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Placing and managing national ads on different Internet Yellow Pages sites in different regions has been too difficult. It is one reason why more national advertising probably hasn’t flowed to local sites. But now, and several other sites have embraced a one-stop local online marketplace developed by Miami-based MediaTraks.

The platform acts as the sole intermediary between the IYPs and certified marketing reps and ad agencies handling national or regional accounts. In theory, the CMRs can, in fact, retire the Excel sheets and e-mails that have long been the norm for national orders.

Dexknows has been using the platform since last quarter and now won’t accept orders from CMRs directly. Other partners, like Superpages, have just added their subscription-based products to the platform and plan to add their performance-based products soon.

The CMRs “are loving it,” says MediaTraks President and COO Taylor Treese. “We have consolidated a cumbersome and time-consuming process for them and the IYPs alike.” In addition to the IYPs, Treese adds that the platform offers direct API feeds to Google, Yahoo and MSN. “ Any ad agency using the platform for making and managing IYP purchases can also use it to place, manage, report on and bill for search campaigns,” says Treese. “The difference between the MediaTraks platform and typical search marketing buys is that agencies only pay a fixed fee to MediaTraks for the use of the platform, set at 4.1 percent of the media spend. This is much cheaper for them than any other means, which can run 20 [percent to] 35 percent.”

Agencies can also use the MediaTraks platform to maintain control of the account. “We don’t manage their search marketing campaigns for them at all,” says Treese. “While the platform helps automate the process by giving them optimization tools, they become the SEM experts and maintain control of the billing, the margin they make on the account, and most importantly, control of the account.”

To date, 130 of the 180 or so CMRs are now using the platform, including almost all the large ones. Looking forward, Treese says he is also hoping to incorporate other ad networks and online advertising opportunities.

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