Conversations with executives during The Kelsey Group's Directory Driven Commerce Conference (DDC2002) held this past March in San Antonio, Texas, made one thing abundantly clear: The industry is ready to get back to reality. It has been for some time now.
This "back-to-basics" attitude shaped not only the content of the keynote and panel presentations but also the entire mood of the event, which was quite upbeat overall. Indeed, the Yellow Pages industry weathered the economic storm of 2001 more successfully than other advertising media newspapers, television, radio, magazines and the Internet included.
A key difference at this year's conference was the relative lack of emphasis on the Internet. There also weren't as many presenters as in the past offering value-added solutions for Yellow Pages publishers to resell.
This year's DDC conference focused instead on the need for practical innovations ones that make sense and will pay off today. For the first time in a number of years, the discussion of print eclipsed that of Internet and wireless offerings.
Much of the focus was on generating real growth from the core directory product. Discussions centered on awareness products and increasing usage by tapping new markets and developing new pricing mechanisms, such as value-based pricing.
Harnessing the power of the Yellow Pages sales force, both in print and online, was another key topic area. Data presented at the conference from Wave V of the Local Commerce Monitor (research conducted by The Kelsey Group and CONSTAT, Inc.) shows directory sales reps must step up their efforts to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or risk losing share to other media.
This White Paper discusses the main issues and themes that emerged from DDC2002, highlighting key points and sharing pertinent charts and graphs from panel and keynote presentations. Those interested in a complete session-by-session replay of the conference may purchase the CD-ROM containing conference session recordings by contacting Nanci Karas at [email protected]. Conference presentations are also posted in the DDC Virtual Conference area.