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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Shifting Centers of Power in Evidence at DDC2004
Charles Laughlin , 7/30/2004

SUMMARY: The Kelsey Group's Directory Driven Commerce 2004 conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia, drew all of the key challenges facing directory publishers into sharp relief. A focus group of directory advertisers highlighted some of the apparent deficiencies of the Yellow Pages sales channel, for example, while data from the latest wave of the Local Commerce MonitorSM suggested an accelerating small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) migration to Internet advertising. Nonetheless, the conference underscored many opportunities for directory publishers as well. Andrew Day focused on the strengths that directory publishers bring to the new, emerging local search product. And international directory entrepreneur Lyle Wolf shed some light on the expansive opportunities and risks in publishing directories in emerging markets.

However, a clear theme emerged from DDC2004. The centers of gravity in the Yellow Pages industry are shifting away from incumbent publishers and telecoms and to independent publishers and online players. The change is also geographic, with more influence emanating from Europe, Australia, Canada, and a bit less from the United States. These are not seismic shifts, but rather ones that are gradual, but increasingly noticeable.

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