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Live Blogging BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’10 Conference – Day 1

I’m live blogging portions of the Directional Media Strategies 2010 conference beginning today shortly after noon at 12:30pm, CST. So, check back here as I provide ongoing updates — I’m going to see how well I may be able to keep up with the stream, so long as my hands hold up! Keep refreshing the page during the hour when this is in session to see my updates.


Intro Session – Yellow Pages, Local Search and the Path to New Digital Revenues:

Tom Buono is welcoming the attendees – this is apparently the 20th Kelsey conference.

– BIA/Kelsey showing tag cloud of topics they consult about. Mostly advertorial prelude comments about BIA/Kelsey conferences, services offered.

– Photo of DSM 2010 intro session.

Neal Polachek, President of BIA/Kelsey is now up.

– How many remember John Mayall? He had album that was a turning-point. This is a turning point of this industry.

– % of SMBs using Traditional Media: 77%

– SMBS using Digital/online: 69%

– Flat economy. Retaining customers is critical. Disappointing pace of recovery.

Charles Laughlin is now up.

– Results/economy driving transformational change.

– Pace of innovation accelerating.

– Print drives quality leads – but efforts to prove it fail.

– Current environment breeeding mergers, asset sales, leadership changes, bold partnerships.

– Mergers/consolidations are probably in the works.

– Web presence emerging as new nucleus of directory-SMB relationship.

– This is a “Period of Discontinuous Change”.

– He’s showing slide comparing 2010/2014 that projects reduction of YP print and growth of online.

– Seeing lots of directory leaders retired or been replaced. (List of exec changes!)

– All CEO positions thus far replaced by people from outside the yellow pages industry.

– (Diagram slide showing Biz Listing as foundation. Compares with diagram of Web Site as digital foundation that businesses are now shifting towards.)

– Predictions by 2015:

– Most markets will be at or beyond 50% digital revenues;
– Many big companies will have been acquired/demerged or overhauled;
– Leads-based sales will be predominant model;
– Ave # items provisioned per customer will roughly double today;
– YP biz will be largely a sales force / partnership management biz;
– “Yellow Pages” term will fall into disuse and hardly be used at all;


Howard Lerman, CEO of Yext up for Keynote

10 Predictions for 2011:

1 – MapQuest will become key business discovery interface;

2 – We think Patch is going to explode; Based on UGC authentic experiences;

3 – Directories like Superpages.com will continue to drive highest ROI phonecalls. Yext software to tell whether phone call results in transactions. (Showing graph that Supermedia drove about 5% higher transactions/call than Overall. Lowest %age was produced by Google.

{Sorry for interruption as WiFi went down. }

4 – Yellow pages will go big into Group Buying. (He then cites Yellowbook’s Weforia.)

5 – Yelp will become most important consumer research site, due to their rapid mobile growth.

6 – Yellow pages sales force will grow revenues from products & services and ATTi will be the leader.

7- Bing will become the 2nd most imp primary source of local advertising inventory.

8 – Citygrid will become most important local advertising network / exchange. (shows graph of growth of phone calls from Citygrid over last 6 months.

9 – No. of advertisers buying performance advertising is going to peak. Growth of dollars may continue, but tot # of advertisers will peak.

10 – Google Tags will become a standardized local ad unit. (He asks how many in audience know what it is, and few people raise hands.)

Innovations speeding up. This industry is an Ecoysystem, and becoming more of an ecosystem as innovation speeding up.

We see dev of Open Listing Standards in industry is key driver. We see Dozens of Winners in market.

We intend Yext to be one of those winners.

Last prediction for 2011: Yext Tags will bring many long-tailed businesses into the ecosystem. That’s all we’re going to say about this. More to come.

Last prediction: Recipe may be different, but companies serving SMBs for last hundred years, will be companies serving businesses for next 100 years.

(I didn’t record all audience questions at this point, but he was asked if Microformats might become the Open Listings Standard, and he stated he didn’t know what Microformats were, but said we do need an open listings standard and some entity was likely to make them happen.) {me: I’ll likely have a separate blog post about that question, later on!}

—— A brief break as I attempt to go back to the hotel — if wifi still down, I will post recaps later. Watch on Twitter and I’ll give status as to whether Live Blogging can continue. ——–

————3:00pm Resuming… if access drops, I’ll post recaps tonight.—————

The iPad – A Game Changer for Directories and Local Search?

Michael Boland, Program Director of Mobile Local Media at BIA/Kelsey is introducing the session.

– Seeing the device evolve in uses for consumers. Becoming an interesting canvas for yellow pages to present itself in digital form. Still in early stages. We’re in chapter one. In 3yrs will be interesting.

Mike Wilson, GM & VP of Digital Media for Yellowbook:

– We always have lively discussions about best ways to present YP data. (slide includes books, and cereal box.

– {Shows video} “This is the opportunity we’ve beek looking-for!”

– iPad key member of yellowbook mobile portfolio;

– New medium: not just iPad. Android platform Gingerbread may be used.

– [shows chart of market share of platforms – only Google Android platform growing.]

– Yellowbook: #10 app in the lifestyle category. Android – #6 in Overall Free App. Both apps built in time for launch.

– [Now attempts to give live demo of iPad app.] Interface shows Weforia ad in lower right. It geolocates to the hotel conference location. He now shows search for “restaurant” in Washington, DC; {Yes! It makes the search via the conf wifi!} Rankings appear on the screen.

– [Shows profile page of The Rhino Bar.] We not only give access to business’s website, now their site is integrated into the application itself. Not for walled garden, but for usability.

– [Demos doing reviews of Rhino Bar, giving it four stars. Keyboard on the screen is very clicky-sounding.] They also have a video, here, which is also embedded in the player. [shows the video for Rhino Bar.]

– We’ve got facebook integration, so you can post to your wall. Also access via twitter (within app).

– We’ve got Skype integration, so it can directly connect with business. [attempts to make call] Hah – I’ve run out of credits! [call fails, audience laughs]

– Will be featuring daily deals with Weforia launch.

Michael Boland comments on how attaching Skype to YP is good, because it closes the loop between search and calling the business.

Now Up – Ron Mintle, President and CEO, Yellow Magic:

– Is iPad a game changer? Unequivocal yes.

– Digital distribution opportunities; Mobile Electronic Contracts & Signatures;

– YP sales reps have to carry lots of ungainly paperwork…

– Expand Distribution Electronically – cheaper faster to distro than print directory;

– Captive Audience;

– Alternative Format for “Opt-out” program for Green Consumers;

– New Revenue Opportunities; Splash Screen. We turn a PDF into a directory onto an iPad. You can have inserted ad pages such as tabs. You can have any type of content you want. Sponsored Searches, coupons. You can sell any spot on the page, make it hot, to do what you want.

– [Shows video of it in operation. Shows interface, turning pages by clicks – animated page turning animations. zooms maps, turns pages. table of contents. Do heading search. Zooms into page.]

– Any place on the page can be “hot”. iPad can be rotated to view in landscape.

– This give idea of how you can take all valuable aspects of a printed directory and put into the iPad itself.

– This can be a sales reps’ mobile office. Paperless Contracts & Digital Signatures.

– Electronic lead delivery – leads, contracts, proofs, etc downloaded to iPad.

– Monitor sales territories, reps, canvasses, and revenue in real time – results shown on website.

– Eliminate sales call reports.

– More time for selling.

– Eliminates need for contact entry – already in system.

– [Shows demo animation.] Show map to sales call. See proofs of past ads. See internal sales/cust service notes. Appointments. Presentation materials. Videos. Sales training material. Links to websites. Demos of IYP site. Set up ad for sale – select type of ad for client. All added to contract.

– This platform and Android platforms to follow make this a viable directory medium, and sales force automation tool.

Michael Prichard of Willowtree Apps:

– Shows past Superpages design vs current – comments that mobile dev will now be faster.

– Shows Alice in Wonderland app;

– Shows Kayak screenshot on iPad.

…Now they move on to Q&A

(I’m only including Q&A that’s particularly interesting to me…)

(Ugh! Just checked layout of page – my text got ugly from pasting from Wordpad – sorry folx. Will attempt quick clense before next session or will clean up tonight.)


Ins and Outs of Reputation Management – The Next Wave of SMB Support

Brendan King, CEO VendAsta Technologies – What Is Reputation Management?

– Reputation = What you say about yourself + What others say .

– Reputation today is airborne & contagious.

– What it is for SMBs: Local presence/ visibility;

– visibility is where is biz listed, where not listed, how does anchor info look?

– Shows example where a site incorrectly lists biz name – states this affects Google 7-pack ranking;

– Monitoring/ Listening to what people are saying: Reviews, Mentions in Hyperlocal – blogs – Facebook – Twitter – Foursquare , Filter by Sentiment;

– Shows StepRep monitoring of an example business;

– Comparisons to Local Competition: [shows share of voice in StepRep]

– Local Trending: shows a tag cloud that shows “Kells Irish Pub” had top term used with them changed during world cup as people talked about watching games from the pub.

– Reputation Tool: Facebook Audience, Twitter Audience, Checkins;

– Important piece of info: Nobody Wants To Do Anything. Small biz is time-starved. Use automated alerts, reports. Rep mgment should peform with minimal set of anchor data.

– Opt way to sell Rep Mgmnt: Bundled and completely branded. Value Add. Retention Tool. Good way to up-sell.

BIA/Kelsey asks Brendan how they sell: Brendan says they sell via local SEOs/SEMs; Then they have primary/secondary customers – CMRs and Directories who they provide thru whitelabel.

Now up – Emad Fanous, Cofounder of Solfo/YellowBot.com:

– Rep Management via YellowBot – [Shows The Ivy in Los Angeles, CA view in Yellowbot.]

– Relates about lawyer desiring to monitor rep mgmnt.

– Presence management – everyone needs to be found. Your contact info needs to be correct.

– Shows how corrections can be submitted via YellowBot.

– How to sell: Complete/Full Version. Whole enchilada. Premium Product. Lots of info and detials. Social sharing and responding.

– “Lite Version” ; teaser, establish value before investing in Premium.

– Presence can be sold as a standalone product; One-time Check or ongoing maintencance. Upsell “concierge service” Can be sold to any biz or chains.

– People can filter on date, other info.

– Printable Version of visibility report. How accurately you’re listed across every site you’re listed upon. What info is correct/incorrect. Overall Accuracy percentage displayed.

– Provide way to compare to your competitors.

– Reduce churn. Constant contact thru alerts/reports; Differentiates listings & other prods. Establishes value, esp for conciurge services. Helps biz save time. Whitelabel & API.

{Now going into Q&A session.}

{Starting up soon on Mobile Local session.}


Mobile Local Leaves the Laboratory

Michael Boland, Analyst with BIA/Kelsey & Charles Laughlin are moderating. Michael intros the session.

– We have a panel of people coming at this from all angles:

Carey Bunks, Group VP of Mobile, European Directories:

– Monetization of Mobile.

– We’re working with Golden Gecko to roll out mult mobile apps to service all 8 countries we cover.

– In 2013 we expect mobile use to be between 20%-50% of our total usage;

– There’s an especially critical problem – how do we get sales reps to sell mobile?

– 4 mobile products defined at European Directories (only 1 implemented so far): (1) Opt-Out Bundle – aimed at existing customers – penetration in excess of 90%; (2) Premium Ranking – aimed at advertisers who wish to rank better than competitors on IYP; (3) Click2Call packages – aimed at advertisers in headings/regions that highly value calls – provides a set number of calls per day/week/mo for a fixed fee; (4) Sponsorship – banner style ad at the top of the yellow or white search list results – allows big brands to target their customers – only appears fo rnamed searches, for example HSBC, but not for “Bank”;

– Bundle implemented for all their territories as of Aug 2010;

– Premium ranking to be implemented for end of this year;

– Click to call packages to be delivered in H2 2011;

Mathias Schroeder, Cofounder and Chief Product Officer , Adaffix:

– Adaffix “enriches phone call exp. by adding contextually relevant social and local content to calls in real time.”

– main product is a smartphone app;

– Winner of various mobile awards;

– Live in 8 markets, including USA;

– [shows vid of their app] Adaffix instantly suggests other businesses to call if one you dial is unavailable (shows Yellowbook options for alternate pizza providers during the middle of a football game);

– We see calls as an intention. Google monetizes intentions. An unsuccessful call is an unsuccessful intention.

– Do it like Google – monetize intentions!

– We suggest 3 alt merchants to consumer. By click of button , a new biz transaction can be made.

– It’s all about leads.

– Auto suggest: generating calls to advertisers;

– App usage over time (shows graph indicating Adaffix relatively stable, while other apps usage drops over time);

– App runs automatically in the background, so user does not have to be active. It continuously attaches local content.

– Shows diagram of lots of types of companies that “are not answering the phone”. Doctors, banks, attorneys, pizza, trucking, restaraunts, etc…

Next up – Matt Myers, CMO of Shooger:

– Shooger is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with merchants thru deals;

– Uniquely mobile: Personal, Portable, Immediate, Location Aware;

– Today + Tomorrow – SMS/Apps/Web – we created an integrated platform – if you play only in smartphones, you ignore a lot of users;

– We built integrated platform for one place for merchants to upload their content. Offers, deals deployed from one place;

– Flexibility: Customization, APIs/XML, Self-Provisioning;

– We tried to make this simple & intuitive. Simplicity of Sales & Operations;

– Accountability – this channel screams for it. Opt-in subscribers. Tracking. Transparency. We give merchants clear dashboard. Also support 7 major types of barcodes and limit # redemptions.

– Service: train trainers – sales training, use best practices, being clear in reporting;

– Future: Today it’s experimental. Tomorow it’s experimental. Heading more into Social/Commerce.

– Recently mobile commerce daily reported 15% consumers tried loading deal apps by phone.

– Providing some drink specials later for the conference attendees.

Next up, Ivan Braiker, CEO of Hipcricket –

– If you’re not confused about all mobile can do and is about, it’s amazing.

– Hipcricket is one-stop” mobile marketing company; empowers brand, agencies, media properties. (shows slide with WAY too much bullets, text, logos)

– Keep audience engaged. Use call-to-action. Presale – Sale – Post Sale.

– Technologies for determining location: GPS, Network Initiated, Declared Info, …

– Two ways to reach audience: SMS ad injection/dipsplay ad ;

– (shows ad example – user requests score for football, gets info including phone to pizza place, click2call goes to pizza joint)

– Case study of Arby’s: watching Jimmy Kimmel Live, consumers invited to text message to get initial offer, and later can receive other offers. 329k consumers opted in ; 475; consumers interacted with Arby’s via shortcode. In total over 3.7 interactions with consumers.

– Shows local tire dealer, Belle Tire: Result in 1,053 interactions;

– Mobile becomes an engaged community provider;

Charles Laughlin now announces Q&A segment, but asks a few questions himself, too.


This marks the end of the live blogging of the last session for the DMS conference today. I’ll probably add a few more pictures links in this post later tonight.

Tomorrow, I intend to resume live-blogging, and I hope to make it a bit more coherent. This was my first live blogging effort, and I may’ve attempted to bite off a bit more than I can chew by trying to live-blog a day’s worth. Aside from the wifi meltdown, this is challenging to do anyway, particularly for four-plus hours in a row — and this conference is somewhat crazy with nearly no breaks between sessions. Even so, I’m going to give it a try for tomorrow’s conf sessions, so check back on Search Engine Land’s homepage and via my Twitter account (si1very) for the Day 2 URL, to be posted later tonight.

Tomorrow, Day 2 starts at 8:30 am.

Postscript: See my coverage of See my coverage of DMS2010 Day 2 and Day 3.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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