Eniro CEO Karrbrink: ‘This Is a Database Company’

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On a recent visit to Stockholm, we sat down with Eniro President and CEO Jesper Karrbrink, who is managing Eniro through a strategic shift described in a presentation late last year as moving “from print dependence to online opportunity.” In a videotaped interview, Karrbrink insisted that Eniro’s product is its content. Print directories, the Internet, mobile phones and so on are merely “distribution formats” in his view. “This is a database company,” he said. Karrbrink compared directories to the music industry, which he said would be out of business had it determined its business was manufacturing records rather than distributing music.

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The interview covered a wide range of issues, including:

  • Eniro’s relationship with Google. He jokingly describes it as “love-hate.” He believes the key is for Eniro to provide search results on its eniro.se, .no, .dk, etc.,  platform that are more relevant to Nordic consumers than to compete in general search. “From an end user standpoint, they will always be competition. There is room for a couple of search engines out there.”
  • Reselling competitors’ traffic. He didn’t rule out Eniro launching an SEM product but suggested it was not high on the company’s priority list. “We have discussed that, and we think we have a pretty good offering ourselves. And there is some risk to [selling others’ traffic].”
  • Sales channel strategies. He suggested that Eniro is reconsidering its current separate print and online sales approach. Going back to a single channel would be more cost efficient and more consistent with Karrbrink’s one product, multiple distribution channels philosophy. He says the company will do what makes the most sense. “This is not a religion.”

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A more detailed write-up with more video excerpts will soon be delivered to clients of The Kelsey Report.

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