YP Taps Verve To Help Expand National-To-Local Ad Reach

YP has signed up Verve as a display ad distribution partner as the company, which bills itself as “The Real Yellow Pages” looks to expand its reach and focus to serving national brands that want to target local consumers.

The deal comes a week after the rollout of ypWebsite Pro, which helps local brands create central internet hub with a mobile-responsive, SEO-ready website.

This agreement between YP and Verve is actually an expansion of an earlier partnership to power YP’s mobile display for SMBs by extending similar capabilities to national brands.

YP’s pitch to brands is that consumers arrive at YP’s sites by searching for a specific local product or service.

The company backs that up by citing conducted by comScore on behalf of YP, 74 percent of YP users make a purchase after searching, and those searchers spend an average of 34 percent more per purchase than all searchers.

Therefore, serving YP’s display ads to those “intent-focused” consumers would seem to be particularly valuable — especially outside of the confines of the websites within YP’s own network. Working with Verve will spread those display ads to placements within the apps and publisher sites that Verve is aligned with.

“With millions of users, YP is committed to connecting local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device or medium they’re using,” said YP CEO Jared Rowe. “We rely on industry leading partners like Verve to help us expand our reach beyond our owned and operated channels. This agreement allows us to focus on our large consumer audience while delivering even more value to our clients.”

Although the emergence of connected intelligence through voice-activated digital assistants like Siri and Alexa may soon call the utility of a brand’s website into question, the fact remains that brands need a central hub for the vital business information consumers need, Stu MacFarlane, Executive Vice President of Products and Marketing at YP, noted in an interview with GeoMarketing last week.

“Websites are foundational to connecting local businesses with consumers, and a strong SEO strategy is critical to delivering traffic to their sites,” MacFarlane said.

From Verve’s vantage point, the idea of display ads being “static” or leading to banner blindness, particularly within the mobile space, ignores the fact that they still reach and influence millions of consumers.

“Mobile marketing is far more than a banner displayed on a phone,” said Verve CEO and President Tom Kenney. “It is a powerful opportunity for brands and publishers to deliver extremely relevant and localized messages in contextual moments that resonate with consumers. We look forward to combining the Verve location-powered insights and targeting model with YP’s exceptionally large user base to deliver superior consumer experiences and tangible business results for advertisers.”

 

 

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How Verve And Digital Domain Are Pairing Geo-Data With Video

The introduction of Verve’s location-based mobile video ad offering last week is intended to capitalize on the popularity of location and “sight, sound, and motion” that has become fairly mainstream for most advertisers and publishers as mobile marketing itself becomes more central.

Verve cited figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2016 Full Year Report that mobile video ad spending jumped 145 percent year-over-year to nearly $4.2 billion — a clear demonstration of brands’ interest in video’s acceptance on smaller screens.

While the combination of location and video is not unusual, the differences between display, rich media, and native is important enough technologically to create a distinct offering.

“What we’re launching is in direct response to what we’re hearing from our clients and where consumer attention is going,” said Kevin Arrix, Verve’s Chief Revenue Officer. “We see tremendous value in helping brands unlock the distinctive power of location data for mobile video, not only in terms of finding consumers in real-time but, more meaningfully, by targeting the most relevant audiences based on their historical movement patterns.”

The location/video offering follows the partnership it struck with video effects and production platform Digital Domain back in February. It’s positioned within Verve Activate, the location ad platform’s audience segmentation, insights, and targeting program.

“Our partnership with Verve continues to align around this powerful combination of technology and artistry,” said Amit Chopra, Executive Director and COO at Digital Domain. “Bringing immersive technology to location-powered video expands and enhances the ways in which brands can convey engaging and contextually relevant ads to consumers.”

In a look at how Facebook and YouTube were influencing the role of mobile video in March,  Verve’s VP and creative director Walter T. Geer III wrote on GeoMarketing that “Brands and publishers clearly want to get to a point where they’re offering both meaningful, location- and context-sensitive experiences and meaningful monetization. But the industry is still in the early days of defining how video content on the smartphone and mobile device can achieve that goal, contextual and otherwise. Success in all these efforts comes down to finding smarter ways to engage.”

We spoke with Verve’s Arrix ahead of his appearance at Tuesday’s IAB Mobile Symposium, where he’ll be discussing location-based ad sales strategies.

GeoMarketing: What’s special about the way Verve is linking location and video?

Kevin Arrix: The fact that our agency and brand partners have been pretty excited by the power and results of location, as well as noting the importance of online video, our partners encouraged us to find ways of putting the two together. So this is all about delivering a scaled video/location solution to the marketplace.

Does this product represent any new capabilities versus what Verve was able to do before, or is this mainly about offering a formal, synthesized solution?

We’ve been testing the incremental benefit of location targeting and insights for video. So bringing that added layer of our first-party data, the precision that goes with that to display, rich media, and now video, is something we’ve been working on. It was just a no-brainer for us to bring this comprehensive offering wider.

What’s the nature of the partnership Verve struck in February with Digital Domain? Is there a creative capability being baked in to the location/video offering?

Digital Domain is a world-class production and camera technology company. They bring that capability and quality to our advertiser partners. Working with Digital Domain also helps us address a something missing in the marketplace around 360-degree video: one of the challenges is distribution. If we pair our presence, our distribution platform with Digital Domain’s expertise, it makes for a great combination.

How are Verve and Digital Domain going to market with this location/video solution?

We’re in the process of approaching our strongest partners. It’s open to advertiser who sees the value in more forward-thinking video formats. But it’s all done in conjunction with Digital Domain.

The focus is on proving out the power of location and video in a variety of ways and use cases. We’ve proven it in display and rich media. So, we’re expanding our suite of mobile advertising solutions. The ability to overlay high-quality, first-party location data places Verve in a unique position to help brands elevate their mobile strategy by enabling them to reach intended audiences with greater efficiency and relevance.

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