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kudzu-pic.jpg Kudzu, the service-oriented rating and review directory from Cox Search, has been under the radar for a while, while similar services (i.e., Judy’s Book, Insider Pages and Backfence) have run into some turbulence. But a recent visit with GM Tom Bates and head of business development Edward Rosenfeld at Kudzu’s headquarters in suburban Atlanta suggested that the company is plowing ahead. I have written a fairly extensively analysis for Kelsey Marketplaces clients. But here are some highlights.

The 30-person company runs mean and lean and produces a small profit. It currently has a physical presence in four markets, including hometown Atlanta, Arizona (mostly Phoenix), San Diego and Las Vegas. About 135,000 businesses are featured in the Atlanta metro, 80,000 each in Arizona and San Diego, and 50,000 in Las Vegas. It has had a fairly low profile outside Atlanta but will beef up its marketing this year. For instance, it is taking out radio and TV ads in San Diego.

It has also licensed a national database and is available across the U.S. “Being national — and part of an organization that reaches one in three Americans every day — allows us to work with some very strong partners,” says Bates. The site is also beginning to leverage some of Cox’s other properties, working with AutoTrader‘s extensive dealer network, among other activities.

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