Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Verizon has announced (FINALLY!) that they are cleaning up some of the clutter in their Superpages Internet Yellow Pages.

My understanding is that they are moving toward a pay-per-click model so that they can better maximize their traffic.

The economics of such a move may be very exciting for Verizon management, but difficult for the rank and file salespeople to sell.

In fact, it may make much of the sales force unnecessary after reaching critical mass.

Here's why . . .

In any geography, there are a finite number of searches in any particular category. The placement at the top of those searches is extremely valuable. For example . . . on Overture (Yahoo!), a DUI attorney is willing to pay $33.90 PER CLICK to come up at the top of the list for a search for "Attorney San Diego". He is actually paying "only" $15.21 which is 1 cent more than the second highest bidder.

The market sets the value of the leads, and it's up to Verizon to communicate this to the field. This changes the dynamic of the sales call, because the field force is now selling moving targets as opposed to the static world of print YP.

This should get interesting.

Verizon to launch local ad strategy


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