Sensis Moves to Digital for Growth
Sensis, facing an increasingly competitive environment, today announced a new plan to define the business as a provider of digital solutions to small businesses.
“The explosion of technology and advertising channels, and the popularity of digital devices, has created a complex digital world that small businesses must be part of to ensure they are found by customers looking for their services,” said Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst.
Sensis plans to leverage its unique strengths, which include:
* Loyal customer base
* The capability, knowledge and local on-the-ground presence of its salesforce
* Local business content
* Integrated multi-platform publishing capabilities.
Akhurst said the company invested in business evolution for more than two years to ensure it would be in a position to offer a suite of solutions to this digital dilemma. After a decline in print revenues last year, Akhurst told BIA/Kelsey there would be an accelerated shift to digital. Key aspects of Sensis’ strategy in 2011 to deliver increased customer value include:
* More targeted and simplified bundled customer solutions offering greater value including the Sensis Priority Advertising Network and SiteSmart bundle
* New product offerings to connect businesses with customers in new ways such as the Yellow Pages iPad app and YellowPagesOffers.com.au
* More sophisticated tailored reporting mechanisms to ensure small businesses can measure their performance and return on investment
* Extended small-business presence across digital media through agreements with leading industry players including Google, Bing and Yahoo
* Increased accessibility of customers content on yellowpages.com.au to developers by launching an application programming interface (API)
* Bolt on acquisitions to provide customers with more ways to generate leads for their businesses such as the recently acquired Quotify.com.au — one of Australia’s largest providers of request for quote services
Sensis also launched a range of new mobile sites and applications. As a result of these new services, Yellow Pages digital usage grew by 50 percent over the past year.
“As we commence our selling cycle for 2011 and execute with excellence, key success factors will include growing customer numbers, uptake in digital products and new bundles sold, and increasing total digital sales and customer satisfaction,” Akhurst concluded.
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12 months on and now the Sensis CEO has resigned. One Australian newspaper reported that Sensis’ share of digital advertising has shrunk from over 46% in 2005-2006 to just 13% in 2010-2011. It would seem that their “move to digital” has been a big failure.