Tag Archives: business development

My Top 4 Pieces of Advice for Building Impactful Partnerships

Originally posted on LinkedIn. If you want to read and/or comment there, please click here.

Over the years I have been asked for advice on what a person should consider if they want to excel at building impactful partnerships. I get this question most from entrepreneurs and people interested in a career in partnerships/business development. For me, a great partnership is about finding the intersection of wants between two or more entities to create value for the supply chain of stakeholders.  I would argue that everybody is in the partnership business. Whether you are an entrepreneur, sales reps, work in customer service or formally have the title of partnerships, if you are dealing with internal or external stakeholders then you in the partnership business.


After 20 years in the partnership business, (running my own start-up, running a national agency and leading commercial and M&A partnerships for Yellow Pages), my first piece of advice is that partnerships are like icebergs. What people see on the surface are the press releases, the conferences or what I call the external “fun stuff”. What most people don’t realize about successful partnerships is that there is a lot of work done on the back-end. Partnerships can be extremely rewarding, but you have to realize that some partnerships can take weeks, months or even years to build. (You can read my partnership stats during my career with Yellow Pages Canada, here)


What I am sharing below are some things that have made me successful in my career. They are in no particular order of importance because they all play a role when I am thinking about forming a partnership. In some cases, such as a minor commercial agreement these will be quickly thought though, whereas, in other cases some of these make take days, weeks or even months to work through.


If you have comments on what works for you or questions, please add them or ask in the comments. My intention for this article is to stimulate thought.



Plan the Divorce before the Marriage

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[POLL] Best Integration of YellowPages.ca – CBC, Globe & Mail, or The Weather Network?

One aspect of my job I really enjoy is that I get to experiment. Part of my role as the head of business development for Yellow Pages Group is to manage Traffic and Distribution which is about generating 3rd party traffic to YellowPages.ca. This gives me the liberty of working with most of the major Canadian online brands. Being a number’s guy also gives me the ability to clearly see what does and what does not work in the marketplace and how users react.

Although I can’t share specific numbers, I often like to ask people’s opinions as to what integrations they like or dislike. Many times the correlation between what people perceive as the best type of integration is consistent with the performance of an integration. Other times, what people believe is the best integration may not be the one that produces the best numbers.

So for today’s poll, I have 3 integrations of YellowPages.ca on major players in Canada, CBC.ca, GlobeandMail.com and TheWeatherNetwork.com. My question, which integration do you prefer?

The poll is located below the examples with the associated links.

CBC.ca on the My Region Page

Contained within CBC.ca is a section called MY REGION. This is an aggregated view of all the news, weather and information about your particular market. At the bottom of each of the MY REGION pages is a “What’s Nearby” section. If a user types in a search query, they are redirected to the “What’s Nearby” page on CBC (powered by YellowAPI.com) or if they click on any of the hotlinks, they are redirected to YellowPages.ca.

Check out the Montreal My Region to play with it yourself. Here is a snapshot of the integration:

CBC Integration of YellowPages.ca

Globe and Mail

For the Globe and Mail there are 2 integrations. One integration is part of their main search navigation, options there for Globe users include search for NEWS, QUOTE (this is stock quote), WEB, BUSINESS (this is yellowpages.ca) and PEOPLE (this is canada411.ca). The second integration is located on their content pages, on the right hand side, where a user has access to mini-search brick that contains, BUSINESS, PEOPLE and DEAL search.

To see a working example, check out the REPORT on BUSINESS Section on Globe and Mail to test both of the integrations above. I have also included a screenshot.

NOTE: there is also a mobile integration on the Globe and Mail iPhone Application, you can see screenshots here.

Globe and Mail Integration of YellowPages.ca

The Weather Network

Contained on every city page on TheWeatherNetwork.com is a YellowPages.ca search with links to popular categories. Of course everything is geographically relevant to the user so all clicks go to the appropriate place. The brick is located towards the bottom of the page under long-term forecast.

You can see a working example on the Toronto Weather page details. Here is a screenshot.

The Weather Network Integration of YellowPages.ca

Now to the poll question, which integration of YellowPages.ca do you prefer?

Interested in a Marketing Role with Canada’s Leading Online Commercial Directory; YellowPages.ca?

Over the past two months I had have the pleasure of meeting a lot of new marketing candidates who have joined Yellow Pages Group Canada. The range of experience and quality of people is absolutely. This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting Martin Aubut who is a clear leader in social media, check out his linked profile.

Since I joined YPG in 2006 (as an employee, been working with the organization since 2001), I sometimes have to remind myself how incredibly lucky I am to be surrounded by high quality people. It is true that at the heart of any great company is people and YPG is not short of talent, which is probably one reason why YPG has been recognized as one of Canada’s Leading Employers.

Canada's Leading Employees

I am currently looking to hire 2 Senior Managers of Business Development for YellowPages.ca, Canada’s Leading Online Commercial Directory. I need one located in Montreal and one located in either Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto. If you are interested, please check out Yellow Pages Group HR Page and search for Job #1802 if interested in Montreal or #1836 if interested in Calgary/Vancouver or #1954 if interested in Toronto.

Here is a snapshot of some other interesting performance marketing roles.

The Performance Marketing Training Specialist will be part of a team of experts (Performance Marketing Delivery Team) mandated to provide dedicated support to sales representatives in achieving their targets of print and online products, with particular emphasis on Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media. Check out the YPG HR Page and if you are interested in Calgary, search for posting #1811 and if you are interested in Burnaby search for posting #1795

Check out all the positions that are currently being recruited for.

If you have any questions about working with YPG, please feel free to post a comment.