Tag Archives: Yelp

Mom and Pop Still Not Advertising Online

As reported on AllThingsD.com those small business/mom-and-pop shops still aren’t flocking to the Web with their advertising.  According to a new survey conducted last fall by the Boston Consulting Group only 3 percent of small-business ad dollars are going online.

The numbers come from a survey of 550 small companies, and shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to anyone who has watched the struggle many US based publishers have had trying to break into the digital ad market for many, many years.

As the article author Peter Kafka notes:

“..With the notable exception of Groupon and other daily deal companies, most of the Internet guys like to advertise their advertising on the Internet. And their platonic ideal for a transaction is the self-serve model, where humans never have to talk to each other. Meanwhile lots of traditional business still gets done in analog form, via phone calls and feet on the street”

and even those “no-one-uses-them-anymore”print Yellow Pages which continue to see increased call tracking volume year over year.

Granted that when small businesses do spend their money, Google is drawing the majority of it (according to BCG), with the popularity of other sites ranked this way:

  • “Other” search engines,
  • Yelp,
  • Facebook,
  • Yahoo! Local,
  • YP.com (formerly yellowpages.com),
  • Twitter,
  • LinkedIn, and
  • Superpages.com

Does this mean that many Yellow Page publishers are chasing a digital mirage, or is it a tsunami just waiting to happen????

My take: 

  1. Print is still faster (do a test to find an emergency plumber in your town who provides free estimates on weekends, has been in business at least 10 years, and has a Better Business Bureau rating),
  2. Easier (no Internet or mobile connection needed)
  3. Print ads provide greater context especially for products/services you buy infrequently (e.g. a replacement roof) – you find out a lot more from a full page ad than an in-column ad.  It sends a message to the consumer

Don’t get me wrong – love the Internet and mobile.  They are great for research.  But when it comes to a real local buying decision — print does more, and better.  Over time, things may change.  But first Mom and Pop need to see that more business is coming from digital before they will make the leap.

Yellow Pages = print, online, and mobile

BIA/Kelsey SMB Kicks Off Busy Fall Conference Schedule

We are entering a busy industry conference season starting next week with the BIA/Kelsey SMB Digital Marketing 2012 conference, which takes place Sept. 17-19, in Chicago.
 Time is running short to join the digital marketing community, which is gathering to discuss the incredible SMB marketing opportunity for media, commerce, and engagement solutions. As of this point BIA/Kelsey has assembled an impressive lineup of nearly 50 speakers from across the SMB digital marketing space, including keynoters from Demandforce/Intuit, Constant Contact, Dex One, Facebook, Groupon and ReachLocal and featured speakers from Google/Wildfire, Deluxe, Yelp, Angie’s List, Belly, and many more.

YP Talk is looking forward to a conference program which is designed to provide valuable takeaways with topics that include local sales strategies, merchant outreach, SMB engagement/promotions, local search, social media and mobile strategies.   This conference historically offers the rare opportunity to meet with leaders in the SMB digital marketing solutions space.  Organizers are expecting more than 400 senior executives from over 150 companies at the conference.  To see the current list of companies attending go to: http://www.biakelsey.com/SMBDigital/companies.asp.

Save some money:  LinkedIn members who are also BIA/Kelsey group members can receive an additional $200 off the registration price by using the promo code SMBIN when registering.

SIGN UP TODAY. The registration price increases Sept. 17. Register today with promo code SMBIN at for greatest savings.

For a more international flavor, consider attending the 2012 ADPAI Annual Conference in Bangkok on November 5-6, 2012.  This event being run by the Asian Local Search and Media Association (ADPAI) will have major players in the local search and media space for the

The agenda is focused on the regional opportunities arising from the explosive growth that the social, local and mobile spaces have been experiencing in Asia.  We can verify there is a lot of action in Asia as we found in our interview with ADPAI Chairman – Oscar Sousa Marques, the CEO of Directel Macau yellow pages (full interview here).

Session discussions will also include how to re-train and reorganize your sales force so to effectively sell digital media, how to identify and make the most of opportunities that lie in mobile advertising, how regional companies can use social media as a tool for acquiring and maintaining customers, and much more.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Neal Polachek
  • James Sanders, Google
  • Charles Laughlin, BIA/Kelsey
  • Peter Buxton, Yellow Search Today
  • Mattias Wedar, Eniro, Sweden
  • Trevor Nadeau, Turkey Yellow Pages
  • Pavel Dolezal, SEO/SEM/SMM Specialist, Czech Republic

All the information is available online at www.adpai.com including the registration form and the sponsorship packages.

The ADPAI event is then followed by the Yellow Search Today!  Annual Conference which will be held November 14-15, 2012 in Hamburg, Germany.  Peter Ch. Buxton of Buxton Independent Consulting and Jesper Simonsen of J.S. Consulting ApS, who combined more than 30 years of operational and practical experience in the directory markets of Europe, have changed the events focus somewhat to the broad market of operators offering online, digital and mobile advertising services to the small and medium–sized business.

This event will have a theme of how to drive revenue by effective customer segmentation:

  • Which products do we offer to which  segments?
  • How does segmentation increase the salesperson’s credibility?
  • How do we put segmentation into action?

It is also an event which provides attendees with a great opportunity to meet fellow industry colleagues and develop new relationships.

Don’t believe what you are reading about the spinoff of the AT&T Yellow Pages…

As you are all know by now, AT&T recently reached a deal to sell a majority stake in its Yellow Pages operation to Cerberus Capital Management.  The deal for 53% of the unit was reportedly valued at about $1.42 billion ($750 million in cash and a $200 million note).  Once completed the transaction will result in the formation of a new entity, uncreatively titled “YP Holdings LLC”, with Cerberus having management control.

Within minutes of the announcement, I start seeing all kinds of negativity directed at the business with comments like “unloaded”, “distressed”, “apocalyptic”, “another large telecom is hanging up on printed directories”, “Phone books are obsolete”, and on and on.  I of course, disagree totally with these comments of doom and gloom.  And let me tell you why:

Print yellow pages are still a cash-generating sales machine.  The AT&T Yellow Pages operation brought in $3.3 billion in revenue last year.  Let’s compare that with the results from one from the darlings of the internet which was supposed to be a Yellow pages killer, Yelp, which only eked out $83.3 million.   Surprising Yelp has a market capitalization of $1.39 billion, which would put is just below YP Holdings. Going further, the other Internet star in the space, Angie’s List, is also valued well below the AT&T operation, with a market cap of about $870 million.

Print Yellow Pages are declining, but they won’t die.  At least not for a very long time. Even the Associated Press noted the situation. Print Yellow Pages are not like their fellow traditional media friends — newspapers, which have seen a loss of $27 in print for every digital $1 gain (source).

As a recent ADP association release noted, Yellow Page advertising continues to deliver the most calls at the best rate out there.  They reported that Bloom Ads, Inc. a full service advertising agency located in Woodland Hills, CA conducted a two year test for one of their large regional insurance providers. The test utilized unique call tracking numbers for ads appearing on broadcast, out of home and in print yellow pages.

The results were pretty solid:

  • Print yellow page ads drove on average 55% of all calls at a cost per call of under $30.00
  • Television & Radio generated approximately 40.5% of all calls at a CPC of approximately  $160.00
  • Outdoor represented an average of 4.5% of the overall calls at a CPC of over $300.00

AT&T completed a shrewd business move.  I am admittedly not a financial guru.  But just take a closer look at the structure of the deal – AT&T didn’t sell the entire operation, so with 47% ownership, the cash generated from Yellow Pages will continue to roll in, it is now has a minority business stake so they no longer need to publicly report numbers, and they got nearly $1 billion in cash to use in their other operations.

The folks at Cerberus aren’t dummies.  As The Boston Globe pointed out in 2010, Cerebus has a history of quietly buying struggling companies and then selling them at a profit: “They range from the Alamo and National rental car companies, both of which it sold to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to plasma medicine company Talecris Biotherapeutics, which it took public in an initial public offering.”  Cerberus isn’t perfect as they also invested in Chrysler and GMAC which needed government bailouts.  However, do you really think they would invest that kind of cash in a dead-end business??  Not.


The best summation I can offer you comes from an unlikely source – David Lazarus from the LA Times: “Sometimes a deal looks so screwy, you’ve got to wonder what they’re thinking — such as a private-equity group buying a majority stake in AT&T’s Yellow Pages division. This is the age of Google and Yelp and Groupon….”  Check out the video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Mf04-vZAI.  And don’t listen to the doom and gloomers…


Industry Supplier Update – April

Everyday Yellow Pages concludes agreement with Front Door Insights to provide interactive Mobile Marketing solutions for their print directories

Front Door Insights LLC., the leading provider of Short Code enabled Mobile Marketing solutions for the independent Yellow Page directory publisher community, has announced that it has signed an agreement to license its software and associated suite of services to Everyday Yellow Pages, based in Arlington, Texas.    

Front Door Insights’ platform includes an industry leading suite of services and intuitive web-based software that is easily White Labeled and re-branded for seamless reselling opportunities.  Resellers have the opportunity to set their own customer pricing, offer an online payment gateway and bring an increasingly important mobile and digital product range to their existing customer base.

“We’ve been researching and seeking new technology that will help our Company and customers thrive in the new digital local search landscape and we’re very excited to start implementing Front Door Insights’ mobile marketing solutions very soon,” stated Todd Baldwin, President of Everyday Yellow Pages.

Customized “call to action” graphics have been developed by Front Door Insights specifically for print resellers.  The “call to action” graphics create instant interactivity when incorporated into traditional print advertising.

Additional information on Front Door Insights is available on www.fdinsights.com and www.frontdoordailydeals.com or contact Tom Tolbert at 888.632.1049 or tom.tolbert@fdinsights.com

Front Door Insights concludes agreement with Consolidated Communications to provide interactive Mobile Marketing

Front Door Insights LLC., the leading provider of Short Code enabled Mobile Marketing solutions for the independent Yellow Page directory publisher community, announced that it has signed an agreement to license its software and associated suite of services to Consolidated Communications Directory Services, based in Conroe, Texas.    

 “The addition of Front Door Insights’ mobile marketing services to our product offerings will immediately bring added value and viability to our existing print advertising products.  The ability for our customers to have a short code enabled Ad can only help their business and enable them to stay connected to their customers throughout the year,” stated Jim Bristow, Vice President of Directories at Consolidated Communications Directory Services

Customized “call to action” graphics have been developed by Front Door Insights specifically for print resellers.  The “call to action” graphics create instant interactivity when incorporated into traditional print advertising as well as our online directories. . “We are very excited to have a great company like Consolidated join the other 10 publishers using our mobile marketing platform” stated Tom Tolbert, CEO of Front Door Insights.

Additional information on Front Door Insights is available on www.fdinsights.com and www.frontdoordailydeals.com or contact Tom Tolbert at 888.632.1049 or tom.tolbert@fdinsights.com

Reviews Say Call Tracking Is In: Yelp Selects Telmetrics for Call Measurement

Proving the relevance of call metrics for any digital media, Telmetrics, the leading provider of advertising call measurement solutions, has announced that it has been selected by Yelp, the community-led local search and reviews site.

Yelp, which receives more than 45 million monthly visitors and has more than 16 million reviews, will use Telmetrics’ call tracking solutions to help measure the volume of phone calls the site is driving to Yelp-listed businesses.

“We look forward to working with Telmetrics to better understand the impact and value that Yelp profile pages can deliver to businesses,” said Lemar Hight, director, business operations and finance.

Telmetrics’ call measurement products validate the performance of local search advertising for hundreds of thousands of SMBs and national franchise locations. In addition, call counts from unique phone numbers can be analyzed for operational efficiencies, lead generation insights and ad program optimization.

“We are very excited to be working with Yelp, one of the premier names in today’s local advertising market,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “With Yelp and Yelp Mobile’s traffic numbers continuing to grow, call measurement will offer greater visibility into the high quality leads that Yelp generates.”

For more information, visit www.Telmetrics.com.  

Webs and Ziplocal Partner to Bring Mobile-Optimized Websites and Custom Facebook Pages to Local Businesses

Webs (http://webs.com), the popular, do-it-yourself suite of web, social and mobile presence solutions for small businesses, today announced a distribution partnership with U.S. local search company Ziplocal and its sister company, ImmersiFind, a local search platform used by directory and newspaper publishers worldwide. The agreement will allow Ziplocal and ImmersiFind to provide their small business advertisers with greater online presence through custom websites and Facebook fan pages.

Ziplocal, with a sales force of more than 750 people, sells results-focused advertising solutions to local businesses, who are increasingly interested in expanding their digital presence. ImmersiFind is a local search platform used by Ziplocal and many other directory and newspaper publishers worldwide. They will use the Webs platform and its powerful suite of tools to sell custom-designed websites that are also optimized for mobile devices, and Facebook pages to their advertising customers. Webs will be private-labeling their solutions so local businesses can continue to seamlessly maintain editorial control over their online presence through a simple and effective solution.


Ziplocal Introduces Ad Network for National Brands with Local Footprints

Ziplocal today announced the launch of its LocaLeads Ad Network. Providing national brands and advertising agencies with one-stop access to hyper local, results-based advertising opportunities, the LocaLeads Ad Network will harness a network of print publishers in more than 1,000 markets across the country. 

The LocaLeads Ad Network leverages a pay-for-results model that provides expert-verified leads for advertisers seeking to reach local audiences through a national partner. The online and mobile ad network, which launched late last year, is enhanced with the addition of print directories and media publishers on the ImmersiFind platform and gives these publishers access to national ad content and new income through Ziplocal’s revenue-sharing model.  

Under the LocaLeads model, ads are distributed throughout the network and published in local media with a unique call tracking number (CTN) for the consumer. The unique CTN ensures advertisers only pay for verified sales leads and the revenue generated is shared by LocaLeads with the media outlet that published the ad.

“We have reinvented the print industry by changing the delivery model,” said Olivier Vincent, CEO of Ziplocal. “The LocaLeads Ad Network brings our proven pay-for-results model to all media – online, mobile and now print.”

For more information, visit www.localeads.com.  

Fry Communications Installs Additional Saddle Binder

Fry Communications (www.frycomm.com) has begun installation of a new Muller Martini Primera saddle stitching system. This state-of-the-art stitcher brings the highest levels of automation and reliability to this binding process. It will begin running in June of 2011.

“This continued investment in our core print business demonstrates our commitment to bringing the latest technology to our customers,” said Steve Grande, Fry’s VP of Sales. “Adding another Muller stitcher to our existing stable provides additional flexibility and cost-effective binding options for customers of all sizes.”