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Clickable, a third-party online search manager, says local search packages are too heavily marked up, with too little emphasis on conversions. It is re-aiming to fix these problems with a “highly scalable” local solution for publishers and resellers. The “Clickable Platform” is supported by a team of 85 people, of whom 55 are dedicated to the local initiatives.

Buying into the effort is Franchise Company Solutions, which manages online advertising and marketing for franchise businesses. Clickable already works with the lawyer market via LexisNexis, and the classified marketplace via a deal with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Apparently set to follow are other local media players, including local TV stations and cable TV players.

By refocusing on local — albeit mostly larger local accounts — the Clickable Platform is aimed at local-oriented segments already served by the likes of Marchex, ReachLocal, Yodle, WebVisible, MediaTraks and OrangeSoda. If you measure success by churn, these companies haven’t been especially successful to date, says CEO David Kidder. Up to “90 percent of local customers are churning,” he says.

Kidder adds that a major reason for the churn is their high costs. The markup on search campaigns is so high in some cases that only 40 percent of expenditures are going into the campaign. “At that price point, you give them very little value,” says Kidder. “It is a junk business.”

Kidder claims that the Clickable Platform allows for 70 percent to go into campaigns — an improved cost efficiency, by his count, of 30 percent. One reason for Clickable’s improved results, he says, is that the company is more focused on selling successful conversions in the marketplace, rather than simply soliciting a bunch of leads and clicks, which may or may not have relevance.

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