Yell plans to restructure its global operation and focus on “owning” local search as it tries to defend its business from rivals Google and Groupon. In February, the Yellow Pages publisher saw its shares drop by more than 10 percent to less than 9 percent, the lowest since listing on the stock exchange in July 2003. During that time, we reported a new strategy would come down the pike by summer 2011.
“We have to become relevant in digital media. We are moving, we just have to have a more robust, well thought through strategic plan,” said Yell CEO Michael Pocock to MediaGuardian. Revenues from digital media accounts make up 25 percent of Yell’s total revenues, which continue to fall as the print advertising business tumbles around 20 percent per quarter.
Yell’s relationships with its local advertisers provides a leg up over the competition, Pocock told MediaGuardian, also claiming that none of the top three competitors, Groupon, Yahoo or Google, has outside sales forces. He also added that the company would be restructured to operate as a group in areas such as IT, procurement, branding and product development. Although more efficient, Pocock says the bulk of savings from the restructuring would not come at the expense of cutting jobs.