In its latest evolutionary step away from a destination site (Citysearch) and into a full-service advertising network, CityGrid Media is debuting its private-label reseller program to give sales teams another touch point with local businesses by allowing them to sell CityGrid’s advertising products directly.
The program gives sellers a content-centric offering — Citysearch’s business profile page template, which can be appended with rich video, maps, reviews and other amenities — to sell to local merchants that will then be distributed across CityGrid’s extensive publisher network of Web and mobile sites, now more than 250 strong.
The private label “enables publishers with entry level or no online solution to get very active in the space very quickly,” CityGrid EVP of Advertising Neil Salvage told BIA/Kelsey at DMS ’10.
User-Friendly Media is the first partner to adopt the white-label platform and is already building out advertising content for more than 1,000 campaigns. “The combination of our sales force with CityGrid’s ad products and distribution is helping us drive more high quality leads for our advertisers,” User-Friendly Media CEO Bruce Howard said in a statement.
CityGrid backs its private label with a suite of sales tools for partners to facilitate campaign enrollment and creation, as well as a branded merchant dashboard replete with analytics and display results for individual campaigns.
“The idea was born out of making it very easy for partners to have orders fulfilled,” Salvage said. “We open up the whole system, skin it with their brand, then provide the full merchant dashboard in real time skinned to that partner’s brand.”
CityGrid already counts SuperPages.com, YP.com and Dex One among the online publishers that funnel business listings and local advertisers through its ad engine for targeted placement on publisher sites across its network. Rich ad content coupled with targeted placement is an integral part of CityGrid’s goal to move fully to a pay-per-performance model. Its larger mission is to connect publishers, advertisers and consumers — all at scale.
Ideally, the reseller program enlists new merchants in the ad engine, which then replenishes the advertisers available to consumers through the publisher network. It is all part of a virtuous cycle that CityGrid hopes can achieve the reach and scale necessary to provide a legitimate, centralized alternative to Google.