Back in the day, the Yellow Pages ruled. Business names were sometimes based on where they would end up in the book (that’s why there are so many accommodation options starting with A and the Krasilovky Brothers of New York took that to extremes with their long-running listing battle). But for many consumers the online realm is a much more efficient way of finding businesses and Google has taken its toll on the print-based directories and forced them to find new revenue streams. So why are there still so many online business directories in operation?
When Localist launched as an Auckland-only print directory, plenty of questions were raised about the rationale behind the creation of a new product that went head to head with a dominant player in what many saw as a dying industry. 18 months on and it’s still here and, confounding the sceptics, it’s still growing. But as of next week Localist will be very different and 100 percent digital.
In the last edition of NZ Marketing magazine, BCG2’s planning director Abe Dew wrote something of an open letter to Localist and Yellow Local and put forward his views on why the ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ corporate start-ups looked likely to fall into the same category as Telecom’s Ferrit. Not surprisingly, Localist chief executive Blair Glubb disagreed. He responds to some of the claims and outlines its plans for acceleration after what he says is a strong performance in the six months since launch.
Yellow Local appears to have spared no expense in splashing itself around Auckland since launching, with its new hyperlocal offerings featuring on billboards, TV, online and in print. And while NZ Post’s Localist has been promising to launch—and promising to offer something better than Yellow—since late last year, it has taken a much different approach to that of its major competitor and soft launched the site on Friday.