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On Friday, I had the opportunity to spend some valuable time with Richard Zurawski, president and GM of Telmetrics, a leader in the increasingly important call measurement business. As my colleague Charles Laughlin, program director of The Kelsey Report, said today, “In this highly competitive world, measured value is far more important than perceived value.”

Richard echoed this point when he said: “I’m selling leads. Sure, my customers are still selling print Yellow Pages, but they are also acting as media consultants for their clients.”

The subject actually came up when Richard and I were talking about opportunities for expansion. TKG is looking for highly qualified analysts so we can do a better job of meeting the needs of our clients in Europe and the Pacific Rim. When I asked Richard what he is doing about geographic expansion, he said that the number and variety of opportunities being presented in North America today are keeping Telmetrics busy. It’s not that he’s not interested in overseas growth; it’s just that there is so much going on here. For one thing, he said that the people we deal with are changing. While he still works with marketers, it is increasingly sales management that needs his data to do a better job in the media consulting role. Further, the client is evolving from print to IYP and to search, and the economics of each business are different.

In this time when many people fret over the challenges facing Yellow Pages, Richard and Telmetrics only see opportunity. The relationship between calls and revenues has become more direct, and while perception will always be important, the demand for accountability grows. At DDC2007 in September, this subject was covered under the title “Calls as Currency.” It will be an increasingly important subject and one that will get attention at ILM:07.

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