Tuesday, July 19, 2005

MediaPost Publications - Keeping Up With... the Yellow Pages? - 07/19/2005

MediaPost Publications - Keeping Up With... the Yellow Pages? - 07/19/2005

David Berkowitz, the Son of Search, has interesting insights on the local search guide compiled by the Yellow Pages Association.

From where I sit (VP of Internet at TransWestern Publishing, a division of Yellow Book), there are a few points that deserve attention.

1. Local advertisers don't BUY advertising, they are SOLD advertising that delivers LEADS. Our US sales organization includes well over 6,000 professionals who help local businesses get leads.

Google, Yahoo, and the search engines have shown no desire to invest in the local sales channel. Without SALESPEOPLE, there will be very few SALES.

2. The ultimate product that Yellow Pages publishers deliver is LEADS. Today, about $15 billion is spent in print YP for those leads, and a couple of hundred million is spent in IYPs and local search for those leads. That is shifting, but it is still very early in the game.

3. Advertisers will eventually follow usage, but ONLY if someone will help them do it. The YP sales force is *almost* perfectly positioned to do this. As the tools for selling online leads improve, and the business model improves, the YP publishers will invest more heavily.

TODAY, print YP offers an unparalleled quality and quantity of leads for the price. Local search will begin making serious inroads over the next five years.


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