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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.