Joining the ever growing list of publishers striking deals with mobile phone companies, Yellow Pages Group New Zealand announced a deal with Vodefone to carry its content on the Vodefone Live mobile service. The service is expected to begin in early 2008, shortly followed by enhanced mapping and directions. According to the press release on Scoop.com:
Yellow Pages Group Marketing Director Blair Glubb said “the mobile service will complement the company’s existing range of find-it services which already cover the print, voice (via the 018 and 0172 directory assistance services) and online channels. Significantly, this development will provide an on the go find-it tool — not to mention an additional medium for businesses to connect directly with those on the go customers. This is a big step for us and will help us realise our goal of being New Zealand’s number one find-it resource,” said Mr Glubb.
According to Vodafone New Zealand’s Head of live!, Charlie Clementson, offering yellow.co.nz is another example of providing customers with the info they need, while they’re on the move.
With the deep penetration mobile phones have in most developed countries, and the rapidly improving Web interface of most mobile systems, mobile Web as a marketing vehicle will grow in prominence. In the United States alone, The Kelsey Group is forecasting Web marketing to grow from $20 million in 2007 to $944 million by 2012. According to Matt Booth, Kelsey’s program director of Interactive Local Media: “The mobile and search markets are linked, and we believe market share in one could affect the other. Therefore, search portals will push hard into mobile in an attempt to retain their dominant search positions.”
All this said, mobile is the next frontier for directory publishers since it is a marketplace in which they can gain dominance with their SMB data and enhanced mapping features. With the likes of Google and MSN focusing on this market, this is a battle publishers need to win or dominate in order to create another growing revenue source.