Local Matters Names Higley New CEO

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Local Matter has named a new CEO, Tom Higley, who takes the helm at the local search software company following a months-long search. Higley has a deep background in starting up technology companies. According to his LinkedIn profile, Higley was most recently CEO of Pavlov games, which “creates and distributes event-based social games.”

In addition to the CEO job, Higley will take a seat on the Local Matters board.

Local Matters has undergone a few changes in leadership over the years. Founder Perry Evans has long since moved on to new ventures. In February, CEO Mat Stover left to become CMO of SuperMedia. During the search for Stover’s replacement, company CFO Nancy Hamilton stepped in as interim CEO.

A little while back, while the search for a new CEO was still under way, we caught up with Jeff Porter, SVP of product marketing at Local Matters. Porter walked us through some of the new products and services the company is rolling out. 

Historically, Local Matters has offered publishers a platform to build online directory products, and prominent organizations ranging from Dex One to Yellow Pages New Zealand rank among current and former clients. Local Matters’ foundation has long been its “Destination Search” platform, and Porter said the company remains committed to Destination Search as its flagship product.

Porter said Local Matters is expanding its focus to attract more smaller operators. “Now we want to offer more off-the-shelf solutions, combined with industry expertise so each publisher has the right solution,” he said. A central objective is “reducing the cost of ownership,” which will help Local Matters approach a wider audience, “specifically the mid-tier publisher space,” Porter said.

Moving to offers standardized products “will reduce the overall total cost of ownership for customers and allow them to enjoy innovation and upgrades that we make to our products,” Porter said.

Porter sees a big shift in the opportunity, and imperative, for publishers, notably the need to drive leads to their advertisers across search, social and mobile. He said Local Matters is developing products in all of these areas.

One new product of note is “Digital Seen,” a platform that helps publishers manage a digital presence for advertisers across IYP, the Web, social media and mobile.

Local Matters has also developed a mobile product called “Sidewalk” (the name might ring a bell) that pushes out deals and offers to local consumers, as well as a branded profile page builder that allows national advertisers to brand how they appear on an IYP search result.

We’ll see if Higley continues to push Local Matters down this path.

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