Archive for April, 2009

For Yellow Pages isn’t proof better than research?

The Yellow Pages Association just finished their conference in San Diego — sorry I missed it. There was a healthy degree of focus on measurement:

One key objective of future research is to demonstrate print’s strong usage, and Internet Yellow Pages growth, as compared to other local search tools. It’s important that we have reliable data to communicate about our significance in search.

from the YPA blog.

Right on.

But here’s the thing I don’t understand. Rather than treating measurement as a research task wouldn’t it be better to think of it as a tracking task? That is, replace the all phone numbers and URL’s with appropriate tracking numbers and tracking URL’s. The technology is certainly available to do this. And the data had incredible value to both the publisher and the advertiser.

Is there a reason we aren’t all thinking of this as a tracking task? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.



WANTED: Hyper-local advertisers for Myspace HyperTargeting

Following the fun at OMMA Mobile by Twitter. This is interesting:

MySpace’s Brandon Lucas said the company is trying to figure out how to extend its HyperTargeting program to the mobile space. That service allows advertisers to target messages very narrowly. Lucas, a beach volleyball player, for instance, says he gets ads for beach volleyball lessons on MySpace. Extending that program to mobile would make sense so users might see relevant ads to act on when they’re out and about. So the next time your playing beach volleyball, you can get a lesson on the spot!

from Mediapost RAW.

HyperTargeting transforms the MySpace audience of 70 million in to millions of audiences with thousands of people. The challenge then becomes how do you reach those millions of hyper-local advertisers who can really realize the benefit?

If a golf instructor in Edmonton (yeah, it’s just BARELY spring here) knew he could target golfer’s in his end of the city he might just do it. But who is going to tell him?

From the MyAds page:

Yellow Page national advertisers loyal because of tracking

According to a panel at YPA09 (as reported in a post by Peter Krasilovsky) national advertisers remain loyal to print yellow pages. And they remain loyal because of tracking:

Boorink added that it was “all about the tracking. A good CMR (Certified Marketing Rep) will be able to show local advertisers the opportunities that they may be missing out in the local marketplace. (For instance), what books are we not in that we are missing out on? We had an agent in Denver who didn’t know what was out there in the marketplace. By overlaying data, we were able to show which regions we were not covering, even though leads were coming in. That’s a great success story.

They use it because it works and they can prove that it works. Yellow Page publishers could be providing tracking services for all of their advertisers and prove the ROI to them as well.

Clickable enters local SEM fray with new platform

In these challenging economic times local advertisers are looking for proven ROI.  But they are also confused and bewildered by online advertising.  And many have probably had at least one bad experience of over-promise and under-performance.  Which is a shame, because there is an incredible amount of untapped value available online for local advertisers.

Clickable has just announced a new white labeled SEM platform that seeks to make advertising accessible to these local advertisers.

It looks to have the right emphasis on the right features. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has taken it for a spin.

Yellow page publishers to track more calls?

Advertising needs to be tracked even if the advertiser is playing a flat monthly fee because they still want to know whether or not its working.  As an industry, we need to separate the issues of measurement and payment.  People usually link the two.  But all advertisers care about whether or not their advertising actually works.  This is especially true in a difficult economic environment and with some of the negative publicity swirling around Yellow Page publishers.

Over at the Kelsy Group Blog, Charles Laughlin has a post about Bill Dinan assuming the role of CEO at TelMetrics.  Bill is betting that Yellow Page publishers are going to step up their call tracking:

Spurred on by defections to more flexible and transparent “pulse” media like direct mail and search, publishers are increasing their commitment to call measurement (and the new business models this enables).

“The publishers are stepping up this year,” Dinan says. And Dinan says he is preparing for the day the phone rings and a customer asks for “a million lines next month.” The indsutry is changing so much so that a request of that magnitude no longer seems so outlandish.

In particular, Dinan sees a very aggressive push toward performance-based pricing as evidence directory publishers are serious about changing the dynamic of SMB defections to other media, or to no media spending at all.

I couldn’t agree more with Bill. And he might be right that pay for performance will be the initial trigger. But really, the Yellow Page publishers shouldn’t restrict call tracking to just pay for performance advertisers.

RELATED: How do I know if my Yellow Page ad is working?

Mobile coupons work

There are growing indications that Mobile coupons work. This is important for two reasons:

  1. Users respond to them; and
  2. You also get to track redemption.

You get to track a coupon twice: once when they click on it and once when they redeem it!

Over at Local Mobile Search, Greg Sterling talks about some of their recent survey results:

In our most recent survey (3/09, not yet published) we found that 57% of respondents agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” with the statement: “I’m interested in any ad that offers me a discount or way to save money.” Here’s a related question and answer from and online survey we conducted in August, 2008 (n=789):

He then goes on to discuss some recent experience from ValPack:

What ValPak told me in a follow up conversation on the phone is that they quietly optimized for mobile in March. Leiser said they were happily surprised by the adoption and response with no promotion or formal announcement.

Now for the significant information: I was told that for every four site visitors to on the PC the company sees one coupon print (25% response/conversion) on average. But in April, with a smaller base, the company saw four coupons selected/downloaded for every mobile site visitor (400% response/conversion). This grew from 200% in March.

Google wants to know everything you do

In a recent post, Perry Evans comments on Google’s new Profile feature:

As quoted in RWW, Google’s Joe Kraus responsed on this bigger picture issue, attempting to dispel the notion of a bigger agenda.

“Google doesn’t do a lot of forward looking things; we serve our users’ needs and then we iterate.”

Gimme a break, Joe, this kind of BS really backfires. Own up to the treasure trove you’re building, and be transparent about how you intend to use it. Anything less just adds to the growing pile of reasons for consumers to begin fearing the brand as an opaque, too-powerful monolith.

In fact, just about everything Google does can be seen in terms of how it allows them to learn more about you – to serve you better – and earn more from the advertising you click on when using their services!

Some people seemed to think Google Voice – their evolution of Grand Central’s personal number service – is somehow a bit of a strange departure for Google. In fact, it’s a great way for them to get inside another valuable data stream about you – the people you talk to on your telephone. Android is another way of getting at this data stream (among others of course).

Mobile carriers, who already have the data Google wants, aren’t doing anything with it. Yet, to Google it is so valuable they were willing to buy a company, completely re-write its software and then give it away for free. Just to get access to this data stream.

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April 2009
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