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eBook: Striking a Better Balance

Tip the Scale in Your Favor by Mastering Directory Listings

 

For over 30 years, communications service providers (CSPs) have used the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to manage their directory listings (DL). These listings have been traditionally known as White Pages for residential listings and Yellow Pages for business listings. In this original model, CSPs used the ILECs – their competitors – as a turnkey solution to store their data and work with the plethora of publishers to print and distribute their directories.

But times have changed. Though consumers still search for information about people, and for relevant local businesses and services, the sources for this information have evolved and now extend beyond printed books to online and electronic search. CSPs, faced with shrinking profit margins and intense competition for small and medium business customers, are looking for new ways to grow business and cut costs.

With the Internet and mobile devices, we now search almost entirely online—and printed directories are increasingly seen as wasteful. Of course, these directories will continue to be of value, especially Yellow Pages for small and medium sized businesses. But since being found accurately online is becoming more important to them, directories in printed form simply won’t last. Directory listings will eventually move entirely online.

Acknowledging this reality, however, doesn’t make the transition any easier for you as a carrier. It requires resources and expertise that can distract you from your core mission.

THE MANAGEMENT MODEL IS STUCK IN THE PAST

The way in which consumers search directory listings has definitely evolved—but how you manage those listings as a CSP has largely remained the same. The management model was originally put in place to level the playing field by relieving new providers of the burden of producing and distributing printed books.

For years, the process has been straightforward:

  1. Each CSP sends its listing information (names, addresses, telephone numbers) to its DL provider, and pays monthly fees at a national average of $5.50 (ranging from $2 for each residential listing and $40 for each business listing)
  2. The DL provider licenses the data to, and collects fees from, DL publishers
  3. The DL provider resells the data to marketers, collecting fees yet again

See the problem? As a CSP, you provide your authoritative data to a competitor, pay each month to have it listed, relinquish control of its use, and receive no revenue when it’s sold.

NOW IMAGINE A MODEL WITH GREATER BALANCE

With our Directory Listings Management solution, Neustar changes the model to create more choice, control, and balance for CSPs. This solution reduces monthly recurring costs, while allowing you to provide a full range of options for directory listings — including the online and local search that customers demand.

AN AUTOMATED DATA FLOW

Neustar Directory Listings Management can be easily adopted into your ordering process. With this solution, all requests to move, add, change, or delete (MACD) directory listing records are directed to Neustar. Even customers using other solutions can submit their MACDs each day to Neustar simply by using a secure file transfer protocol.

In both cases, Neustar standardizes the formatting of directory listing data to comply with its destination and then sends the formatted data to publishers, directory assistance, online search and local search engines.

MINIMAL DISRUPTION, MAXIMUM ROI

Neustar does the heavy lifting. Our experienced team plans, coordinates, and deploys the solution to minimize disruption, shorten the time to savings, and maximize your ROI in the shortest timeframe.

With our Directory Listings Management solution, Neustar will:

Build and maintain your DL repository. We build your existing base of directory listings data and/or retrieve your records from competitors' databases on your behalf. Your data is standardized and records are uploaded to your new repository. During this process your data is validated, and billing and invoicing errors are often identified, resulting in immediate savings.

Remove your listings from competitors' databases. Removing your records from all other sources prevents stale data from being distributed and ends monthly recurring charges, saving you substantially in the near term. Neustar’s bulk ordering expertise accelerates this process so you realize greater savings in a shorter timeframe.

Serve as your authorized agent. We have relationships with over 150 publishers. As your trusted partner, we work on your behalf and according to your guidelines. You control who can and cannot receive your data.

Optionally, Neustar can also:

Build your branded search site. Our national online directory includes residential, business, and government listings and provides flexible search options. Direct your customers to your site to validate their information and expose them to new offers. Our portal is used by major providers and powers the search sites for major providers.

Submit your business listings to local search engines. With listings in local search engines where local search occurs, your business customers can reach more of their consumers. Neustar Localeze maintains direct, authorized relationships with over 200 local search platform partners, including Internet Yellow Pages, social media, navigation devices, and mobile applications.

AN EQUITABLE APPROACH TO DIRECTORY LISTINGS

Say goodbye to paying monthly recurring fees for managing your authoritative data. Neustar provides a balanced approach that allows you to maximize your suite of DL offers to ensure that your subscribers and customers can be found exactly where and when they need to be.

What’s more, Neustar leads the transition to green directory listing initiatives by providing robust online search engines for major carriers. Our solution fully integrates directory listings into the automated workflow, ensuring compliance to all business rules for less error and more successful DL order completion. And with our established relationships with over 150 publishers and more than 200 local search engine partners, your customers get access to the widest range of outlets to expand their businesses. Finally, our experienced teams ensure that you realize a significant return on your investment.

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