Category Archives: Featured

Featured articles.

View from Condo in Toronto

816 Days … A Roadmap of Change

Originally posted on LinkedIn. If you want to view or comment there, here is the link.

In 2009 and 2010, I had a hand in developing a narrative and helping with the M&A activity that lead to the creation of Mediative. This became the national agency of Yellow Pages Canada. It was a company that was put together through a number of acquisitions which at the time allowed us to scale a national ad network business, shopper marketing business and enterprise services businesses. On January 6, 2014 I took over the role as President of Mediative.

This post is not about Mediative, but rather the story of my journey with the business and the lessons that I learned along the way. In 2013, Mediative was facing some big challenges. Many of the original founders of the acquired companies had left, many of the senior leadership had moved on, the AutoTrader property was no longer part of the portfolio (which eliminated high-valued display inventory), and the rest of the agency world had caught up when it came to data, programmatic and local based advertising. In addition, Yellow Pages Canada had just announced a new CEO, which meant there was a new corporate strategy to consider.

Despite all these challenges, the opportunity to lead the company through this transition came with a pretty impressive foundation to build from that included:

  • a 120+ person agency in 4 offices,
  • leading some of the most unique shopper marketing programs in Canada for the largest retailers,
  • still considered a leader in intent data for the purposes of programmatic advertising,
  • having one of the best enterprise SEM/SEO teams in Canada that serviced customers globally, and
  • having one of the best usability labs in the country

By April 2016, I had moved back to Yellow Pages core. By then I had successfully transformed Mediative into a different company. The Mediative team had accomplished our goals of growing digital revenue, generating profit, becoming masters at forecasting, changing the corporate culture and giving a new generation of leaders a chance to make their impact. It was an incredible journey.

When sharing my experiences at Mediative with other agency Presidents in Canada, US and Internationally, some key elements always seemed to resonate with people. I have summarized these below.

My time with Mediative consisted of a total of 816 days. I have divided this time into 4 distinct segments.

My first 100 Days

Continue reading

Update on Facebook and Local Search

As many of you know – my YP Labs team launched the Facebook Application back in May. I did a post on the television coverage by CTV – check it out.

So what is the determining success in developing a facebook application? In the facebook world it really comes down to the number of installs of the application and more importantly the number of daily active users. At the bottom of this post, I will share some numbers on local search applications in facebook.

Before I get into small application numbers, I want to highlight a feature about the application – building your own lists to share with friends and then map your lists. This application allows a user to create lists for private, semi-public and public on pretty much any topic. Here are some public user created lists:

Favorite Restaurants in CalgaryMap List.
Favorite Sports Stores in MontrealMap List.
Favorite Toronto RestaurantsMap List.
Great Restaurants in Port PerryMap List.
Places to Eat in OttawaMap List.

Some interesting lists, including one for my favorite places to eat in Ottawa.

Back to numbers of successful application usage. I grabbed these numbers from, which aggregates usage on facebook applications. Here are some stats regarding application usage on facebook. Numbers are as of today.

The most successful application, in terms of installs is SuperWall with just under 43M installs and a daily active usage of 2%.

Funwall has the most active users at 1.8M from a total install base of 36.5M and a daily active usage of 5%.

Scrabulous (now being sued by Hasbro) has 3.9M installs and daily active usage of 506K or 13%.

So what about local search applications? First, from an expectation perspective, they are not even close to the above numbers. Facebook is still, at its core, a platform of entertainment. However, it is interesting to see how some of the local search player applications fair-out:

Yell Socialiser (UK) – 500 installs, 2 daily active users (0%)
Praize’n’raze (CDN and US) – 950 installs, 57 daily active users (6%) (CDN) – 667 installs, 40 daily active users (6%)
Local Picks (Global) – 1.1M installs, 3349 daily active users (0%)
Lolodex (US) – 2800 installs, 15 daily active users (0%)

Praized Media Launched Yesterday

I was stuck in all day meetings yesterday so did not have a chance to post this when it happened, but the team at Praized Media has fully launched it Distributed Platform yesterday. Congrats to Sebastien, Harry and Sylvain. I first posted about them in September after they received their initial round of funding – you can see that post here. You can check out the site here as well as all a blog post about all the press coverage they are receiving.

Over the past number of months, I worked with the Praized Team on the data distribution and traffic agreements for Yellow Pages Group Canada. Many people kept asking me what Sebastien was up to (I use to work with Sebastien at Yellow Pages Group and he is one person with whom I regard very highly) but had to keep quite out of respect as well as contractual obligations.

Now that it is launched, what I think you are going to see two things; 1) a user focused platform that I would bet is going to be very successful and 2) a model that demonstrates how publishers and new ventures can work together. For the start-ups they get the necessary data to ensure they can fully deploy their concept and a revenue model. For publishers they get exposure in the social space and targeted traffic to their online networks. This is a very exciting time and I am excited to be working with such innovative organizations such as Praized Media.

Just in time for the release of the iPhone in Canada – iPhone / iPod App Gets a Staff Pick Nod

With the July 11th release of the iPhone through the Roger’s Network, which includes Fido, Canada is starting to get iPhone fever.

Some interesting posts on the Canadian launch of the iPhone that I have found interesting in the last week: Continue reading

Add Save and Share Functionality To Your Website – For Free – Thanks to

Just launched this weekend on is the ability for merchants in Canada to add Save and Share Functionality to their website. The company providing the service is Agendize. For information on the specific service from Agendize – visit their widget product page. You can also read a full article from a strategic perspective on this initiative on the Kelsey Blog titled “Agendize Brings Contact Widgets to Local Listings“.

So how does it work and what does it look like?

First thing a business owner should do is go to and do a search for their business listing. Once again – I am using my mom’s business, The Bra Lady as an example. Once you are on your business listing click on the ? beside the Add These Tools To your Website.

Save and Share Widget from

When you click on the ? mark – this will launch a new window with some Javascript code that you can copy.

Save and Share Widget Javascript Code

Take the Javascript code and add it to your website. In the case of – we decided to add this code into the header of the website so that it is available on every page.

The Bra Lady in Calgary

Finally – when a user selects this new button on your website – it launched a window that gives a user a multitude of ways in which they can share your business information.

Save and Share Widget in Action on

And that’s it. Now your business contact information can be shared via email, address book, desktop, social media, print and instant messenger.

Pretty cool eh.

Local Video Coming to Canada … Big Time

Video is definately making its mark in Canada with a number of local search sites launching video products. Companies such as Yellow Pages Group on, GoldBook, Canpages all have video products available to their customers.

Of particular note in this post is the ability to embed these videos into 3rd party websites. For end customers this is a great way to leverage the video service on their own websites to generate a richer experience for customers who might type their URL directly. This service is available on Under any video you can select “embed”, grab the code and place it on your website.

Here are some examples of local business video ads (embedded from

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Of Edmonton (1980) Ltd

Moto Prestige Cycle

Skintastic Laser & Cosmetic Clinic