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Today Charles Laughlin and I had the chance to talk to European Directories’ group vice president of mobile, Carey Bunks. He was more forthright than most when it came to mobile monetization strategies and real numbers.

Specifically, EDSA is generating about 10 million euros in revenues from mobile products and that number is on pace to more than triple over the next year (online revs are 180 million). This comes from a diverse revenue stream in different operating countries such as subscription (in Finland, for example) and ad revenues.

Ad models are multilayered and continue to develop, including:

Sponsored placement: Top search ranking within your category and geography. Comes with a 3 percent to 5 percent premium over an online sponsored package.

Pay Per Call: An action oriented package for which Bunks couldn’t provide details beyond the fact that it will likely involve a matrix of calls and other actions, and will be rolled out in the September time frame.

Mobile Profile Pages: An optimized page for the mobile device that provides key business information and other directional content.

Bunks’ sales strategy is to stress to advertisers that without a profile page, mobile searches will redirect to non-optimized online listing. With respect to rankings and click to call, the message is that 60 percent of their tracked calls are generated from the first item on a results page.

“Monetization isn’t something for the distant future,” he added. “We’re monetizing already, and next year it will go into hyper drive.”

Common Denominators

Mobile revenue goals are 35 million euros for FY 2011 and 100 million in three years. This is all tied to 521 percent usage growth over the past six months. Mobile is also seeing 32 percent compound monthly growth (40 percent in March) and weighs in at 5 percent of online usage.

Bunks attributes this to EDSA’s product strategy. Twenty-five percent of usage comes from its iPhone apps and most of the remaining portion is xhtml (mobile Web sites). For the latter, it has developed very simple sites that follow a common denominator across hundreds of devices.

According to Bunks, this requires that you don’t dress up the experience with javascript and specific fonts (not readable by some mobile browsers). Also on the list is avoiding images as buttons, and eliminating the category disambiguation pages that require users to toggle through several pages.

SEO is also a key source of traffic and the above tactics feed into it by causing pages to load faster. “We have a complete path of static pages that can be crawled, ” said Bunks. “And the number of pages Google can crawl is a function of how fast those pages load.”


The rest of this interview and mobile strategies for worldwide directory publishers will be included in a report available to BIA/Kelsey subscribers.

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