Category Archives: Local

Section dedicated to specific local stategies that I have used for clients.

My Conversation About Yellow Pages Transformation with Phoenix Group

Had the pleasure last week to spend 30-mins with David Bellerive and Kevin Hayes of the Phoenix Group chatting about local business challenges and the transformation that Yellow Pages Canada has been under going.

If you want to listen to the podcast, head over the Phoenix Group website and check it out.

Google Premier SMB Video – Yellow Pages Group Canada

In May of this year we announced a new deal with Google to become their third and largest Premium SMB Partner in Canada.

I can finally announce that the partnership video with Google is now live and on YouTube. You can see Doug Clarke, Nicolas Gaudreau and myself explain this partnership and what it means for local businesses in Canada.

Google Premium SMB Partner in Canada and my LifeinYellow.ca Guest Blog Post on Partnerships

2013 has been a great start for YPG again and my role as head of business development. We closed off 2012 with a landmark deal with Yahoo to power their local search, “[FIRST LOOK] Yahoo! Canada Integrates YellowAPI.com for Local Search” and have started off 2013 expanding that relationship along with a number of new deals that are at various stages of completion.

One such deal is our recent announcement to become Canada’s largest Premium SMB Partner of Google in Canada. We are now the only partner of Google who services businesses in every province in Canada and in both official languages which is pretty cool. You can read the official press release, “Yellow Pages Group Selected by Google as an AdWords Premier Partner for Small Businesses“.

As part of this announcement I have done a guest post on LifeInYellow.ca titled; Investing in Partnerships That Benefit Our Small Business Clients. In this post I talk about the importance of a robust partner eco-system to ensure that we get SMB information in front of as many consumers as possible.

Click on the link about or the image below to read my latest post.

The YPG Canada partner eco-system to ensure that Canadian SMB's get as much exposure to consumers as possible.

The YPG Canada partner eco-system to ensure that Canadian SMB’s get as much exposure to consumers as possible.

There’s Something About Weather; It’s Time to Get Hyperlocal

Like most Canadians my life is greatly influenced by weather. Knowing the forecast helps me make decisions on what I need to wear, what to pack when I travel and where to select a vacation destination. On the business side, I have always been fascinated with weather because it is one of those really boring businesses (nothing sexy about it), has high user frequency and is a pretty decent way to sell targeted advertising.

In fact, after I sold KS2 Solutions in 2005 I almost joined Pelmorex (known for TheWeatherNetwork.com or MetroMedia.com) to head up their sales in Western Canada. I ultimately decided to join Yellow Pages Group in early 2006. In January 2010 I ended up striking a partnership between YellowPages.ca and TheWeatherNetwork.com, read the post here – The Weather Network add Local Search and YellowPages.ca adds Weather – A Deeper Look at this Partnership.

Bottom line – weather has been an important part of my business and personal life.

My latest venture into weather is an investment in a new Montreal based start-up that is taking precipitation forecasting to a hyperlocal level, called SkyMotion Research. You can learn more about the company at SlideShare. They recently had some write-ups in popular blogs, check them out here:

TUAW –
Sky Motion for iOS lets you know what weather is coming on a very local basis

The Verge –
Sky Motion’s up-to-the-minute weather tracking app comes to the web

Mobile Syrup –
SkyMotion launches mobile web app to predict hyperlocal precipitation

Currently the application is iOS based with an Android version coming soon. See screenshot below which was a short-term forecast at my office in Calgary. You can download the iOS app here. You can also play with the online version at SkyMotion’s website, just enter your address.

SkyMotion

I can definitely say that I am not alone when it comes to the importance of weather. Exactly how big is the weather market in Canada? Here are some stats you might find interesting.

Continue reading

[SCREENSHOTS] Evolution of YellowPages.ca Mobile (2009-2011)

Did you know that 30% of YellowPages.ca traffic comes from mobile? Source: YPG.com. This news actually was announced during YPGs 1st quarter results and today, Greg Sterling did a post on his blog regarding this as well, see “YPG: 30% of Our Searches Come from Mobile“. This number is pretty impressive when you consider that only 2-years ago that number represented well less than 1%.

Another piece of news today is that the new YellowPages.ca application is a featured application in the iTunes store – this is pretty big news as you can’t buy your way to this placement, your application has to be deemed pretty good for the Apple editorial team to pick up.

YellowPages.ca Application Featured in the iTunes Store

YellowPages.ca Application Featured in the iTunes Store

For this blog post I thought it would be great to take a look back.

Having been with YPG since 2006, as an employee (actually been working with the company since 2001), I managed the team that launched YPG into the world of iPhone applications. Back in 2009 there was not a lot of focus on mobile, but since then the mobile team has expanded and is now under the leadership of Matthieu Houle, a colleague and friend of mine who as we say at YPG, is “rocking da house”. Under his leadership there have been 2 more releases of the YellowPages.ca iPhone application with the most recent only 1 month old.

Here is the evolution of the home page of the iPhone Application for YellowPages.ca

2009 (features included basic search for business, people and reverse, display ads, photos and videos)  

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application From 2009
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application From 2009

2010 (features included hot links to popular categories, streamlined and more intuitive interface, all YP.ca content including videos and photos)

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2010
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2010 Search Results Page

2011 (features include ratings and reviews, type ahead for categories and locations and customizable popular buttons)

YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2011
YellowPages.ca iPhone Application 2011 Search Results Page

Download the latest application here in the iTunes store.

On November 8, 2009, I did a blog post, “Canada’s Yellow Pages(TM) Mobile App, over 1/2 Million Downloads and 3 Reasons for its Success” which in terms of the number of downloads is no longer accurate (we are over a couple of million) but the 3 reasons why I believe Canadians love this application hold.

If you don’t want to read the full article, let me summarize the 3 reasons why back then Canadians loved this app and why it holds true today –

1) Simplicity,
2) Content (even more so today) and
3) Usability (which gets better with every release).

The Eco-System of YellowPages.ca Business Data in Canada

Two questions:

How important is it for a local business to ensure that its basic listing data (name, phone number and address) is included in the YellowPages.ca database?

How important is it for a local business to ensure that its enhanced content (hours of operations, products, services, etc) are also included in the YellowPages.ca database?

Ultimately the above questions boil down to, “what’s in in for the SMB”. To help answer this, I have created the following eco-system slide that shows how/who the data from yellowpages.ca gets distributed across the consumer eco-system in Canada. NOTE: This is a representative sample of partnerships of companies that use portions or all of the yellowpages.ca database to offer a local connection to its audience.

For an SMB this boils down to two main reasons why this is important:

1) Time Saving – by having a central distribution of basic + enhanced listing data a SMB does not have to spend time to manage their data in multiple locations.

2) Consistency of Information – having the same information appear in a consistent manner across this eco-system allows a SMB to manage and control their message in a more manageable way.

If it is true that the users will continue to splinter into more consumer platforms it will become more and more critical for a centralized hub that can distribute that information.

In Canada, YellowPages.ca is a very important hub for the SMB market.

What do you think?