The Yellow Pages isn’t resting on its laurels following its recent re-launch. Despite seeing a 20% increase in usage, the Yellow Pages has launched its free online mapping service for businesses.
General manager for Yellow Pages, Dudley Enoka, says the service will be offered free to Yellow Page advertisers, as an added value service.
“We realise companies are wanting more from Yellow Pages so despite the added investment in terms of infrastructure to deliver online maps, we’re not passing that cost on.”
Enoka says companies will be able to add a street map to their location simply by calling their sales rep at Yellow Pages. Most companies, he says, will want to take advantage of the service, however he knows of a handful of companies that don’t want to advertise their location.
“Those companies are in specialised industries and just aren’t keen on customers knowing their physical address. That’s understandable so we’re promoting the service to those companies that are customer facing.”
Enoka isn’t worried by the sudden boom in online map services. He says offerings from companies like the Automobile Association are niche and don’t compete directly with Yellow Pages.
“AA is targeting drivers rather than people looking at our site so it’s not the same thing. Competition is par for the course in this sector.”
Enoka, who also looks after White Pages, is considering his options in that space before offering a service.
“Obviously home owners have a different approach to this kind of service than Yellow Page advertisers so we’re carefully considering demand before moving ahead. The technology is no problem, that’s ready to go today, but without the customer need we won’t proceed.”
Companies are already advertising their location using the mapping service, which will go so far as to give users directions from one address to another if needed.
Eventually the move is to combine online directory services with an online e-commerce solution, not unlike Ferrit, Telecom’s newly launched online shopping mall.