Categorizing the Consumer Activities on a Merchant Listing

Eitan Ackerman from Amdocs just presented “IYP Search Case Studies – A Global Tour” at the IYP SearchMeet conference. I was particularly intrigued by one of his slides that details all the activities/actions a consumer can take when looking at a Yellow Pages listing online. They are:

  • Search to call: I am looking for the merchant’s phone number, often a core element of a business directory site.
  • Search to book: I want to schedule an appointment or make a reservation.
  • Search to purchase: I want to buy the product online (e-commerce)
  • Search to navigate: I want to get to the store and I’m looking for the address, map, driving directions, etc.
  • Search to additional information: I’m looking for hours of operations, brands carried, etc.
  • Click to save: I want to save/bookmark the information in my personal address book for future use.
  • Click to share: I want to share the merchant information with friends/contacts via e-mail, social networks, etc.

What it means: I like this categorization of activities because it tells us about potential proof of value points to measure advertising ROI. It’s also a way to look at future business models (pay-per-call, pay-per-action, transactions, etc.). Did Eitan forget anything?

(Picture from the BIA/Kelsey Web site)

The DealMap Launches, Aggregates "Deals" Atoms

The DealMap logo

I’m late covering the launch of The Dealmap, a site that aggregates local deals from companies like Restaurant.com, Foursquare and others and enable consumers to search for them locally (and see them visually on a map).

dealmap_screenshot_front_page_nyc

Highlights from their release:

  • More than 300,000 local deals aggregated (US and UK, although I did find some in Montreal, Canada)
  • Daily deal alerts (e-mail and Twitter)
  • Gaming elements (badges, leaderboard, etc.)
  • Publicly available APIs for its unique local deal data
  • iPhone application soon to be released

The Dealmap is owned and operated by Center’d Corporation.

What it means: I like this new product because I think it illustrates perfectly the fact that every new business ecosystem creates third party opportunities. In this case, we’re starting to see a profusion of daily deals and rebate/coupon sites. Each of these daily deals is in fact a business model “atom” (read my other posts on atomization). Companies like Groupon have atomized their business models and many others are doing the same thing. Products like The DealMap aggregates these atoms to create a new way of discovering content, while spreading the original business model.

Twitter Makes Four Announcements At LeWeb Including The First Developer Conference

Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform at Twitter, took the stage this morning at the LeWeb conference to discuss the developer roadmap and make four big announcements. Sarver mentioned that Twitter application developers have been very vocal about four key themes. They are:

  • Transparency. The need for Twitter to be more public, how they engage with 3rd party companies, etc.
  • Communications. Be out there when there are problems or new features or give previews.
  • Utility. Providing robust APIs to create all sorts of applications.
  • Profitability. Provide money to the ecosystem partners, through a shared business model. More details in early 2010.

Ryan Sarver Twitter  LeWeb Paris December 2009

With this background, came four big announcements.

  1. The launch of a program to provide access to the Twitter content firehose to everyone in early 2010
  2. The launch in a few weeks of a Twitter developer site in a few weeks including documentation, known issues, API console, status dashboard, etc.
  3. The move to OAuth for identity authorization (with its positive impacts on rate limits & authentication). Sarver says that application developers using OAuth will see an increase in rate limits of 10x. They will also introduce an API for browser-less apps to get the OAuth token. Given that announcement, basic auth deprecation will happen in June 2010 (which means all applications will need to use OAuth by that date, otherwise they’ll stop working).
  4. The first Twitter Developer Conference, “Chirp” happening in 2010 in San Francisco. They want the conference to be affordable (around $400 a ticket).

Global Yellow Pages: Entering the "Presence, Performance, Permanence" Era

This is a post about the Kelsey Group’s DMS ’09 conference which happened last week in Orlando.

In a presentation titled “Global Yellow Pages: A Prescription for Future Success”, Charles Laughlin and Neal Polachek from BIA/Kelsey (the new name of The Kelsey Group) exposed important trends and offered a new way to look at the future for directory publishers.

Current trends:

  • Over time, print Yellow Pages usage (as an advertising vehicle) is down for SMBs
  • Advertiser volume (i.e. the total number of advertisers with a relationship to a directory publisher) is decreasing
  • Average average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) is up (i.e. squeezing more money out of current advertisers) but EBITDA margins are down
  • Share of revenue coming from online products is up (10% of total directory publishers revenue in North America, 25% in Europe)

Future trends:

  • Publishers will sell leads instead of products (i.e. need to move away from print/online nomenclature)
  • The business model will evolve (blends traditional and performance-based advertising + fee-based services)
  • There will certainly be a change in the publishers’ cost structure (when revenues go down, margins go down also)
  • We will see a changing sales force (training, recruitment, smaller channels, outsourcing)
  • We will see a changing core print product (more local, more vertical, smaller, less categories)

Neal then exposed what I think is a revolutionary new way of seeing the world and coined a new era for the Yellow Pages business: ” Presence, Performance, Permanence”

Kelsey BIA Presence Performance Permanence

“Presence” is defined as “Be found”. It’s usually fee-based. It includes product like signage, listings, print, banners, search/SEO, digital outdoor, door hangers, radio, cable TV and mobile TV. I think we could also include things like website building, Facebook & Twitter profile management, etc.

“Performance” is all about driving leads. It’s performance-base and includes clicks, calls, forms submitted, store visits, inquiries, etc. It could also include coupons exchanged.

“Permanence” is to help the advertiser retain customers. This works on a fee for service business model and includes ratings, reviews, online reputation management, online booking, customer reminders, customer updates, retention strategies, telephone training, etc.

The list of business opportunities Neal presented was certainly not exhaustive but I like how this model helps organize product initiatives under large umbrellas. I also like the fact that social media is now part of the overall Yellow Pages strategy via things like ratings, reviews and reputation management. The whole industry seems to be waking up to the disruptive power (opportunity and threat!) of social media I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg there.

In Orlando Next Week For The Kelsey Group DMS '09 Conference

I will be in Orlando next week for the Kelsey Group DMS ’09 conference. I haven’t missed many of those great events over the years and I’m looking forward seeing my industry colleagues in person.

Here are the presentations/panels I don’t want to miss:

Tuesday Sept. 22, 2009

  • “Moving Multiproduct Selling Beyond Bundles”. The interesting challenge directory publishers face today is to transform their sales organization into one that’s able to sell online advertising-only, not just print/online bundles. There’s also the new real-time Web which will create opportunities to launch time-sensitive offers and coupons, requiring multiple touch points during the year. That’s something directory publishers need to improve. See this conversation between Michael Taylor and myself on Linkedin (you need to be a member of the Kelsey Group Linkedin group to see it)
  • Kelsey’s User View and Local Commerce Monitor. Always interesting data points on users and advertisers.

Wednesday Sept 23, 2009:

  • The keynote from David Swanson, Chairman and CEO, R.H. Donnelley. As RHD prepares to exit bankruptcy protection, it’s going to be interesting to see how RHD is expecting to reinvent itself.
  • “The Global Yellow Pages Leadership Forum: Answers to the Tough Questions”. This should be the highlight of the three-day conference. Six global industry leaders will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the local industry. I wonder who will replace John Kannapell from AOL who was just let go.
  • “Mobile Search & Yellow Pages: The Business Model”. Four senior mobile managers from directory publishers talk about the importance of mobile, their strategy, and the business model. Curious to ask them about their “big ideas” around mobile.
  • The second keynote of the day, David Krantz, President & CEO, AT&T Interactive.

Thursday Sept 24, 2009

  • The keynote from Donat Rétif, CEO, Truvo. I saw him speak at the EADP conference back in May but given that Truvo wants to be innovative in the directory space, it’s going to be interesting to get an update from them.
  • “Print Yellow Pages 2013: Critical Changes to the Core Product”. Very curious to see if we will finally hear about real print innovation.

The conference is held at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”79b0fad769b11f4b8998b682a0374edd7f” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”]. If you’d like connect in Orlando, send me an e-mail sprovencher AT praizedmedia.com

In Orlando Next Week For The Kelsey Group DMS '09 Conference

I will be in Orlando next week for the Kelsey Group DMS ’09 conference. I haven’t missed many of those great events over the years and I’m looking forward seeing my industry colleagues in person.

Here are the presentations/panels I don’t want to miss:

Tuesday Sept. 22, 2009

  • “Moving Multiproduct Selling Beyond Bundles”. The interesting challenge directory publishers face today is to transform their sales organization into one that’s able to sell online advertising-only, not just print/online bundles. There’s also the new real-time Web which will create opportunities to launch time-sensitive offers and coupons, requiring multiple touch points during the year. That’s something directory publishers need to improve. See this conversation between Michael Taylor and myself on Linkedin (you need to be a member of the Kelsey Group Linkedin group to see it)
  • Kelsey’s User View and Local Commerce Monitor. Always interesting data points on users and advertisers.

Wednesday Sept 23, 2009:

  • The keynote from David Swanson, Chairman and CEO, R.H. Donnelley. As RHD prepares to exit bankruptcy protection, it’s going to be interesting to see how RHD is expecting to reinvent itself.
  • “The Global Yellow Pages Leadership Forum: Answers to the Tough Questions”. This should be the highlight of the three-day conference. Six global industry leaders will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the local industry. I wonder who will replace John Kannapell from AOL who was just let go.
  • “Mobile Search & Yellow Pages: The Business Model”. Four senior mobile managers from directory publishers talk about the importance of mobile, their strategy, and the business model. Curious to ask them about their “big ideas” around mobile.
  • The second keynote of the day, David Krantz, President & CEO, AT&T Interactive.

Thursday Sept 24, 2009

  • The keynote from Donat Rétif, CEO, Truvo. I saw him speak at the EADP conference back in May but given that Truvo wants to be innovative in the directory space, it’s going to be interesting to get an update from them.
  • “Print Yellow Pages 2013: Critical Changes to the Core Product”. Very curious to see if we will finally hear about real print innovation.

The conference is held at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”79b0fad769b11f4b8998b682a0374edd7f” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”]. If you’d like connect in Orlando, send me an e-mail sprovencher AT praizedmedia.com

Robert Scoble: Businesses are Seeing Real ROI With Twitter

Robert Scoble, social media observer and blogger, is continuing his Twitter explorations in a post titled “Why Twitter is underhyped and is probably worth five to 10 billion dollars” he published this morning. He’s starting to realize, like I did a few months ago, that Twitter has created a media vehicle for businesses large and small with great potential.

Here’s what he’s seen so far that makes him think Twitter’s adoption by businesses will only accelerate:

  • Books are starting to be published about the phenomenon (for example, TrustAgents, co-written by Montrealer Julien Smith, TwitterVille written by Shel Israel and Six Pixels of Separation, written by Montrealer Mitch Joel)
  • “Businesses are seeing real ROI but aren’t sharing that publicly and, really, they don’t have much else that is working to reach the richest and most educated customers.”
  • ” In each city there are a core group of Twitter evangelists that aren’t pushing anything else to their businesses.”
  • “Facebook wants into this market (and so do others) but they aren’t understanding what makes Twitter attractive to businesses.”

He also suggests a revenue model for Twitter: “Charge for business services. I know businesses would pay for better analytics. Better hooks into their lead generation engines. Better team collaboration services (…). And more features. How much would they pay? Many businesses would pay a hundred a month, maybe even more.”

He offers an explanation why Twitter is better than Facebook for businesses:

  • “Facebook doesn’t have a way for you to track all mentions of your business.”
  • “Facebook has even less permanence than Twitter does” (content is difficult to access on Facebook once it rolls off the newsfeed page)
  • Facebook is mostly used for private and personal stuff

What it means: the “Twitter” model for real-time conversation seems to be winning (open, asynchronous). As I’ve mentioned before, It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Twitter will become a serious threat to local media publishers in the near future. Twitter needs to be studied and embraced both from a media and a user pattern point of view.