Wednesday, June 22, 2005

New listings in Yellow Pages are pages of history

Business - "New listings in Yellow Pages are pages of history"

Could someone please explain to me why it takes Yellow Pages publishers 10 years to respond to the change in consumer behavior?

Not to pick on Dex, because they are no better or worse than any other publisher, but why is "Teeth Whitening" only now becoming a heading?

Haven't Payday Loans been around for about a decade, too?

Is anybody listening to the consumer? Bah

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Insider Pages hits 100k user reviews

100k Reviews on Insider Pages Press Release

Insider Pages has hit a milestone by amassing 100,ooo user reviews on local businesses. It's an early indicator of the company's acceptance by consumers.

Will it last? Time will tell.

Here's an earlier article I wrote on the concept of social networking sites.

Related Headings Question

I received the following email this morning, and I imagine that others have the same question.

Dear Dick,

Are you aware of anywhere that I can find a list of YP Headings with a "Drill Down" meaning that say if a customer wants to be placed under "contractors" the list would provide me with a suggestion of other headings to include the client under?

Here's how I responded . . .

Well, every publisher uses a unique set of headings (YP speak for business categories), and even within a company, different regions will use different heading structures.

For example, some markets call them "Attorneys" while other markets call them "Lawyers." Still other markets have unprintable names for them. :-)

The number of headings in use industry-wide is staggering. I know one publisher that has an active headings database exceeding 50,000 headings for 340 directories. Headings are constantly in flux as headings are added, dropped and revised to better serve the consumer. A typical Internet Yellow Pages has about 3,500 headings, but the Internet allows easy use of synonym matching interpreting the user's desires.

However, a wonderful guide is available from Surewest Directories that provides some overall guidance as to related headings as well as some industry statistics. It lists roughly 300 headings.

Another alternative is to do a search for your business type on an online yellow pages such as and see the list of heading alternatives.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Only one voter picked the winning combination

Ok, so this is kind of cool.

I was analyzing the data from the 711 people who voted in the World's Best Yellow Pages Contest to see trends between genders and such.

It turns out that only ONE person selected the top 3 ads in the order in which they won. Moreover, only 7 others selected all three ads in any other combination.

So who, pray tell is the person who selected all 3 ads in the winning order?

Click here to find out . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Slow News Day

Canada NewsWire Group

Yellow Pages Group in Canada have released their annual additions and deletions of headings in the Yellow Pages, proving once and for all that life as we know it is nearing its end.

Oh well, when the Canadain press runs a story that "Teletypewriters" are no longer a YP heading, but the "Home Theatre Systems" are, it makes me long for more media coverage of Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and J. Lo.

Please shoot me. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The "Hidden Value" of Social Networking Site

Krasilovsky Consulting: Tech and Media Strategies

Once again, consultant Peter Krasilovsky has pointed out the real value in an online service.

In this article, Reter K. identifies the value of LinkedIn is in the testimonials section. By gathering a number of high quality testimonials, a LinkedIn member adds credibility and believability.

It's an important part of job seeking and business building.

Internet Yellow Pages Role in Local Search Increases as Advertisers Boost Online Budgets; Yellow Pages Association President Neg Norton Challenges Att

Here's a news release where Neg Norton, head of the YPA discusses how much more effective advertising in Internet Yellow Pages is than local search on sites such as Google and Yahoo.

My recent conversation with Steve Pollyea, VP of Marketing for Roto Rooter confirmed this finding. He said that they find that people using IYPs are much farther along the buying cycle and are closer to making a purchase.

Internet Yellow Pages Role in Local Search Increases as Advertisers Boost Online Budgets; Yellow Pages Association President Neg Norton Challenges Attendees of the 2005 American Advertising Federation National Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --(Business Wire)-- June 7, 2005 -- With 84 percent of marketers increasing their Internet advertising budgets in 2005 (1), Yellow Pages Association (YPA(TM)) President Neg Norton challenged attendees today at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Conference by pointing out the strong value proposition for Internet Yellow Pages (IYP).

As part of the "Tap into the Enormous Growth of Local Search Engines" panel pointing to findings of a recent comScore study, Norton said that IYP users are ready-to- buy and offer a more attractive demographic when compared to average Internet users.

"IYP searchers are 71 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have an annual household income over $100,000 and are more likely to have a broadband connection," said Norton. "It is important that advertisers realize the potential of IYP when deciding where to allocate their online budgets."

Noting's recent distribution deal with Switchboard, Norton pointed out that Internet Yellow Pages publishers are continuing to use distribution agreements with other online providers and search engines as a means to extend reach and strengthen their value proposition.

"The Yellow Pages Industry has responded to advertisers' needs by offering local businesses enhanced features such as improved geographic targeting capabilities and simplified packages of guaranteed clicks." said Norton. "Advertisers can easily determine their ROI for online advertising with measurements such as pay-per-click and pay-per-call."

Joining Norton on the AAF panel were representatives from Carat Interactive, and Yahoo!, Inc.

Yellow pages inspired Coldplay hit!:- - Entertainment News -

Yellow pages inspired Coldplay hit!:- - Entertainment News -

What's this world coming to? Rock band Coldplay has a massive hit with their song "Yellow."

OK, I haven't actually heard of either the song or the group, but it's big, baby.

Turns out the inspiration for the song came from a copy of the Yellow Pages sitting next to the lyrisist.

The band plans to follow this hit with their new album titled, "Geo-Targeted Keyword Search Monkey."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bring Back the Walking Fingers

Comments by Sieg Fischer, President & CEO,
Valley Yellow Pages, during Simba Webinar, April 28, 2005

We need a national usage campaign that is supported by all publishers to promote yellow pages overall.

Bring back the walking fingers – promote the hell out of it.

It is a nationally recognized logo. Stop the bashing of fellow publishers in front of advertisers and consumers. If we can grow the total pie using a national campaign and syndicated usage research, we can grow 10% and stop the share slide. Everyone would benefit.

Thanks Sieg,

Consumers seem to consider the "Yellow Pages" to be one large company publishing "those books I keep getting."

The concept has merit, but I don't see the industry majors being willing to do anything that might support a competitor such as the company you've built.

Let me know how that works, will ya?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Too Dang Fat!

I'm in Coconut Grove, Florida (Miami) for a couple of days, and in the hotel room is a copy of the Verizon Miami Metro Yellow Pages.

Look at the size of this beast!

Verizon's Miami Yellow Pages

Here's the side view . . .

Verizon's Miami Yellow Pages

Just handling this monster is a project in itself. Having a comprehensive directory is one thing, but this is ridiculous.

I'm working on my report for plumbing contractors, so I checked out the Plumbers section in this directory. There are only 2 (yes, 2 !!!) full page ads for plumbers. Heck, the West Los Angeles directory has 23 full page plumber ads.

What gives? Doesn't Miami have a need for plumbing contractors?

Either the distribution area of the directory is too wide for a plumber to service (I doubt it), or the advertising rates are so far out of whack that the plumbers can't make a go of it.

Maybe the plumbers in Miami don't need to advertise. I'm stumped.

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Voting is Complete for the World's Best Yellow Pages Ad

. : Yellow Pages Commando : . Vote for the World's Best Yellow Pages Ad

The early results are in. The voters overwhelmingly selected two ads over the field of 38 as the two Greatest Yellow Pages Ads.

I'm working on the final report which will include a tremendous amount of insight as to why some ads performed better than others.

When the dust settles, I will select the winner of the iPod.