The Kelsey Group's Directional Media Strategies '09 Conference Preview

In less than 6 weeks, many decision makers from the Yellow Pages industry and other directional media companies will be attending the next Kelsey Group conference called Directional Media Strategies ’09.  Two of [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] analysts (Charles Laughlin and Matt Booth) organized a preview web conference yesterday to explain the “meta-themes” of the conference. They are:

  1. Embracing accountability (for example, with print pay-for-perfomance ads)
  2. Transforming the sales channel (becoming multi-product, digital and explicitly performance-based, sales training needs with those changes)
  3. Reinventing the business model ( every aspects of the Yellow Pages business model is under scrutiny, 12-month cycles, etc.)

The session became very interactive when Charles asked the attendees (more than 100) to vote on three different statements.

The first one, “In 5 years, what percentage of total directory revenue will be generated by performance-based advertising programs?”, produced some interesting results. 35% think that between 25% and 50% of total directory revenues (print and online) will be performance-based. That’s what I think as well. It will be a combo of preserving current advertisers with some advertiser gain as well.

webinar-poll-01

The second question, “in 5 years, what percentage of directory advertisers will be handled entirely by an automated/self-service sales channel?”, also produced some interesting results. 37% think that it will be “between 10% and 25%”. I’m not a big believer in self-service in the short/medium term. I think it will be “less than 10%”.

webinar-poll-02

The third question, “In 5 years, what percentage of large metro print directories will be produced in a size similar to that of a mini or companion?”, did not produce a clear winner. For my readers not in the industry, mini or companion directories (also called neighborhood directories in Canada) are smaller, more geo-focused print directories. Based on my personal experience, I always feel my neighborhood directory is always more relevant than the big Montreal-East book and when I use a print directory, I usually use the neighborhood edition. I think publishers will have no choice but to embrace this new format/model. I voted for “between 50% and 75%”.

webinar-poll-03

The conference is being held at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”79b0fad769b11f4b8998b682a0374edd7f” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] in Orlando. You can register here.

I will be attending the conference. If you want to meet, make sure we connect by e-mail (sprovencher AT praizedmedia.com) beforehand to schedule some quality time.

The Kelsey Group's Directional Media Strategies '09 Conference Preview

In less than 6 weeks, many decision makers from the Yellow Pages industry and other directional media companies will be attending the next Kelsey Group conference called Directional Media Strategies ’09.  Two of [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] analysts (Charles Laughlin and Matt Booth) organized a preview web conference yesterday to explain the “meta-themes” of the conference. They are:

  1. Embracing accountability (for example, with print pay-for-perfomance ads)
  2. Transforming the sales channel (becoming multi-product, digital and explicitly performance-based, sales training needs with those changes)
  3. Reinventing the business model ( every aspects of the Yellow Pages business model is under scrutiny, 12-month cycles, etc.)

The session became very interactive when Charles asked the attendees (more than 100) to vote on three different statements.

The first one, “In 5 years, what percentage of total directory revenue will be generated by performance-based advertising programs?”, produced some interesting results. 35% think that between 25% and 50% of total directory revenues (print and online) will be performance-based. That’s what I think as well. It will be a combo of preserving current advertisers with some advertiser gain as well.

webinar-poll-01

The second question, “in 5 years, what percentage of directory advertisers will be handled entirely by an automated/self-service sales channel?”, also produced some interesting results. 37% think that it will be “between 10% and 25%”. I’m not a big believer in self-service in the short/medium term. I think it will be “less than 10%”.

webinar-poll-02

The third question, “In 5 years, what percentage of large metro print directories will be produced in a size similar to that of a mini or companion?”, did not produce a clear winner. For my readers not in the industry, mini or companion directories (also called neighborhood directories in Canada) are smaller, more geo-focused print directories. Based on my personal experience, I always feel my neighborhood directory is always more relevant than the big Montreal-East book and when I use a print directory, I usually use the neighborhood edition. I think publishers will have no choice but to embrace this new format/model. I voted for “between 50% and 75%”.

webinar-poll-03

The conference is being held at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”79b0fad769b11f4b8998b682a0374edd7f” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] in Orlando. You can register here.

I will be attending the conference. If you want to meet, make sure we connect by e-mail (sprovencher AT praizedmedia.com) beforehand to schedule some quality time.

ILM ’08: Characteristics of Future Ad Products

Matt Booth, Senior VP and Program Director at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] started the ILM ’08 conference in Santa Clara with some very interesting insights and thoughts around local advertising’s perceived ROI and the herding (bandwagon) effect. One thought was that the perceived ROI of print business directories is not very good vs. other types of local advertising like e-mail marketing and pay-per-click search advertising even though actual ROI is still very good.

This lead Matt to describe what he thinks will be the characteristics of winning ad products in the future:

  1. Immediacy (no latency and full transparency), i.e. better perceived ROI
  2. Lead tracking (easy and simple to understand).  Don’t expect advertisers to do it themselves.
  3. Pulsed advertising (on/off by season).  Required flexibility.
  4. “Conversation & reputation management” tool. Tools to capture/manage the dialogue between consumers and SMBs.
  5. A blend of content and ads that work well together (almost advertorial)

ILM '08: Characteristics of Future Ad Products

Matt Booth, Senior VP and Program Director at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] started the ILM ’08 conference in Santa Clara with some very interesting insights and thoughts around local advertising’s perceived ROI and the herding (bandwagon) effect. One thought was that the perceived ROI of print business directories is not very good vs. other types of local advertising like e-mail marketing and pay-per-click search advertising even though actual ROI is still very good.

This lead Matt to describe what he thinks will be the characteristics of winning ad products in the future:

  1. Immediacy (no latency and full transparency), i.e. better perceived ROI
  2. Lead tracking (easy and simple to understand).  Don’t expect advertisers to do it themselves.
  3. Pulsed advertising (on/off by season).  Required flexibility.
  4. “Conversation & reputation management” tool. Tools to capture/manage the dialogue between consumers and SMBs.
  5. A blend of content and ads that work well together (almost advertorial)

ILM '08: Characteristics of Future Ad Products

Matt Booth, Senior VP and Program Director at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] started the ILM ’08 conference in Santa Clara with some very interesting insights and thoughts around local advertising’s perceived ROI and the herding (bandwagon) effect. One thought was that the perceived ROI of print business directories is not very good vs. other types of local advertising like e-mail marketing and pay-per-click search advertising even though actual ROI is still very good.

This lead Matt to describe what he thinks will be the characteristics of winning ad products in the future:

  1. Immediacy (no latency and full transparency), i.e. better perceived ROI
  2. Lead tracking (easy and simple to understand).  Don’t expect advertisers to do it themselves.
  3. Pulsed advertising (on/off by season).  Required flexibility.
  4. “Conversation & reputation management” tool. Tools to capture/manage the dialogue between consumers and SMBs.
  5. A blend of content and ads that work well together (almost advertorial)

Highlights from Kelsey’s Drilling Down 2008: The Kelsey Team Intro and the Latimes.com Strategy

Very interesting first half-day yesterday at the Kelsey Group’s Drilling Down on Local ’08. The theme of the conference is “Marketplaces”. It regroups products such as classifieds, auctions and vertical sites. Here are highlights from the first two sessions:

As an introduction, the Kelsey Group’s team provided us with some background information on “Marketplaces”. Neal Polachek first described the local end game as “better search, discovery, and engagement”. He even quoted the Cluetrain Manifesto’s “Markets are conversation”. He also talked about their latest global ad revenue forecast for 2007-2012, stating that the biggest category winner would be Internet and the biggest loser would be newspapers. As I wrote last week, the Kelsey group believes that Verticals will capture a large chunk of online advertising by 2012. Matt Booth then talked about three specific verticals (travel, automotive, home services) that have had a tremendous impact on offline/online business and media spending. For example, Matt showed two juxtaposed graphs showing the decline of newspapers’ automotive revenues vs. Autotrader.com’s revenue increase. Peter Krasilovsky finished the intro by stating that it’s now time to “uncouple” print and online media bundles. As print revenues decline, you need to have online-only ad products to compensate. Peter added that you also want to “verticalize” your offer to expand your revenues.

Kelsey Drilling Down 08 Neal Polachek

The second session “Remaking the Los Angeles Times (Online)” starred Rob Barrett, Senior VP of Interactive Media, GM, LATimes.com. He started by mentioning that most of what he’s currently working on is not very visible online now. He spent the first couple of years at the LA Times refocusing the online business. His main focus has been to build the display ad business (as opposed to classifieds). It’s going to generate $25M in revenues this year. Barrett says it’s now “time to finally break the newspaper paradigm online”. The LA Times’ online strategy needs to be local as opposed to national as it will allow them to differentiate their offer versus other “national” newspapers like the New York Times. They’ve realized that local users are key to online revenues as they generate more monthly page views and twice the display revenue per page views. Their product approach is “we want to own Los Angeles”, i.e. be integral to life of Angelinos, be the source of news and information about Los Angeles to the world and be an information retailer by creating, aggregating and curating LA content.

Los Angeles Times - News from Los Angeles, California and the World

The Latimes.com web site is slowly transforming itself into a hyperlocal social network. All content pieces are going to be tagged and indexed by category and geography. By targeting on demographics and on geo, the LA Times is hoping to raise their average CPMs and improve ad effectiveness. They are creating the best targeting machine for the LA DNA. Barrett then showed us pilots of various new vertical sections that are very promising:

Directory Assistance Ad Revenues: $462M in 2012

The Kelsey Group just released some data around future directory assistance advertising revenues.

“Annual U.S. revenues for advertiser-sponsored directory assistance, also referred to as free DA, will grow from $14 million in 2007 to $462 million in 2012, according to The Kelsey Group. (…) “We anticipate ad-sponsored directory assistance will morph into an audio ad business and a wireless play,” said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media, The Kelsey Group. “The combination of audio ads and wireless pay-per-call and text ads will drive superior per-call economics over time.”

What it means: Directory assistance (DA) has always been part of the directional media landscape but for the longest time, you could only do “known-name” searches. The introduction of enhanced content (including categories) within DA creates yet another media channel for consumers to find business information. For local media players who have embraced content digitization and/or pay-per-call, DA becomes a great distribution channel to promote their advertisers. For others, it might feel like more fragmentation is happening in the directional marketplace. I highly recommend embracing this channel as a way to reach more users on the move.