AgendiZe Deal Gives Yellow Book (up to) 66 Platforms

Yellow Book today joined Canada’s YPG in launching AgendiZe, the service that captures Yellow Pages and classifieds info and puts it on up to 66 media platforms for recall. On deck for implementation is Belo’s Dallas Morning News. I wrote an extensive post about the service last year.

Yellow Book’s implementation is no great surprise. Chief Internet Officer Pat Marshall has been an AgendiZe board member (although the deal had been in the works well before Marshall joined Yellow Book this summer).

As we’ve written before, the idea behind AgendiZe is the ability to retrieve listing data in a place that you’ll actually use it. It is yet another company that is trying to extend ads beyond the one-dimensional life of a display ad, a classified listing or a search (see also AdMission and Multiplied Media).

It arguably goes several steps beyond companies such as Clickability that enable Web site publishers to track e-mail forwarding or print apps. But is it overkill?

The company cites focus group data showing that usage boosts user recall and results in higher follow-through sales. For instance, instead of absent-mindedly glancing at a car ad on a newspaper’s Web site and then getting distracted and forgetting about it, you easily retrieve the listing, and put it on Google Desktop, your PDA, a mobile phone or your calendar or send an e-mail.

You can also add “comments” to the listing (including ratings and reviews), share the listings with friends, or send yourself a reminder. Advertisers, meanwhile, can track the behavior and try to “control the messaging.” (That part of it is still a little vague to me.)

In addition to storage (“Sale at Mike’s Bicycle Shop”), AgendiZe also has an instant gratification click-to-call or instant message feature putting it in competition with vendors such as eStara.

Whether click-to-call or store, it is amazing to me that we’re up to 66 platforms. That’s a lot of platforms. It makes me think of the 57 varieties of Heinz ketchup … I can name just a few of them (regular, spicy, chile sauce, green, organic … ).

Founder Alexandre Rambaud tells me the company doesn’t actually expect its affiliates to provide 66 platforms — most will use just a few. Some companies will focus on mobile apps, while others will focus on printing and e-mail. But the widespread use of social apps such as Yelp and Facebook ensures that platforms will keep on being added, rather than detracted, he says.

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