry – Local Market Launch.

LML-horizontal

Background
The beginnings of this new industry entry are classical Yellow Pages start-up type stories. Brian Coryat, the company’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer, launched his first internet directory listing service back in 1995 — AAA Internet Promotions. After that he moved on to Web-Ignite, one of the first SEO companies, but is best known for founding and taking public the online advertising company ValueClick, for which he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000 for eCommerce.

After moving on from ValueClick, Brian decided to try something different and acquired a small hotel in Wisconsin. When the economy sputtered he began looking at every nickel being spent and noticed a line entry for $700 per month which he later identify was yellow page advertising. Determined to grow his struggling hotel identity beyond just the local print directory, he began the process that every SMB goes through trying to establish a consistent identity across the Internet. It was during that period that he realized that if an experienced industry professional like himself was having such problems, imagine what the less knowledgeable SMB owners were going through. So about 18 months ago he started Local Market Launch headquartered in the heart of beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, California.

Recently the company has announced another important hire in bringing on 20+ year Yellow Pages industry veteran Jeff Hoyer.  Jeff brings background as the former VP, National Sales for R.H. Donnelley/Dex Media, (managed a national team of 30, with P&L responsibility of $420 million in print, online and PPC products), and he was also Group VP at TMP Worldwide where he managed four VP/GMs and a portfolio of national clients.

Value Proposition:
Hoyer was able to give us some insight as to the value Local Market Launch can bring to both Yellow Page publishers and CMR’s. Basically the company performs three critical functions:

  1. Business Listings Management (BLM): They work with SMB’s to develop a business profile, highly customized to their local market, validate and enhance the client data to ensure a standard, quality listing. That profile is then optimized across top 30 search, social & directory sites, sites such as FaceBook, Yelp, Foursquare, Google+, Bing Local, City Search, and Merchant Circle. Once the business profile has been established they then push that information across the net syndicating it to over 150 search portals building the SMB’s brand presence consistently, uniformly.
  2. Local Search Optimization (LSO): After the initial stages of BLM, they come back every month, analyze the business’s top competitors and build citations based on where those competitors have business profiles.
  3. Ongoing Reputation Monitoring (RM): Here they provide interactive agencies, publishers, CMR, national brands, and even those mom & pop SMB’s a dashboard which allows them to break down usage and viewing results of their business’s reputation and social web presence in any number of sorts such as division, zone, etc, and receive daily report cards

When I questioned Hoyer about what a typical average cost that an SMB would expect to see for this type service, he indicated that they are targeting a $600 first year price point. But it doesn’t end there.

Given the swift growth of mobile Local Market Launch is not limited to just working on solutions for the Internet. To provide a similar, consistent profile on mobile platforms, the company helps develop individual business landing pages which are completely mobile optimized, and then spreads that profile across the internet.

What I think will make this company very different from other providers is its agency friendly business model. The dashboards discussed above are customized for each agency. The company also has no plans to establish a direct relationship with SMB’s. They expect that publishers and CMR’s will be able to take their core product and white label it with their own brands. Under Hoyer’s guidance the company has already begun testing with a “large-scale” publisher. Local Market Launch screen

The company currently has about 20 people and is beginning to rapidly hire in the Santa Barbara area. Of note is that none of the work they do is being done by offshore workers. Everything is being done right here in the good old USA.

LML Will Be at LSA:
Hoyer revealed that the company will be making a big splash at the upcoming Local Search Association conference in Las Vegas April 13-16. The company is planning a wine tasting event in their private suite and he hinted at a drawing for a weekend on the company in Santa Barbara, possibly in a private yacht. Companies interested in meeting with Local Market Launch (or to do the wine tasting) should contact Jeff at mailto:Jeff@localmarketlaunch.com or via his office line of 805-960-5572.

 
LML top-tier-pins-28-up

Partner With Local Market Launch
If you are an agency, marketing firm, media publisher, Internet directory or an organization that reaches local businesses, consider partnering with us today.

  • White-glove, dedicated specialists for each client account
  • Single point of contact for each partner project
  • Scalable and effective
  • Easy to integrate tools for resellers
  • Revenue sharing for the life of the client
  • Custom campaign capabilities

Need more information? Give us a call at (800) 720-3291 or email partners@localmarketlaunch.com.

LML_api-cloud