Ask any certified
marketing representative (CMR) to describe the current state of relations
with the major North American Yellow Pages publishers and you'll hear
a mournful tale.
CMRs say the major
publishers are killing them slowly with commission cuts. CMRs also say
the major publishing companies fail to appreciate how well the national
sales channel has performed given declines in usage and revenue among
the headings dominated by national advertisers. CMRs will go on to say
that publishers need to do more to make the product appealing to national
advertisers, in particular advertisers that have never purchased Yellow
Pages advertising or are underutilizing the medium.
From their perspective,
publishers will point out that CMRs are failing to grow national advertising
revenues in real terms, meaning acquiring new accounts and growing existing
accounts. Rather, publishers say, CMRs continue to "fish from the same
pond" and grow their account base by migrating local accounts into national
accounts and luring existing advertisers from rival CMRs. The publishers
will go on to say that many CMRs think "sell" is a dirty word.
revenue targets. They are warning CMRs to step up and do more to help
publishers meet those targets, or they will put more energy into acquiring
new channels to sell their product to national accounts.
Both sides have
valid points to make, but the level of infighting over national is creating
opportunities for other media. And the needs of national customers are
being neglected in the process.
is either flat or declining, depending on how much of the revenue is
actually national-to-local account migration. Yet no amount of incentive
to find "new, new" business has been effective. Are CMRs falling short?
Or is the national channel's struggle merely a reflection of broader
problems in the Yellow Pages industry?
This White Paper
will define the issues facing the national channel and explore some
of the solutions currently on the table. This document also provides
a quantitative picture of the CMR industry and looks ahead at future
scenarios for the national channel.