The Coming ‘GOOG-411’ Button on GE Phones

Goog411According to a pre-CES release from Thomson:

Thomson and Google have partnered to help consumers save money on 411 business information calls by integrating the first ever one-touch, auto-dial GOOG-411 button into many of its latest GE-branded DECT 6.0™ Interference Free phones for 2008. One of many new innovative features for consumers from Thomson, GOOG-411 is Google’s free, voice-activated, business directory assistance service, and the GOOG-411 button will be incorporated on more than a dozen GE phones, which will be available in April.

This moves GOOG411 into new realms and is being positioned, interestingly, not only as an alternative to conventional 411 but as an alternative to “the phone book”:

“While some people still use the ‘phone book,’ most traditional paper versions these days are remarkably incomplete and do not fit today’s fast paced lifestyle,” said Tom Bratton, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Thomson Consumer Network Solutions.

This is something of a marketing coup for Google to help build awareness of the GOOG411 service, which will eventually be ad-supported. Google has done some uncharacteristic consumer marketing for its service (mostly outdoor) in selected areas, but it remains largely unknown, according to both LocalMobileSearch and comScore data:

  • In a recent LocalMobileSearch survey, conducted on behalf of V-Enable, 76.3% of respondents (n=671) said they had never used “one of the free alternatives to carrier-provided 411 directory assistance”
  • Data compiled by comScore for Jingle Networks found that only 7%-8% of users had “heard of or used” GOOG-411 “in the past 30 days” (based on three survey waves in 2007). By contrast, 17%-18% said they had “heard of or used” Jingle’s 1800-Free-411 service

As Dan Miller says in a post at LocalMobileSearch, “Single button access, offered by Google and others, are poised to change long established user behaviors, like dialing 411 or longer, toll-free access numbers. This is a major threat to incumbent, fixed line DA providers that generated something like $3.5 billion in highly profitable revenue from roughly 4 billion calls last year.”


2 Responses to “The Coming ‘GOOG-411’ Button on GE Phones”

  1. Kent Goldthorpe Says:

    The easiest thing to do in order to avoid all costs whatsoever as well as tons of commercial advertising is to use the recently launched 1-800-infoFAST platform for all directory assistance nationwide. Their number is the same as the name, 1-800-463-6327. They have live operators to assist with all calls, give business recommendations and don’t charge a nickle. There is no listening through several paid commercials before getting what you call for, either. You may have a 12 second commercial once in a while for local businesses in some of the States like Idaho and Utah where they are making recommednations for local businesses. This is a dream come true. They even invite businesses to change the programming of their own phone servcies to “idiot proof” the systems so that when an employee presses “411″ they get 1-800-infoFAST instead and save a bundle. Try it, you’ll love it. We sure do. They save my neighbor’s moving company a fortune when the drivers use infoFAST to arrange motels, restaurants, etc. while on the road, all without having to “Google” or find a Yellow Pages or anything. And a live operator can help with everything instead of a computerized IVR system or someone sitting in a call center in India.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    What’s your relationship to the company?

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