years ago, no one outside (or even inside) the directory industry
would have uttered the word "sexy" in the same breath as "Yellow Pages"
unless, of course, they were referring to the latest Frederick's
of Hollywood ad under the Lingerie heading. So when two featured speakers
at The Kelsey Group's recent Directory Driven Commerce conference
(DDC2003) called the Yellow Pages the "sexiest business alive," people
moved to the edge of their seats.
Dex Media CEO George Burnett and Morgan Stanley Vice President Costa
Darras were a bit sly in their use of the "s" word (picking up on
its use in a June Fortune article). Yet they were making a serious
the Globe and Mail reported in a story about the July initial public
offering (IPO) for Canada's Yellow Pages Group, the Yellow Pages is
the financial community's new "hot and sexy." That shows just how
much has changed for this industry over the last several years.
change was evident at DDC2003, held July 21-23 in Denver, Colorado.
Attendees savored the attention the global press and investment community
has lavished on the industry over the past few years. Yet, many industry
veterans in attendance seemed apprehensive about the real challenges
facing the directory business.
the Yellow Pages sales force to grow print and Internet sales; proving
value through syndicated research, call measurement and pay-for-performance
pricing; developing successful digital directory offerings that can
compete with paid local search. These were the main themes that permeated
The Kelsey Group's (TKG's) Yellow Pages conference, subtitled "Achieving
Lasting Growth in a Global Marketplace."
the roughly 350 people attending the conference, many hailed from
investment banks, search companies, research firms, and Yellow Pages
vendors and suppliers. All were looking to learn more about the directory
business and how they can share in the industry's enviable success.
White Paper is designed as an informal "proceedings" document for
those who either did not attend the event or who did but would like
a supplement to their own notes. It also offers TKG's analysis of
the main themes of the event and how they relate to current developments
in the industry.