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.
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.