The AT&T/BellSouth venture is made over as a huge reach vehicle in the IYP space.
The new site combines the former SBC SMARTpages.com with BellSouth's RealPages.com. Those sites now point to YellowPages.com, creating a single nationwide local search entity where before there were three.
The move creates a strong new competitor for both users and advertisers in the hotly competitive Internet yellow pages (IYP) and local search environment.
"The consolidation of leading Internet yellow pages brands into a centralized utility that further extends an advertiser's distribution [is significant]," said Justin Sanger, president of LocalLaunch, a digital marketing firm serving small- to mid-sized companies.
The new interface allows visitors to conduct local searches by keyword, business name or business type. Users can also save preferred results to a "My YellowPages" list. Other features include click-to-call, maps and driving directions, plus "City Guides" and "Consumer Guides" that combine proprietary editorial with content from partners.
For marketers, the site's most important new feature is reach.
"This increases the reach in terms of geography, as well as traffic and value," Matt Crowley, YellowPages.com's VP of marketing, told ClickZ. "Previously, you had traffic to YellowPages.com, traffic to RealPages.com and traffic to SmartPages.com, as well as distribution relationships. This brings it all together. The advertiser has the value of the full reach of the YellowPages.com platform [and its] greater content, functionality, traffic and brand."
Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) providers are simultaneously competitive and cooperative with the major search engines. In some cases, IYPs provide listings for search engines' local search products. Meanwhile, over the summer, SuperPages.com began placing campaigns with Google and Yahoo on behalf of its local advertisers -- effectively playing the role of SEM agency.
"Today the lines are blurring rapidly. It is a mistake to think of Internet yellow pages and search engines' local search activities as distinct environments," said Sanger. "They both are after the same core things. They're after users, they're after advertisers." YellowPages.com will launch a cross-media ad campaign in the first quarter of 2006 with a budget in the "tens of millions," Crowley said. It will be created by Omnicom agency GSD&M, which the company tapped in August to handle its marketing.
By virtue of its name, YellowPages.com will benefit from a strong brand affinity, particularly from older consumers. Adding to this, the logo design for the site integrates the iconic "walking fingers" graphic in place of the letter "A." The fingers are not a registered trademark, and any business can use them.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT