A ‘Search for Cleaner Air’ part of a mighty marketing push?
Robert Gottliebsen gives a fascinating insight
Writing in The Australian, 17 October 06, he speaks about Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst’s 2010 plans for Sensis – the profit driver for Tesltra?
Bruce Akhurst believes Sensis can:
Online marketing by small business has jumped from 10-19%
Yellow Pages print and online selling teams are now combined so the group now has 1000 selling agents marketing a combined print-online package, though it still has a long way to go mobilise small business Australia into the online world.
Big competitors don’t have the Sensis salesteam
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and eBay are attacking sections of the Yellow Pages market but Akhurst is confident they won’t achieve substantial penetration in the smaller business sector because they don’t have the Sensis salespeople who have become ‘virtual small-business online consultants’ to many customers.
By 2010 Sensis will have synchronised its systems with Telstra (a hazardous task comments Gottliebsen!) and will:
Future clout for smaller service providers and retailers?
Assuming the privacy issues can be overcome, it seems there is a good chance Sensis will achieve this marketing clout for the Yellow Pages heartland.
Big retailers such as Woolworths, Coles, Myer and David Jones have plans to provide their own services in-store. But if they go it alone they will not enjoy the benefits of the enormous customer base Telstra brings to the online marketing table.
Google vs Sensis
Akhurst says that although Sensis competes with Google in supplying directory-type information, Sensis undertakes this directory function merely to channel business into the Yellow Pages online business.
What can go wrong with this plan?
Sensis has to convince its small-business army to go with Yellow Pages and turn its back on what may be lower price offerings from the international giants.
Here, Akhurst is relying on personal selling to win over the internet marketing embraced by the international giants.
He believes with a passion that overall Australian advertising is fragmenting and localising.
Technology and a change in advertising
“Instead of just scattering big advertisements on television and in newspapers, the technology changes are enabling advertisements to be delivered to people personally,” Akhurst says.
“Those advertisements will be relevant to the customer because we will know what they are looking for – such as cars and fashion. Advertising will be much more focused on people as individuals. The mobile device will enable specific advertisements to come to people that are relevant to their life and needs.
“We are already doing this through Trading Post. As the networks evolve, it will be possible to determine where a mobile phone holder is actually situated and be able to provide for their needs, whether that be a taxi, a Chinese meal or a shopping opportunity.”
Of course, to achieve that goal Sensis needs not only to sign up most small enterprises and the large retailers but find a way to entice mobile phone users to allow the integration of promotion with their personal lifestyle.
But Akhurst is supremely confident because he believes his marketing thrust is perfectly timed and that many modern people will value this service rather than seeing it as a breach of privacy.
Shopping is different today
“The way people are shopping is different,” he says. “In times gone by you might stroll down a strip of shops to do window shopping. These days, people are window shopping on their computer and their behaviours are changing. They still window shop but the way they research is quite different.
“We look to help Woolworths and Coles and move up the size of the business we cater for.”
The effect on advertising and the big shopping centres?
Akhurst believes there remains an important role for large shopping centres but admits that if Sensis is successful it will stunt their growth.
“It will also divert advertising from free-to-air television, newspapers and billboards – from traditional sorts of advertising to more specific local advertising,” he says
“There is a good opportunity for pay television because a person who is watching will receive advertisements that will be linked to their interests.
Gottliebsen concludes saying that Akhurst and Sensis are being given freedom to pursue the dream. By 2010 it has the potential to be an enormous driver of Telstra wealth and either a huge advantage for Telstra’s mobile business or a wholesaler of services to other mobile providers.
The benefits of Yellow Pages ads. according to yellow.com.au
Back to the Search for Cleaner Air
Australian households generate almost one-fifth of Australia’s greenhouse gases – about 15 tonnes per household each year – through everyday activities such as transport, household energy use and the decay of household waste in landfills.
Every little bit helps?