Yellow pages publisher R.H. Donnelley (RHD), which recently acquired Business.com and owns search marketing firm LocalLaunch, is testing a new voice local mobile search product, 1-800-CallDex, in four U.S. markets: Denver, Phoenix, Spokane (WA) and Tucson. It offers a suite of services powered by speech and local mobile search enabler CallGenie, which is also behind similar services in Canada and with several U.S. partners including Verizon.
CallGenie enables local category search via neighborhood, near an intersection or a landmark in addition to traditional “name and number” search.
RHD, which owns the DexKnows Internet yellow pages site, is the latest to join the “free directory assistance” movement. Others already in the segment include:
- Jingle Networks (1-800-Free411)
- AT&T’s 1-800-YellowPages
- Google’s Goog411
- Dial Directions
- Microsoft’s Tellme
- Say Hello
The new 1-800-CallDex service is a trial, but it’s likely to take hold because of this competitive landscape and the billions of calls that come through conventional directory assistance. When it comes to mobile, publishers and providers need a diversified strategy to reach consumers. Voice and “free DA” represent the broadest market potential and lowest barrier to entry for consumers in mobile.