Kate Kaye of ClickZ interviews Citysearch’s Neal Salvage about CityGrid and the general SMB ad offering from Citysearch. From my point of view, here are the interesting parts of the article:
According to Neil Salvage, Citysearch’s EVP of advertising, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number or offerings and sell them on a flat-fee basis rather than a performance-basis . . .
Citysearch currently allows advertisers to update their company profiles displayed across the Web through the platform associated with its CityGrid listings distribution system. They can also respond to reviews posted about their businesses using the platform.
“In the next quarter, we will be expanding our capabilities to offer merchants even more robust reputation management capabilities such as reviewing reviews from across CityGrid, sentiment analysis and more,” explained Salvage.
The SMB online ad market is bifurcating somewhat, with a movement toward performance products in some quarters — Yelp just (re)introduced CPC — and fixed fee products otherwise (Citysearch). The group buying sites arguably represent the ultimate in performance-based marketing for SMBs.
Beyond this, some version of “reputation management” (an elastic category) is coming to most if not all SMB ad sellers/channels. It will ultimately be like SEO, just a part of the package.
Right now the most developed product is the one offered by Marchex. However AmIVisible (presence), Chatmeter and ClickFuel also have offerings with varying degrees of functionality.
If there are others out there, please let me know.