Tag Archives: YPA

Updated Industry Opt-out Site Rolled Out

As they have been promising for months now, the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) and the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) today launched an upgraded website at www.yellowpagesoptout.com that allows consumers nationwide to easily manage the delivery of their phone directories (Official press release).  Consumers can now go to a single location to select which phone directories they receive, or to stop directory delivery altogether.

I ran a search for the area where we use to live in North Carolina and the system smartly displayed all of the books we use to get in the area:

When the original site was launched in 2009, the site only provided information on individual publishers that consumers needed to contact individually.  The upgraded and redesigned interface increases consumer convenience and reduces confusion about the options available to manage phone book delivery by eliminating the need to contact multiple publishers.

In the press release Neg Norton, president of YPA notes that “…our industry is taking a giant leap forward today by launching a clearinghouse site for consumers to control the delivery of directories.  The site, supported by directory publishers across the country, illustrates our ongoing commitment to not delivering a directory to someone who doesn’t want one.”

Larry Angove, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers added that “…we continue to believe, and research supports, that directories remain an important tool for consumers searching for local information.  That said, we believe it is equally important to provide a simple solution for consumers who only want a certain directory or feel they can do without a directory.”

Those who have been fighting the distribution of these directories have ignored publishers ongoing position that if someone didn’t want a phonebook, they shouldn’t have to get one.  The associations should be congratulated on this unique collaboration effort among large and small publishers across the country that shows a commitment to our promise to reducing unwanted directories.  158 publishers are currently in the site database.

“Consumers continue turning to print Yellow Pages, both to help find local businesses, driving valuable new leads for our advertisers, and also to quickly access community and government information,” said Norton. “We believe print remains a central component of our industry’s growing portfolio, which today includes digital and mobile platforms. We’re constantly working to transform and innovate so that we can continue supporting local businesses and consumers in the most environmentally friendly way.”

Growing call tracking levels support industry research showing that over 75% of U.S. adults use print Yellow Pages to find local businesses each and every year.  Hence, advertisers are still realizing a return on the investment for local directory advertising of at least $14 for every $1 spent.

Without a doubt this updated effort improves the opt-out process drastically. But ultimately some critics will still not be happy. For example, look at this lead paragraph from the San Francisco Examiner:

In a tech-savvy and environmentally aware region like the Bay Area, which is home to online directories such as Yelp and Google Local, the arrival of a new Yellow Pages book can seem like a blast from the past.

Didn’t realize that class warfare was now linked to the distribution of yellow page directories, but hey, we are talking about San Francisco.  It’s just a shame the industry would have to lower any of its standards to appease such a small bunch of snobs. But the Examiner article did at least correctly contain this item:

And yet, for all of the griping by  people who wish they could opt out of receiving a phone book, thousands of small businesses in San Francisco continue to depend on their Yellow Pages advertising, Amy Healy said. <YPA Staff>

“It’s not sexy,” she said. “But it works for them.”

Has, still is, and will continue to be the best advertising media for most small – midsized businesses.  No one will disagree that consumers today find information in all sorts of ways and usually many check multiple sources when searching for information about products or services.  But we also know that consumers are still turning to those print Yellow Pages, and will continue to for years to come.

And of course the city of Seattle still doesn’t get it.  Despite facing a lawsuit from the industry, the Seattle City Council on Monday voted to stick with a 14-cent fee it plans to charge Yellow Pages distributors for every book that goes to Seattle residents.  I guess the industry should be somewhat pleased that the city backed away from a $148 tonnage fee it approved in October to help pay the cost of recycling the advertising books.  But despite today’s op-out site launch announcement, the Council still hasn’t dropped its October action to create a registry for people who want to opt out of receiving Yellow Pages-type phone books.

It will be interesting to see how many people actually ask to opt-out of their directory deliveries.  After most publishers initiated their own opt-out programs, YPA started their initial site, and numerous paper atheists began blogging campaigns to get people to opt-out, publishers have reported a significant drop off in the numbers of people requesting opt-out over the past months to almost a trickle.  Those publishers that have discussed opt-out levels have consistently indicated that less than 5% do.

Advertisements

Spring Industry Conference Update

Given the amount of nasty winter weather that much of the country has been experiencing, it may seem like a little bit of a reach to say that spring is just around the corner. For some it can’t get here soon enough.  Spring is also the time when several major industry events occur.

Here is a short summary of what’s ahead.  You need to get these on your calendar…

BIA/Kelsey – ILM East

At BIA/Kelsey, they are assuming that indeed the snow will eventually melt in Boston, the site for their ILM East conference which will be held March 21-23.  ILM East is a brand new show and follows their recent Interactive Local Media 2010 conference in Santa Clara which had a reported attendee list reaching nearly 700.

The initial program has recently been released. The focus of the conference is the fast-changing local media and marketing environment. This event features two “SuperForums” on: 1) mobile local media and 2) group buying/deal a day. Each of these forums will also focus on where mobile and group buying are headed, with many of the top leaders in each space.

“Hyperlocal” also gets a different spin at ILM East — rather than focusing on community and content, BIA/Kelsey says they are “ready to talk dollars – real dollars”, specifically how some national companies are approaching local search.  Expected speakers include U-Haul’s Elnora Palms and Progressive Insurance’s Matthew Marko.

Now if you are a member of BIA/Kelsey’s LinkedIn group, you can receive special pricing on ILM East registration. Sign up at www.biakelsey.com/ILMEast2011 with promo code ILMEIN and save $200 on the public registration price. The price increases on Jan. 29, so you need to register fast.

Visit www.biakelsey.com/ILMEast2011 for the full agenda, current list of speakers, and online registration.

YPA – Yellow Page Association

Next up is the Yellow Pages Association annual conference which runs April 16 – 19, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Recently YPA announced that Emily White, the Senior Director of Local at Facebook will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s event

White joined Facebook in September 2010 leading Facebook’s efforts on the business side to engage with local businesses and users.  Prior to Facebook, Emily was at Google for ten years, joining as Google’s first person on the Sales and Operations side of the AdWords product.  During her time at Google Emily was responsible for a variety of efforts, running Google’s Emerging business teams, leading Asia Pacific, and Latin America Online Sales and Operations, and Google’s North America AdWords Online Sales and Operations team. Emily also managed Google’s Women’s Leadership Community (WLC), an organization focused on attracting, growing, and retaining top female talent.

Emily was recently named as “One to Watch” in Fortune magazine.  Prior to Google, Emily worked in business development for Achex, a person-to-person payment start up.  Emily is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

Click here to register now and don’t miss any of the dynamic speakers, great workshops and networking opportunities at this year’s conference!

And just remember, it’s in Vegas baby….

ADP – Association of Directory Publishers:

Last but not least, the Association of Directory Publishers hosts its Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show, April 26-28, in sunny Hollywood, Florida (no issues with snow here). With some very specific industry-specific content and what is expected to be the largest industry trade show, this even has become an annual must for yellow pages’ publishers and industry suppliers.

The theme of this year’s convention, Conquering Misperceptions – Crafting New Realities, with the multiple programming tracks driving the convention agenda. One track will focus on understanding, proving, and marketing the legacy value of print; while the other focuses on concrete ways that publishers may leverage their traditional strengths of rich content and local presence into new customers and revenue sources through new approaches. The creative use of Social Media platforms is just one of the topics of track two; how publishers can utilize the power of mobile applications is another.

The Convention opens with Dr. Dennis Fromholzer as the keynote speaker. Dr. Fromholzer is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in Yellow Pages research and analysis. Utilizing authenticated data, he will explain why the future of Yellow Pages remains positive and how it still delivers great value to advertisers.

This convention also includes several networking functions and will culminate with the industry’s Gold Book Awards Dinner and Ceremony, where the Gold Book Publisher of the Year will be announced.

For more information or to register for the convention, contact the Association’s Headquarters at 800.267.9002 or hq@adp.org.

YPA and ADM Merge

In a move that has been in the works for nearly a year, the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) and the Association of Directory Marketing (ADM) today announced that their Boards have given unanimous approval to merge the two organizations.  Both organizations have had members that spanned both print and online publishing companies, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), advertisers, and suppliers.  The merger proposal will now go to their memberships for a   vote.  Approval is expected.

In the official press release YPA President Neg Norton noted that “Our industry is amidst a dramatic and exciting transformation.  For 130 years, we have changed and adapted to advertiser and consumer trends.  Today, our members are evolving from single-product to multi-platform advertising companies that help local and national businesses generate relevant sales leads across print, digital, mobile, social and other mediums.  With the changes in our industry, it only makes sense for us to also transform the associations that represent them.”

On behalf of ADM members, Nancy Augustine, Senior Vice President, ADM also commented that “Our mutual interest is to serve the needs of our members and this combination will create substantial value for them.  Our impact will be greater working together.  The objectives of our organizations are aligned, and given the rapid change in local search, we can be much more effective operating as a single unit.”