Marchex, during its 3Q earnings call today, reaffirmed its focus on providing ad solutions for the local and vertical search space, noting that it currently works with 80,000 local advertisers via 110 local partner relationships, including AT&T and Idearc. The advertiser count is up 5,000 from the previous quarter. By the end of 2009, the company expects to serve 100,000 local advertisers, despite worsening macroeconomic conditions.
The company also continues to sign up new partners, most recently adding the Barrington Broadcasting Group of local TV stations. The broad distribution of services in key verticals is “an important factor in forming relationships with … companies like Barrington,” says CEO Russ Horowitz.
Horowitz also notes that advertisers are exposed to 33 million visitors to its thousands of domain sites, Marchex Connect profile pages and the OpenList city site. That’s up from 32 million during last quarter.
Horowitz says no other provider services 80,000 advertisers with campaign fulfillment and ownership of key features such as call tracking and the AdHere performance-based network of premium services (formerly known as Industry Brains). The result, he says, is an effective bundle of lead packages instead of merely selling a fixed number of clicks.
Still, while Horowitz contends that Marchex is more than holding its own against the competition, it is tough out there with the bad economy. “We are realistic about the impact of the economy on all national ad dollars, including those that are spent marketing locally.” But they’ll be less affected because of online advertising’s “accountability and transparency.”
Horowitz added, however, that Marchex is slimming down in some areas in order to focus more on local and vertical. It made $4 million in the past two quarters, for instance, from the sale of nonessential domains (it has 150,000 domains). It also is de-emphasizing Sitebox, its third-party Web site optimization business.