SEM reseller and campaign management firm ReachLocal today officially brought Google AdWords into its ad product toolbelt. This extends its offering to SMBs interested in search engine marketing or in cross-platform ad bundles. ReachLocal’s online offerings to SMBs also include Yahoo! (YSM), MSN (AdCenter), Ask and Superpages.
Many other SEM fulfillment firms that address the SMB marketplace resell AdWords as part of a comprehensive SEM, SEO and landing page bundle (see TKG Advisory “Selling SEM & SEO”). These include LocalLaunch, Marchex, Matchcraft and a handful of others that mostly work with Yellow Pages publishers to arm their sales reps with SEM and landing page services (LocalLaunch is owned by R.H. Donnelley, while Marchex works closely with AT&T and Yellowpages.com).
ReachLocal goes straight to the source with its own growing sales channel. This build-rather-than-partner strategy is no easy task, but ReachLocal continues to scale up and show that it can be done. The company’s October $55 million cash infusion (and resulting $305 million valuation) is a vote of confidence in this model and a means to continue to develop it. The same can be said (albeit to a lesser degree) for its newly minted AdWords reseller status.