Live Blogging BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’10 Conference – Day 2

I’ll be live blogging Day 2 of the Directional Media Strategies 2010 (#DMS2010) conference here, starting at about 8:30 AM, CST, September 15. (See Day 1 and Day 3 here.)

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(Sorry – started late due to large traffic jammage on the tollway)

DMS ’10 Spotlight: The ‘Deal a Day’ Phenomenon

Perry Evans of Closely is up:

- We’ve discovered what I call the “incredible lightness of daily deals”;

- Our service is experienced in four flavors by SMBs: ..1: U Complete Me; Some businesses love daily deals (“DD”); ..2: Maybe Just One; Some businesses just want to try a few times; ..3: U R Evil; these SMBs think Deep Discounting is bad for longterm business; ..4: N A F M W – (“not appropriate for my work”?) Some think it doesn’t lend itself to their biz;

- Closely is learning what SMBs like: SMBs love how it’s simple to get customers instead of just clicks; SMBs love how it’s prepaid customers, so there’s no risk;

- Some things SMBs don’t like – “Can you fix this?”: They don’t like deep cuts into margin; They feel like DD is “rent-a-customer”; There are issues with Quantity & Timing -> some businesses are not prepared for sudden bursts of customers;

- However, DD is “controlled demand creation”; We’re finding somewhat broader use cases than what people initially imagine about daily deals; Businesses are seeing this as a way to build their “social graph”;

- We’re seeing a reinvention of the “Deal A Day” phenomenon;

(Perry now showed a demo of Closely, pulling up the dashboard display for The Old Ale Haus in Denver – showing how they could create/schedule deals and reports they can see after.)

The session now goes into Q&A.

Interesting quote from Tim O’Shaughnessy (CEO of Living Social): “Deal A Day is a ‘push customer model.’”

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Making Sense of Major Markets (Session is about how big cities have become tougher markets for Yellow Pages in recent years. Is it time for YP to abandon big cities or are they just failing to think creatively?)

First up is Paul Plant, veteran of Yellow Group, now founder of Radicle Consulting:

His presentation title is entitled “Get Real or Get Out”. (Slides now accidentally went to the last “thank you” slide, and he cracks a joke that his preso is over – everyone laughs/claps.) Now, back on track, he gives some of his background with Yell, etc.

- The reality is we’ve really got to get real. This is where the future is and revenue is. Innovation in this space should give publishers more opportunities to engage with advertisers’ needs.

- Metro characteristics – 24hr cities, multiethnic, fragmented neighborhoods, more socially aware, diverse,etc.

- Common Publisher Issues in Metro Areas: publishers have been quite arrogant; still pursuing same ad models while economy, market changed; User experience and advertiser experiences got better elsewhere;

- Time to get real! Metro consuemrs still want/need info;

- Metro advertisers wtill want/need leads;

- Time to respond to the proposition: tighter scoping, think content, small is beautiful; new applications; simple navigation; everyday language; less is more; maps & mobile; need to get product physically in hands of user; smaller directories better; portfolio brand; bundled propositions; social media; we’ve got to make sure our product is salient and up-to-date; price to value; it’s less about proprietary yellow products / more about holistic solutions;

- Time to respond – Sales Approach: how do we get welltrained wellpaid sales engine to work; metro markets on the go all the time; lead generation going on continuously; sales presence that’s 365 days per year; be more transparent and prove value; to maintain value relationship its all about transparency and proving value; YP publisher needs to become the SMB trusted partner;

- Summary: I firmly believe metro markets are massive opportunity for this industry; ignore at your peril; demystify today’s fragmented media landscape; 24/7 markets need 24/7 products; get back to being central to people’s lives;

Next up is Isabelle Lascombe from PageJaunes in France:

- Facts about PagesJaunes: broad array of services, yellow books, white pages, website, mobile apps, iPhone, 118008 directory assistance; 700k advertisers in 09;

- Revenue: over 1 billion Euro; 53% is from print;

- 37% offline directory users; 34% using print + online; 29% using online only;

- (She now shows graph showing usage profiles by geographic areas.) Paris metro area has 54% online-only. Print only directory usage is 16%; Print + Online is 26%;

- In rural areas, 46% use print, 15% use online;

- Print is in decline in almost all areas, though stabilizing in Parisian suburbs.

- More than 60% of revenues are coming from rural areas.

- Optimization is key in urban markets. B2B headings removed from YP books or urban areas; Free listings going to disappear; Only display ads are going to be pubbed for books released in urban areas; A large majority of searches for B2B headings are online; Print directories are mostly used at home; Online directories are used mostly during working hours;

- Optimization: New, compact format to save paper used in Paris & Suburbs first.

- Optimization: Opt-in delivery for White Pages; Stop selling ads in Whitepages directories; Profitability is negative; Usage of WP is very low; In 2011, WP delivery will be opt-in only; People will receive in 2010 a leaflet allowing them to sign up.

- Optimization: A special delivery mode for big cities: buildings in Paris are reached in a gradual fashion today; this method involved delivering a bulk amount of directories to one building; after 4 days, the unused directories are retrieved and delivered to another building;

- Optimization: Opt-in/Opt-out: customers have the right to choose; Launched on PagesJaunes website; 2009: 47% visitors opt-in; 53% visitors opted out; Results 2010: 56% opt-in, and 44% Opt-out.

- New media for urban people: A new book for Paris dedicated to Emergency Services; Distribution – 1 million copies distributed vs 500k YP books taken by households; Revenues expected: 1 to 1.5 million Euros;

- New media offered by PagesJaunes: print books via internet;

- Mobile applications – in France, the iphone is a success and our app is very successful. 70% of PagesJaunes mobile audience comes from iPhone. Real potential for new revenues; real-time leads; 50% searches generate an immediate contact;

- New media they’re developing to be operational at end of year: website dedicated to city live: “UrbanDive”. 3D city views. Street images combined with ads, shopping apps, UGC. Link with social networkds, service available on multi screens: computer/mobile/iPad/TV. Main target: 18 to 35yrs olds. 145 cities in France.

Session now goes into Q&A.

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Distributing Directories in a Mixed-Up, Multiproduct, Opt-Out World

This is an all-discussion Q&A panel, so I’ll intermittently add Qs that seem particularly interesting to me. Panel members include: Neg Norton, President of YPA; Maggie Stoncipher, Asst. VP of Paper Print Delivery at Dex One; Tim Denovo, Senior VP of Product Development Corp.; Bobbi Loy-Luster of BIA/Kelsey; Pete Rand, Operations Director of LinkDirect;

- Neg Norton is describing Seattle’s handful of provisions under an opt-in ordinance regarding print directory distribution. YPA is working with them and objecting to some of the provisions which sound fairly draconian.

- Pete Rand mentions how their large numbers of phonebook recipients has prob where just one complainer can escalate a complaint, and that one disgruntled person can result in legislation.

- Maggie Stonecipher mentions that Dex is calling all “Do Not Delivers” to make sure they didn’t deliver a book to them. (Me: This seems particularly like a bad idea to me! Calling the people who expressed desire to not get books will result in compounding their irritation with a call — I hope they check the do-not-call lists before phoning them.)

- Pete Rand comments how postal delivery is at least 10x as much to do via post in UK versus hand delivery. So, the costs are fairly prohibative.

- Maggie Stonecipher comments that Seattle’s proposed 40 cent fine for undesired deliveries — at 40 cents she could possibly mail all Seattle directories at that cost and side-step Seattle’s law. However, it would be a bad weight impact for postal carriers and existing delivery staff are concered as well.

- Neg Norton says Seattle’s law proposes lifetime opt-out for an address — whereas publishers propose a 3-year opt-out.

- One audience member asks if reduced printing costs might allow savings to be passed onto advertisers? Neg Norton states that ad rates weren’t solely based on costs anyway, but publishers would adjust costs based on how they think perceived value is.

- (I propose Q: “Could opt-out lead to opt-in?”) Maggie Stonecipher says perhaps but they’re more focused on free speach issues.

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BIA/Kelsey Interview: Ken Ray, VP and CMO, AT&T Advertising Solutions

Questions by Neal Polacheck

- (He initially gives biographic background of his career.)

- Q: Tell us about new ad campaign.

- A: We’re moving to YP.com – “click less and live more” and we produced new campaign that broke on Monday. You’ll see it as you’re on the web & periodicals, etc. We’ll see what happens to our web traffic.

- Q: So, it’s to promote the web, it’s a digital campaign?

- A: Yes, though we’re doing an integrated campaign to address comprehensive solution that meets your needs in mult media.

- Q: So, what are the challenges of managing your print newspaper, interactive, other media budges?

- A: The yellow pages give really great ROI compared with every other media. Billboards, newspapers don’t perform as well. (He’s kinda all over the map on this answer.) We’re trying to allocate spend and tracking it and putting $ where it will work for us.

(He reports that they’ve staffed-up on developers for interactive and the marketing people for it substantially for the past few years.)

- Q: You’ve got some online presence managing – tell us about that.

- A: Two companies here talked about that yesterday, and showed some good opportunity for it. We’re looking into it and betting it may be worthwhile. One of the issues for SMBs is that they don’t know what the right answer is, so they don’t know who to go to among all of us competing. This results in “deer in the headlights” with them. Our view is that no one’s going to be as comprehensive as us, so we’ve increased our new prod development rate in Glendale.

- Q: so that prod dev momentum – I presume that’s a response of what youv’e seen in fragmentation of media for SMBs…

- A: When I was in grocery biz, every year there were 3,000 new SKUs introduced every year, but only a few thousand on the shelves. I think once you go from website to mobile website — when you get them to understand, you can talk to them about barcodes, texting etc that leads to a sale. They don’t care about clicks, but sales.

- Q: So, the website is the heart of the strategy… DO you see a takeup rate for SMBs for moving to websites and Web 2.0 websites … do they get that yet?

- A: Some of these Qs I don’t really know… Many of us have been at the website game for anum ber of years. There are probs with all things. The templated cheap has flaws, the custom website has flaws… I’d say there’s lots of opportunity in the web site space in terms of not trying to shove a one size fits all approach on customers. I don’t think we’re at the level of stickiness we need with advertisers.

- Q: There’s a large Hispanic market in this country. Where should we be in terms of building prods and services for that market?

- A: We’ve looked at this for past ten years. When you look at Telemundo / Univision #s they’re amazing – when you look at the market buying power its great. But it doesn’t translate well to this space. You may be trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. They’re already comfortable with the language. No one in this industry has cracked the code yet. You’ll see the pureplay Hispanic providers have closed up shop.

- Q: Deal A Day – are you guys doing something with it?

- A: My wife took me out for dinner a month ago, a the end of dinner, she pulls out a paper “Honey, there’s this great site called ‘Groupon’! Clearly there’s a lot of opportunity for everybody. Ultimately if there’s 90 companies all offering Deal Of Day – it’s not going to be good for SMBs.

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Social Media + Yellow Pages = A New Lease on Life?

Andrew Shotland is up first as moderator. He says this is to explore what YP publishers are doing to get into Social Media. So we’re having some folks from the industry to tell us what they’re doing. Andrew shows graph of how searches for “Facebook” has increased sharply, compared with searches for “Sex”!

Andrew: “People are trying SM, but failing.” 10 Criteria of SM Maturity:

1 – Understanding of customer social graphics

2- Hub & Spoke organization

3- Social sign-on on your website

4- Personalized corp. site based on social data

5- Thriving Advocacy program

6- A community of customers = support

7- Anticipation of potential customers using social crm strategy

8- Innovation of new products with customers using web collaboration

9- Supply chain influenced by social data

10- Real time reporting of revenues, costs and efficiency

(Shows graphs of what various SM players are doing in terms of # of Tweets and # of Twitter followers.) Yelp in middle – mult Twitter accounts manned by humans. Superpages by contrast has twitter accounts, not apparently manned.

(Shows graph of players in terms of # of Facebook followers.)

Next up is Zeev Gruber, VP Marketing & Business Development of Golden Pages Group:

- (He also shows some YP companies in terms of activity of YPs and tweets/fans.)

- (He shows another graph comparing YP company’s activity via SM.)

- Golden Pages did a promotion asking people to vote about their favorite yellow ice cream; In return they got coupon for free icecream. 4,574 fans 1602 new friends most of them didn’t take the coupon.

- Which threat is bigger? Google (shows screengrab with 7-pack)? Facebook (shows screengrab of a guy asking for and getting business recommendations from friends)? He states that Facebook is closer to word-of-mouth and is therefore more of a threat. Industry needs to find a way to cope with it.

Next up is Paul Dawalibi, President and CEO of Praized Media:

- I’m thrilled to be speaking because this conf is about “YP and Beyond”, and I’m going to focus on the “Beyond”.

- One (and only) Prediction: Some of you in this room are going to experience the most amazing amount of growth, money raining down, in the future; It’s not Groupon and it’s not IPad.

- Millions of untapped leads for your advertisers every day. Where are these leads? How do we tap into them? (He refers to Facebook)

- Combo of machine superpower and human sensitivity. He shows how their system automatically finds people who tweet location, then human tweets back recommendations to people. End users often take recommendations, and this works. (He uses Canadian French tweeted recommendation of Poutine restaurant as an example.)

- Merchant/advertiser doesn’t lift a finger. 100s of referals every month.

- Second Small Prediction: tapping into social media and this social need medium or “Needium” and this will change the world of advertising forever.

Now CityGrid’s Director of Content and Coummunity Michael Francesconi is asked to describe what they do from the panel table:

- We created group within company to integrate social media; Our editors for each city lends human perspective to “where do I go” and “what do I get”;

- We started using editors on Twitter and Facebook to start answering these questions;

- We moved also to merchants doing this directly; We now try to provide tools for merchants to do this;

- We don’t see this as a separate destination for having conversations with customers – we’re integrating Twitter app into CityGrid.

Panel now moves into Q&A.

Now breaking for lunch – be back at 1:30pm CST.

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The Future of Digital Yellow Pages – Panel Discussion

Charles Laughlin says they’ll start with a series of statements about what will happen in 5 years, starting with canned assertions and allow panel members to respond:

Panelists: Eitan Ackerman, Exec Dir of Marketing/Sales Engineering, Amdocs Sivan Metzger, GM, Kenshoo Local Neil Salvage, Executive  VP Advertising, CityGrid Media Gregg Stewart, President 15Miles Matt Booth, BIA/Kelsey

(Starting out with question on outsourcing  in YP future, which is hard to frame, so I’m skipping.)

By 2015:

“Printed YP will be virtually extinct in as many as 5 European markets…”

Laughlin: We’re projecting Nordic markets to be 20% print by ’15. Domestic, it’s going to be longer. There’s a point at which it may stabilize.

Stewart: I agree, there’s a point at which it stabilizes. Distribution regulations may affect things further – could be accelerators to contraction.

Metzger: Going to speed up diversity of mediums.

Laughlin: Print may drive more leads than it’s given credit for. As long as it drives leads it’s an imp component.

Booth: In Europe, some companies still have considerable debt that may play in. Some rolled-up companies may break up to focus on spec geo areas. Centralization experiment may play out…

Ackerman: I think print will grow… just kidding. Digital/online are exceding print. Many in market today may already be extinct.

“Opt in print distribution will be the law in most US states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union.”

Laughlin: There’s heavy momentum for more draconian laws.

Metzger: Green movement is going to become more extreme.

Laughlin: In Seattle, the newspaper has gone all digital, and this makes more argument that it can be done. It’s death of a thousand cuts, but I don’t know it means that it means print will be dead in 2015.

Booth: I think it’s a long shot this will happen everywhere. In some places yes, but not all.

Laughlin: This goes against “bell-weather” argument.

Booth: I’m not sure that there will be opt-in law everywhere, but in some communities it may happen. It will open a whole can of worms for law –

Laughlin: there’s a right to speach that is a compelling argument.

Booth: Impossible for law to happen — too many ways it could apply.

“By 2015… There will be just two incumbent U.S. directory publishers…”

Booth: It’s better for big publishers to not be competing with each other everywhere. Given debt structure/market structure it makes sense for there to be some consolidation.

Laughlin: We’re going to see some companies break up, rather than consolidate.

Booth: It makes sense for some of these companies to break up.

Salvage: On the digital side, it’s driven by digital. A lot of us are selling features and not selling benefits. I don’t know how it will shake out but there’s so much likely to become fragmented.

Metzger: These companies may become consultants rather than book publishers.

Salvage: It’s going to still be publishing but now what we’ve traditionally thought of as publishing. It’ll be driving leads.  There’s a lot of road still for print.

“By 2015… 50% of local SMB ad volume and 10% of revenue will be handled by a self-service process…”

Salvage: For new customers, self-serve will be a primary source. But it may not be to this %.

Metzger: We’re at beginning of people asking about performance, and evolve into businesses making their own ads.

Booth: I think depends on product. In Facebook, Twitter, it’ll be self-serve. For thinks like tv and print book, it needs sales to help people deploy.

Ackerman: We’re going to see more performance based ads, which will result in more self–serve. However, I’m not sure we’ll see 50% SMBs using, although it’ll def grow.

Laughlin: with deals we see more businesses understanding and doing.

Salvage: We’re making things too complex, harder for self-serve, so we need to make simpler.

Laughlin: intake may be via human sales, then longterm relationship may be self-serve.

Salvage: If you have people claim pages, we see that transforming into lots of selfserve, but it may take sales rep to turn that into an advertiser.

“By 2015… More SMB advertisers will have Facebook fan pages than websites…”

Stewart: If you’re going to get new business, you’ll need to go to places like Facebook.

Salvage: To me this is a feature. We should be using our tech to create leads, not features. Custom, mult-thousand-dollar websites are a thing of the past.

Ackerman: SMBs should leverage both. Websites have better reach. Facebook is good for direct for a spec type of audience that’s sometimes better targeted but still website is wider/better.

Metzger: Facebook lowered barrier of entry. Three clicks and you have it. Full web presence. Facebook is doing a kind of Web 3.0 – it’s kind of changing paradigm at lower end of internet.

Booth: FB will reach threshold of penetration… 60%. People who have that will also have other digital presence, presumably websites.

“By 2015… Reputation management will be the no. 1 product sold by the local sales force in terms of volume…”

Booth: It won’t be num 1 by volume or rev. We’re seeing consoles, but we’re not seeing communication part — for pushing messages.

Salvage: If we become consultative sales forces, Rep Management dashboard should be given away to all clients.

Ackerman: You can use it to show that you’re great in business.

Stewart: Today it’s working a lot like a rearview mirror. It’s fantastic for sales. But, it doesn’t drive referrals.

Salvage: They’re powerful tools but not revenue stream.

Booth: This gives YP opportunity to get back in front of SMB weekly/monthly — helps sales for more.

Salvage: Helps people stay with you longer. If you build it right you’ll have revenue come to you in other ways.

“By 2015… The majority (revenue) of local advertising sales will come with performance based ads…”

Stewart: Advertisers want perfomance based ad opportunities. Branding won’t go away, but SMBs need to put majority in performance based.

Salvage: It’s about for $600 what should I expect from calls, coupon purchases, etc. These people expect ROI.

Booth: I think there’s a lot of value to be had in these YP directories where some people have stayed in a heading for years, like doctors and lawyers, and now some are dropping out…

“By 2015… Mobile local search will have surpassed desktop local search in traffic and revenue…”

Stewart: On a traffic basis it can be done, but on a revenue basis I’m not so sure;

Booth: People search less on mobile, but gap may close. We’d have to see massive jump in usage for this to happen. If data plans were cheaper, it’s conceivable. But I’ dont think it’s going to happen;

Metzger: if you count smartphones and ipads, the trend is growing.

Stewart: Users in mobile are in a different mode. As that expands, traffic goes with it. Efficiency goes with it. There may be more traffic on desktop because it’s less efficient as a way to search.

Ackerman: I’d use mobile in more areas = I think it’ll be equal to search in numbers on the web.

Salvage: Ipad gives whole new way to search than what’s on the web.

Metzger: You’re more ready to buy on mobile.

Booth: I agree. But, ave person would have to search twice as much on a phone to meet desktop.

“By 2015… US resellers will have at least 3 major ad networks competing for access to their local sales assets…”

Salvage: I see lots of choices in the future.

Stewart: I see a lot more fractionalization before consolidation in this area.

“By 2015… Google will have a local sales force with coverage that rivals that of a large Yellow Pages publisher…”

Laughlin: we’ve asked this question for years. What do we think?

Stewart: I don’t see it happening. They’re terrific tech company. But I don’t see anything from them showing they want to get into local sales force.

Booth: They’re still large in sales force in some cities for some verticls.

Laughlin: Q is might they do this by one vertical at a time?

Booth: I don’t think so.

Salvage: They have all of us in the room reselling, I don’t see it – what would the win be? For right now they’d just be picking up the channel loss.

“by 2015.. How important content wrapped with advertisers like CityGrid – how important will this trend be?”

Stewart: I think that model is clearly the way to go. Print prod is just names and numbers, but no content to tell who to choose.

Metzger: It’s content coupled with the brand. CityGrid & couple more will become hubs. If facebook paradigm connets with that, we’ll see a whole new thing.

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Verticals Showcase: Maids, Shades and Auto Repair

Krasilovsky: We’re focusing on specialized verticals – what can they extend for partners in revenue, usage, etc.

Jim Delli Santi, CEO cofounder of LikeList Jad Dunning, Founder President CEO, Driverside.

Q&A format for Dunning first:

- Driverside notion is simple: consumers like owning their cars. Consumer first approach. Set of tools content features to help owners with their vehicles. Repair. Service, reviews to know where to go locally. Parts & accessories filtered to make/model. Value guides – what’s my car worth? What’s it worth in the future – when should I sell? Editorial, tips & advice, video content. Our whole service comes together in “Vehicle Garage”, keeping track of everything to do with your car. Recalls, service needed etc, all available to car owner.

- 2 ways Driverside delivers: via their website & via private labelling for other sites.

- Q: You have all these things to get us to go in more often – do you have users who go in more than once a month? A: yes – how often do you have questions about vehicles in your household? That’s the kind of usage we’re seeing. About 8 times a year.

- Q: How important is the content you’re doing – what have you learned about doing content – is it worth resources? A: Yes, absolutely. We’ve hired top editors. It’s about tools and the softer side. I think that’s got to be a big part of the strategy – vertical content strategy. To serve consumer, create a good consumer experience that will resonate in each vertical.

- Q: One feature that a lot are excited about is online scheduling. You’re not involved? A: Yeah, we don’t do it. It’s starting to take hold in dealer franchise market. In consumer behavior in case of new car leads, people go to Edmonds look for cars – lots of focus in online auto industry. But, consumer still wants to walk into dealership for buying, and that’s certainly the case for service. So, in case of service, consumer’s more comfortable dropping in or picking up phone, rather than online scheduling. Also, too much tech integration with dealer system. Not trivial integration. Consumer behavior plus tech impediments have kept us from doing this.

- Q: You’re in a low-tech vertical. Is it hard to get your customers involved with your website? A: We give these guys a webpresence which drives customers back into their stores. Yes, tech issue to overcome, but we have good penetration.

Now Jim Delli Santi of Likelist introduces himself.

- We based business upon the aggregation of Likes. As people like businesses, you’re giving business an opt-in to contact you. (Slide presentation now queues up:)

(Shows complex diagram slide.)

- We’re a referral model, recommendation model. Recommendations from people we know has largest size of trust.

- “Rational Irrationality, Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions” book. “most people don’ know what they want until they see it in context.” If friend helps you move, it is a social context. If you pay them, it becomes a commercial context: the relationship has changed.

- Social and Commercial are distinctly different.

- Word of Mouth – the fastest way to find a local business. (Shows diagram of Trust Network cycle.

- Like-List: building a local referral list. Built on likes. Trusted local businesses. Modeled around life events that drive yellow pages references. Modeled to let users find a trusted business in 1 minute.

- Post launch findings: Not in local if you’re not in Mobile, even for home services. Facebook commoditized and Popularized  a “Like”; Foursquare launched the concept of a checkin and gamification of local; Groupons proved the value of group buying as an effective online replacement for loss leaders; A variety of innovative close-the-loop players are finding value with mobile phones and in-store data;

- We’ve been endorsed by small businesses. Thousands have engaged with our sales people.

- 68% more likely to BUY with a friend’s referral (eMarketer, April/June 2010)

Now into Q&A portion.

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BIA/Kelsey Interview: Lem Lloyd, VP, North America Channel Sales, Yahoo:

(Lem is being interviewed by Peter Krasilovsky)

Lem – We work with resellers to go after all types of local. National local is fair game for all these directory sites. We see tremendous interest in local.

K: How would you help articulate Yahoo vs. MS vs. Google vs. AOL

Lem – Yahoo is still going to be your point person to get access to entire inventory. Our question is how much business we can create together. MS & Yahoo together is 30-ish percent. Over time could it be 40%-50% with partners/acquisitions? Maybe. How to plan for that is question for this room. Long answer: I Think Yahoo/MS gives our partners more opportunities in marketplace.

K: As YP has morphed into SM, they’ve got a lot more presence on the web. What do you see happening with your YP partners?

Lem – We see a trend of our partners offering more products thru the sales force. We’re seeing trend continue selling display ads, we like working with partners that think big. We see trend with directory companies that want more differentiated products, but they want quality. Do you need somethin differentiated? We’re all going to be creating different products. Who can sell the package? We can or our directory partners can. Selling bundled impressions…

K: You’re constantly getting validation from sales efforts, but some companies drop out – what do you say about them?

Lem – There’s lots of resources and we’d rather work with a bunch of folks in a deeper, meaningful relationship. It’s going to take an investment to train sales. We have teams that work with these sales companies at all these companies – tv, direct mail, directories, etc. Other disturbing trend we’re seeing is that we can all get inventory everywhere, but some folks are getting referrals that can be low-quality that might or might not generate a lead… Why would you want to load up customer with a lot of inventory that wouldn’t serve them well? We see this trend in the industry — let’s not sell local short, demand a premium, now’s not a time to come down in pricing.

Lem – If you have a large local sales force, you should sell a lot and ask for enough $. Sales force hesitant to ask enough for new products online.

K: How important is the Yahoo deal for all your partners?

Lem- We prefer to spend more time with partners that are strategic. They want more differentiated products. They want a say in how it’s created. They want exclusivity…

K: The last couple of years BIA/Kelsey is getting more questions from agencies, more interest from agencies. What are you seeing?

Lem – We’re working to tell a better story to agencies about local. YP sales force can take more from newspaper inserts, and more of it will go to digital.

K: you’re going after verticals – tell us about that.

Lem: Healthcare, continued education are exploding. We’re seeing mult six figure sales to those companies. Moving away from outdoor, tv, print — they’re going online. We’ll see huge success with a partner in a certain industry , but others not aligne to do it. We need to tell a better story.

Q from David at Multiplied Media in audience: What’s strategy for Yahoo, for mobile, how do you sell, talk about differences in CPMs:

Lem: In old days with Palm, we thought it was happening, and now we’re seeing it. Sometimes we come out with Mobile first , PC second. There’s sketch-a-search on mobile. Having systems, processes to have resellers do it much more often. Helping sales have resources to make sales is key.

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4:10 pm CST: Web Sites: The Basic Listing of the 2010s?

Web Sites: Noun or Verb

Steve Marshall gave intro, stated that session was being “hijacked”, so they’ve renamed it.

1st up is: Andy Klein, CEO of Spotzer

- Interface = Brand

- Be careful of relying on stock material (stock images); Must be customized enough to rank well with search engines; use exclusivity tools to keep duplicate images from being used by same two plumbers in a city; You need image specialists, SEO specialists.

- Sex Sells – (slide shows Google logo, iPhone pic, Video, Facebook logo) Sites that work well on Google, sites avail on iPhone, sites with video, sites integrated with FB will sell easily.

- Build Before Sale. Create example site for sales rep to then sell. Effective to sell.

- “Deal Drugs” – Get entry level product extremely low cost or even free. Then have effective upsell strategy to add features/modules.

Next up is Alf Poor, GM of WebsPlanet USA:

- Going to talk about what directories need to sell websites effectively.

- Evolution, not revolution. Directories need to sell websites to be effective.

- Remove the notion that directories are dinosaurs.

- Online advertise is going to dominate local.

- Website is foundation upon which every other service hangs its hat.

- You need sales force, sales strategy customer team, fulfillment team, systems to host, and billing and CRM to sell website creation.

- Sales force CAN sell websites. Auto generated websites based on existing ad content enables sales reps to sell on spec.

- Directories and IYPs have a number of distinct advantages versus their competition.

- What’s formula for success going forward? No way to know for sure. Work, partner with best-in-class companies to make and sell sites.

- Get informed – discover the tech and services you need to evolve and be relevant.

- Find out which companies are market leaders in these fields and talk to them.

- Execute with focus on quick path to profitability.

- Publishers have to ask how they’ll win in this new world.

- They need to focus on the website.

- Owning the advertisers website and you own the advertisers’ online presence and his budget.

Now up is Jeff Whitehead, Head Social Media, 3L System Group:

- “website” is a verb surrounded by a whole lot of little nouns.

- SHows Tweak Footwear fb site that was Nike partner.

- Step 1: Facebook fan page;

- Step 2: Link up with advocates’ sites. “Rhett & Link” on intro video.

 - Step 3: Social network application allowing uploading of photos, ideas for new shoe design.

- Step 4: Follow through with a “white page” where you pay for the shoe.

- Summary: be where your customers are. Be involved in conversation, community. White pages vs promotion? They go hand in hand. What “is” the destination? …It’s “your” network within Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc….

Now going into panel discussion.

Steve Marshall shows slide from yesterday, showing website at center of businesses online presence. “Is this what it should be?” he asks.

- Poor: yes, that’s what it should be.

- Klein: question is, what’s the website? Facebook page could be the website. Depends on traditional vs young business. Website is still important, tho.

- Whitehead: I’d disagree. The hub is your BRAND. For some businesses, website is the hub, but in other cases like Tweak Footwear or a plumber, I just need easily recognized presence among multiple networks.

- Marshall: Isn’t it a given that this cannot be done by just one partner?

(Panel all appear to agree with this.)

- Whitehead: For stickiness, you just need a presence in there (in SM like Facebook) – what’s important now is presence;

- Poor: I disagree – there needs to be more of a foundation rather than a short term thing.

——————————————————————————–

Leads-Based Selling: Salvation or False Hope?

Panel: Trip Foster, VP Marketing at MediaTrust Stephen Gibbons, VP of Marketing, Urban Strategies Dex One Daniel Shaked, Founder/CEO of NoProblem Andy Sims, Global Director of Skype

Stephen Gibbons is up first:

- When talking about “leads based”, I really think of it as “action based” instead.

- What challenges does leads-based selling solve? Perception of print is not aligned with value; We own or ahve access to platforms that represent 92% of the ways consumers seek buying information.

- How is lead quality measured? Differs by source. Discount factor has been applied: promised 100 leads, instead giving you 120.

- How do you determine the price/value of a lead? Ultimate Q. Risk associated. We utilize mult sources. Six inputs into model. Not all leads are created equal.

- Challenges to selling: Explaining to SMBs that not all leads are equal across all platforms is critical. SMBs are reluctant to change their phone number.

- Common objections? Poor experience with SEM in the past, speciality businesses – we stay away from. Our price point is too high. Clients want leads, not activity. The nature requires higher amount of contact/touchpoints.

Next up is Andy Sims:

- We provide an overlay allowing skype calls to be placed from businesses.

- When getting into lead based programs, there are a lot of different activities. Publishers can resell skype calls to SMBs.

- Adds scalable opportunity for businesses to get a lot of calls.

Now up is Daniel Shaked of No Problem in Israel:

- We just signed a deal with Golden Pages in Israel. They’ll be using our platform.

- Advertisers are smart. They know how to compute ROI.

- In order to keep alive and grow (shows slashmark thru dinosaur) Life is short – a Lead has a very short life time. Need to connect lead immediate with advertiser or lead “dies” within minutes.

- Force a phone connection and… Bill for Action.

- This is why Pay Per Call is right thing to do.

- Life costs, so let’s price it well. A lead is not the same as another lead, and a call is not the same as another call.

- We allow realtime for advertisers to price what a lead is worth to them.

- Life is a Game. Play it well!

- Force connection. Pricing flexibility. Competitive environment.

(Shows demo.)

(Consumer requests to connect, then call goes to vendors, and each vendor receiving the call can opt to bid to get the call, and highest wins.)

Session now goes into panelist Q&A.

————————————————————————————

Chris Silver Smith: I’m now finishing up after my 2nd day of live-blogging the Directional Media Strategies conference here in Dallas. I feel like I was slightly more coherent today than on the first day, though I’m also fairly fatigued. I don’t know if I can live-blog all of the sessions on Day 3 tomorrow, but I will definitely try to report on the first session at 8:30 a.m. CST, which is “Google’s Latest Word on Local” with Todd Rowe, Director of Global SMB Reseller Partnerships at Google. I’ll probably aim to live blog a few select sessions of the 7 total scheduled, and I’ll try to specify at the beginning which ones I’ll be doing.

Check back on this post or on SearchEngineLand’s homepage tomorrow for the Day 3 URL.

Postscript: See Day 1 and Day 3 here.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Conferences

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About The Author: is President of Argent Media, and serves on advisory boards for Universal Business Listing and FindLaw. Follow him @si1very on Twitter.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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