For Verizon, it's about inventory. For Google, it's feet on the street.
Verizon's SuperPages.com has inked a deal to sell Google's AdWords to its Internet yellow pages advertisers.
"We may have a local advertiser today that has said, 'I want to spend $200 a month with you with your PPC (define) program,'" explained Eric Chandler, president of the Internet division of Verizon Information Services. "When we look at our inventory, we can only spend $100 a month. This deal will allow us to take that excess budget that we have and plug that advertiser into the Google environment."
The deal helps SuperPages cope with its inability to keep up with advertiser demand for pay-per-click traffic, due to a lack of inventory on its own site. Yet, it enables SuperPages to maintain its relationship with advertisers in the event that it's able to ramp up inventory in the future.
"We know our environment drives the best inventory," said Chandler. "We're able to maximize the distribution in our environment. Our interests are aligned with our advertisers."
Under the terms of the agreement, SuperPages will manage the client accounts and buy the Google advertising on their behalf, providing clients with integrated reporting. SuperPages "translates" advertisers' chosen category and maximum bid price into a portfolio of ads on AdWords.
The company hints it plans to establish similar relationships with other search engines, and will tweak the mix of what advertisers get based upon available inventory and ROI.
"The local space is a highly fragmented space and no single player has all of the assets in place to go after that today," said Chandler. "If you want to maximize the opportunities in this space, it's going to take a number of the key players getting together."
The agreement gives Google another channel to reach local advertisers, many of whom may not feel comfortable in a keyword and bidding environment. SuperPages has 3,000 salespeople that service local accounts.
Though Google already has similar deals in place with BellSouth and Dex Media (recently purchased by R.H. Donnelley), the SuperPages deal is slightly different in that advertisers don't pay a flat fee for a guaranteed number of clicks.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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