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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

Citysearch Hits the Streets with Local PFP
Charles Laughlin , 3/10/2003

Issue: New Sales Model Shows Promise in Atlanta, Boston Trials

News: Local online search provider Citysearch will introduce its Local Pay for Performance (PFP) advertising product in April. The national rollout follows pilot programs in Boston and Atlanta launched late last year that company executives say exceeded their expectations. The new model will charge advertisers a per-click rate for online advertising that varies based on the anticipated return on investment for each category. Rates range from as little as US$0.10 per click to as much as US$1.50.

Currently, the company has 100 premise reps in 16 staffed markets and 30 telephone sales reps serving out-of-territory customers, though the latter channel will be expanded as needed. The telephone reps are focused on targeting categories outside Citysearch's core arts and entertainment categories, as well as calling on accounts on the outskirts of its core markets. For example, in the New York market, a telephone rep would call on a New Jersey-based business.

Citysearch's product offers editorial content, including reviews, plus local listings in categories focused on dining and entertainment. The sites offer local directory listings, ratings of local businesses (restaurants, etc.), editorial content on local arts and entertainment, customization tools, and consumer-generated reviews of local businesses, plus a travel channel.

Citysearch currently has 8,500 advertisers and generated revenues of US$31 million in 2002. The company hopes Local Pay for Performance will add another 25,000 advertisers by the end of the year.

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