My Next Events: Kelsey, YPA, EADP

I thought it was a good opportunity today to list the next three events I will be attending.

1) The first one is [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] ‘s MarketPlaces 2009 conference in Los Angeles. Definitely looking forward hearing Jeff Berman (President, Sales and Marketing at MySpace) talk about verticals and local, Jay Herratti (CEO, Citysearch) discuss the latest Citysearch initiatives (maybe some fresh Facebook Connect data?) and Chris LaSala (Director of Local Markets, Google) talk about any Google Local initiatives. The conference is on March 16, 17 and 18 (yes, in 10 days!) at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”d919d1d277951c5164c26320a00b783fe1″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”].

2) I will also be attending this year’s [praized subtype=”small” pid=”85bbe9714ba1f95167e8691d35364b0a8c” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] conference. Believe it or not, it will be my first time after almost 10 years in the industry. They invited me to speak on a blogger panel with my friends Mike Boland and Greg Sterling. Can’t wait to hear Carol Johnson (COO, Sensis Yellow and White Pages) talk about “Sustaining Yellow and White Pages Growth” and Malcolm Gladwell talk about “Outliers”. The conference is April 26, 27 and 28 at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”2824998ee1a44bb195b97335593818ba2c” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”].

3) Finally, a month later, I will be in sunny Barcelona at the EADP conference. I will be talking about “blended search”. Their line-up of speakers is amazing with many CEOs and Head of New Media divisions speaking at the event. The conference is May 28 and 29 at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”fe88067181f3c2b456ee063861fe1985″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] (probably the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed in!).

If you want to sit down and chat at any of these events, send me an e-mail seb AT praizedmedia.com !

Sensis to Sell Back Trading Post?

The Kelsey Group’s blog reports on a possible sale by Sensis of their Trading Post classified property.

After being one of the first directory companies to enter the classified market, Telstra’s Sensis has placed its Trading Post property for sale. According to a report in The Age, “Sensis paid $636 million for the fading publication three years ago, but after continuous revenue declines and senior executive departures, The Trading Post is back on the block for a price believed to be no higher than the telco paid in March 2004.”

The motivation to sell the property seems to have come after the departure of John King, who appeared to be the last major supporter of the venture. This is startling news given Sensis’ much touted strategy of bringing together businesses and consumers in an open trading environment. Sensis has had the golden touch with most of its ventures, so the failure of The Trading Post seems at odd with the company’s goal of being the local media of choice in Australia.

The The Age article adds:

It it is clear that revenue from the publication has been declining, despite growing revenue in the wider $10 billion Sensis empire. Sensis said revenues at The Trading Post were down 7 per cent in the six months to December. The sale of The Trading Post will be the latest in a long line of unsuccessful attempts by Telstra to diversify, including a number of dot-com ventures and troubled joint ventures in Asia. (…) Sources close to the company said attempts to centralise management functions at the previously independent publication had backfired. Broking analysts believe the group did not have the management skills to shift customers online from the weekly print publication.

James Kirby, editor of Eureka Report, adds in an editorial: ” With the planned sale of The Trading Post, Telstra is acknowledging it does not have the expertise in traditional media to recreate the publication as a successful print/online hybrid, which it must become to survive.”

What it means: in a really surprising move, Sensis seems to be interested in selling back their classified division they bought just a few years ago from Trader Corp. It’s a move I don’t understand. Did they paint themselves in a corner by promising to double revenues by 2010, a tall order indeed? In any case, in a world where the winner will be the
one who controls the data
, this is, IMHO, not necessarily a good move by Sensis.

Sensis to Sell In-Game Advertising

Interesting nugget of information this morning in MediaPost’s Online Media Daily:

In-game advertising network IGA Worldwide Inc. has expanded its global footprint to include two exclusive sales partnerships in Australia and Canada. IGA will be working with Sensis, Australia’s leading information resource and Access Marketing, an independent Canadian media company. The deal broadens IGA’s global reach, while creating opportunities for local and regional advertisers in Australia and Canada to reach gamers in the 18-34 demographic on IGA’s worldwide network. IGA Worldwide presently generates more than 200 million impressions per week.

The press release adds: ” The deals will see Sensis’ digital advertising arm MediaSmart representing IGA Worldwide’s in-game advertising opportunities exclusively in the Australian market, through games inside of IGA‘s Radial Network. The partnership puts MediaSmart in a strong position to capitalize on the distinctive in-game advertising channel which is poised for further growth in the Australian market and bound to play an influential role in future media buying. Sensis provides advertising services to thousands of leading Australian businesses and this partnership underscores the appeal of in-game ads as a way to reach consumers for businesses of any size.”

What it means: smart move by Sensis. Knowing full well that videogames are yet another media entry door, they are going to leverage their existing MediaSmart sales team to promote local and national advertisers via in-game advertising. A great way to reach the 15-30 year-olds.

Australia: Google and News Corp Partner to Launch Google Maps

Following the launch of Google Maps in Australia, people were left wondering when business listings would be added to the site. Wonder no more. Google has announced it is partnering with TrueLocal.com.au, a News Corp local search property, to get the required business data for Australia.

“We are putting our entire database of business, paid and unpaid, into the Google database,” News Digital Media operations chief Nick Leeder said. “We also provide Yahoo Local with data for their local search product but ideally we would like to see people use Truelocal.”

“Google’s launch introduces yet another cashed-up media player to the local search market and further highlights the increased level of risk that Telstra will face as search revenues migrate from print to online,” Macquarie Equities analyst Andrew Levy said. (…) The deal with News is understood to have been signed more than six months ago but Google was prepared to wait until it had its product right, people familiar with the project said.”

The Google blog provides some examples: “The next time you’re looking for an address, tiger meat pie in Sydney, cafes in Melbourne, or how to get to the beach, Google Maps can help you find the answer”

Finally, Lisa Barone over at Bruce Clay Inc. says that “local search engine optimization has just hit Australia in a really big way”

(Via Australian IT, The Google Blog, and the Bruce Clay Blog.)

What it means: I’m surprised it’s not Sensis (Telstra’s business directory division) that ended up providing data for this launch. Then again, maybe the major Google/Myspace ad deal (MySpace is owned by News Corp.) influenced the outcome. Or maybe they just did not want to do the deal with Google. We might never know.