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What are the best ways to tackle the perennial local challenges of fragmentation and churn? YP is a company with lots to say on this topic, and it holds important lessons for innovating and restructuring in disruptive times, as we covered in our analyst brief video this week.

This was also the topic of last month’s BIA/Kelsey SMB kickoff interview with YP’s senior VP of ad products, Harpreet Marwaha.  BIA/Kelsey analyst Abid Chaudhry conducted the interview, and this week outlined these and other session takeaways on the YP blog.

Many of those lessons are unpacked in the interview itself (video available soon) and in Chaudhry’s retrospective. Below is an excerpt and you can read the full column here.

Viewpoints: Making Sense of the Local Marketplace

By Abid Chaudhry

On September 29th, BIA/Kelsey hosted the SMB 2015 Conference in Denver, Colorado – an annual gathering where local commerce, media, and advertising industry leaders exchange ideas on how to best serve the evolving needs of small and medium sized business (SMB’s, for short) across the local commerce marketplace. The conference included keynotes and presentations by industry leaders YP, Microsoft, HomeAdvisor, and BIA/Kelsey’s own team of analysts (to name a few).

One major highlight was the kickoff interview I conducted with YP’s Senior Vice President of Ad Products, Harpreet Marwaha. I’m excited to share some points of the conversation here. Watching YP throughout its evolution – growing into the local marketing solutions powerhouse we all know it as today – we were eager to learn about how the company has repositioned itself to tackle the complexity of the SMB marketplace.

Marwaha talked about how the local marketing industry has become increasingly fragmented, with features being sold as products and multiple business models clouding the value of digital local marketing.“Fragmentation has led to a lack of consistent education and definitions for SMB’s to understand how their advertising and marketing works for them,”he explained. Inconsistent solutions as well as inefficient spending by solutions providers have made SMB’s increasingly unhappy with their local marketing programs, ultimately leading to an increase in product churn.

YP has successfully addressed this challenge through a combined product and service effort. The secret recipe for success? YP believes solutions providers should focus on the following:

Read the rest…

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