Thanks to a softening
economy and too many new players chasing after too few funding dollars,
the ranks of companies offering new technologies that seek to connect
local buyers and sellers have thinned. This was evident during The Kelsey
Group's Directory Driven Commerce Conference (DDC2001), held March 7-9
in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
One year ago, The
Kelsey Group argued that the surge in dot-coms attending our New Technologies
for Directory Publishers conference, most seeking directory partnerships,
was proof that the directory industry was not withering on the vine,
as some believed. While many of those start-ups were absent from this
year's event (replaced in part by a new crop of players in search of
directory partnerships), their absence proves, in a different way, that
the directory industry is still vital.
As the economy slows
and funding evaporates, the focus has shifted to what works - and there
is no argument that Yellow Pages directories do work. They're easy to
use, merchants understand their value proposition, and they make money.
Even though Internet Yellow Pages products have not performed well to
date, the directory model remains attractive in the Internet space.
Of course, the challenges
facing directory publishers and other companies trying to grab a piece
of the directory-driven commerce market are greater today than they
were a year ago. The economy is forcing companies to go back to basics,
a development that many are celebrating. Companies are reassessing business
models, controlling customer acquisition costs, harnessing technologies
that make sense for consumers and local businesses today, and seeking
to make real money by connecting buyers with sellers - in the real world.
In this White Paper,
we will explore and explain the key messages coming out of DDC2001.
We will also explain key findings presented during the conference from
Wave IV of the Local Commerce Monitor research conducted by The Kelsey
Group and CONSTAT, Inc.