Category Archives: Yellow Pages

Posts related to the Yellow Pages or Local Search Industry

Intelligent Chat Bots and a Look Back At Canada’s First

Chat Bots are back, good bots anyway and have started to gain some traction in the marketplace with more and more people speaking about the business implications. With Facebook’s announcement at F8 the spotlight has risen and over the course of the next year I am sure we will see lots of activity in this space.

The full list of FB 2016 Messenger Partners shows an interesting mix of use cases. I believe the applications that offer commerce and/or customer service elements are actually the most useful. The news based feeds are interesting and important for publishers to test out as another means to get in front of eyeballs but if they don’t add anymore value than simply a feed of content – not sure this will be as useful.

If you look at the list of Bots available on the Kik Platform, I think there are some interesting applications. For example, Wirkin to find a job, H&M for clothing inspiration, and of course the Weather Channel (because we need more ways to know the forecast).

Another interest space to watch is the Bot Platforms that allows you to build and host bots to integrate with the various end-user applications. For example, Meya.io is a platform player based in Waterloo, Ontario who is doing some interesting work on creating a platform for any company to quickly deploy bots for a variety of use cases. Another interesting platform is Pandorabots who are really helping businesses open up a new way to communicate with their customers.

An exciting space for sure. To the title of my post, back in 2006, I was involved in a product to launch Canada’s first MSN Message Bot for finding location. Yellow Pages Group partnered with a company called Illumicell (which became Poynt) who had a partnership with Microsoft and we launched YellowBuddy in 2006. It was a very interesting use case for us to understand how many people would use a Messenger platform in order to retrieve local information. We had a future plan of eventually being able to book, buy and deliver but our ambitions at the time where larger than the market was ready.

I think we where a little too far ahead of the curve. The big game changer today is smartphones and mobile adoption. For those of you interesting, I have including some screenshots below of the original application. If you want to see all the screenshots, click on MORE tab. Hope you enjoy a little walk down history.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.31.51 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.33.59 AM

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Yellow Pages Acquires Juice Mobile

Yellow-Pages-JUICE-Mobile-Header

During my 10-years with Yellow Pages Canada, I have had the opportunity to be involved with many acquisitions, ranging from SuperPages, AutoTrader, RedFlagdeals to name just a few. Having identified this opportunity and being part of the core team leading this acquisition, I am very excited to see that we have completed the transaction to acquire Juice Mobile. See official press release.

As stated by Julien Billot, this acquisition is very complimentary to our existing business units and will further help us transform ourselves into Canada’s leading “Canadian owned” digital company servicing both small and medium sized business as well as our agency partners and their national brand advertisers.

Here are some online writings from various sources about this acquisition.

MarketingMag – Yellow Pages Acquires Juice Mobile
ITBusiness – Yellow Pages acquires Toronto-based Mobile Advertising firm Juice Mobile
MediaPost – Yellow Pages in Canada acquires Juice Mobile for Programmatic Technology
MobyAffiliates – Yellow Pages acquires Juice Mobile for $35M
Financial Post – Yellow pages deal applauded, but stock downgraded on valuation
Media in Canada – Yellow Pages snaps up Juice Mobile
BIA Kelsey – Juice Mobile Drives Yellow Pages Canada Deeper into Programmatic

My Appointment as President of Mediative, Yellow Media’s National Division

Today was a pretty exciting day for me. After 8-years with Yellow Pages Group in various roles I have been announced as President of Mediative. This will be my largest challenge yet in my professional career but one in which I am very much looking forward to tackling.

What I am most looking forward to is working with the incredible talent that exists within this organization. As one of the people involved in helping craft the Mediative story for YPG back in 2009 with Patrick Lauzon and Stephane Marceau it is a privilege to now being able to take the reigns to further continue the success this organization has achieved.

I am definitely humbled by all the people who have reached out who are excited about this announcement and their words of encouragement. To everybody who has done this, I appreciate you taking the time to send me a note of congratulations.

Here is a list of sources that have covered my announcement. The links below are more for my personal record but feel free to click through.

Darby Sieben Appointed President of Mediative

Darby Sieben Appointed President of Mediative

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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.

Holy Data Harmonization Batman : What Does That Mean Again?

This is a follow-up post (I am few months behind actually getting this post up) to an announcement we made in 2011 with our data harmonization deal with FourSquare. Since that time we have done the same thing with OpenTable and TripAdvisor and have launched an internal DealsAPI (soon to be public, check out our DEALS API page) which aggregates local deals.

So what is data harmonization. In a nutshell, it is matching two separate databases and matching the records that are the same. In the case of local, its about mapping business “A” in one database to the same business “A” in the second database. Google was one of the first real data matching pioneers when they were aggregating local content from many sources into their place pages (remember those good old days).

What is really more important is the output of doing this. The output of matching data boils down to a creating a better and more robust user experience by combining presenting information from multiple sources to help users make better decisions.

So in practice here is what the end product looks like.

Let’s take a look at Tipperary’s Pub on YellowPages.ca. As an aside; if you like thick crust pizza, this is one of the best places in Calgary.

Here is an image of the standard information you would expect; name, address, map. Notice right above the map on the right hand side is the first indication that this listing has additional content from TripAdvisor.

When you scroll down the page the user has a couple of sources of reviews to look at. Reviews that comes from YellowPages.ca users and reviews that come from TripAdvisor

To the right hand side on the page, the user also has the ability to look at tips and who has checked into this location courtesy of FourSquare.

The mobile experience is the same thing. If you want to check out the Tipperary Pub mobile page.

On this page you will notice the reviews from TripAdvisor, checkins/tips from FourSquare as well as the photos from FourSquare.

So what’s next.

We are working on bringing more of these content partnerships into place. Soon we will be opening up the ID’s of our partner venue’s through YellowAPI which will then make it super easy for developers to mash up content just like we did on YellowPages.ca. If you have local content that can be mapped to a specific location in Canada that you think might be useful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.