AgendiZe Brings ‘Contact Widgets’ to Local Listings

Local search software developer AgendiZe will announce an expanded partnership with Canada’s Yellow Pages Group that will position new “contact widgets” throughout YPG’s listings. The widgets will be available at an undisclosed point, likely in the next couple weeks.

This takes AgendiZe’s call-to-action functionality a step further by extending it to all listings. The functionality is basically an easy way for IYPs to plant a button on their listings that offers click to call, send to e-mail, send to phone, save to Facebook, and other calls to action. This is similar to the company’s existing save & share buttons used by Yellowbook.com and others. In YPG’s case, the new brand of contact widgets will be automatically deployed across its 420,000 IYP listings with pre-configured contact information.

At the onset, this will be a “lite” version across all the listings, according to AgendiZe CEO Alexandre Rambaud. A premium version will be rolled out over the next few months as YPG determines its price points and upsell strategies based on the product’s reception. The premium version will allow the ability to customize the widgets with about 70 possible calls to action.

The premium version will also let advertisers grab the widgets and plant them on their own Web sites in order to have the same functionality there. Through a wizard-like process, these buttons can be customized with desired calls to action before a code is spit out that can be planted on any Web site.

“Because we have this relationship with the publisher, the advertiser doesn’t have to enter into any back-office system to do the provisioning or self service,” says Rambaud. “They just have to copy and paste the code that is already created and all the information is there.”

Owning the Advertiser

Rambaud contends this can serve the publisher in a few different ways. Because the code is embedded on advertisers’ own sites, it offers an installed base on which to integrate more content and upsells in the future, including maps and video. It’s also a hook if offered for free as a lite version, before added functionality is offered when advertisers see value in it.

The embedded widget carries YPG’s branding, so it gets some marketing out of the deal as well. This is important for IYPs, given that many are often iffy about actively offering any tool that will let an advertiser get leads, phone calls or foot traffic outside their domain. But the YPG branding on the widget and the leads generated from it should solidify the ROI for those businesses — even though the lead doesn’t flow through the IYP domain itself.

This is precisely how IYPs should be thinking — make tools that are portable and extend their brands while generating leads for advertisers in the many places where users are searching online. The same goes for video, as IYPs have shown a clear interest in offering video ads to SMBs. As we have mentioned, videos that live on in other places such as YouTube and search engines, can bring benefit back to IYPs through marketing (IYP watermark), SEO (universal search) and advertiser ROI (increased exposure).

Actions and Transactions

Next up for AgendiZe is to add online booking for things like hotels and restaurant reservations. This takes the actionability (if that’s a word) of its core product to another level to include transactional functions. Through this, more revenue opportunities unfold, and it moves beyond lead generation to more of a cost-per-action model. We’ve seen other local players move in this direction such as Krillion and NearbyNow. Microsoft Live Search has also shown an interest in CPA with its Cashback program launched earlier this week.

CPA has lots of advantages in assigning more concrete ROI to ad spends and giving more options to users. As online tools continue to develop (watch 3-D mapping when it moves from novelty to utility), we’ll see more CPA or transactional models develop around local search. AgendiZe, with its core product grounded in actionability, should be one to watch as a leading indicator.

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