Spot Runner Chooses Yodle to Service SMBs

Picture 83The press release just came out this morning:

Spot Runner . . . and Yodle Inc. . . . announced a strategic partnership that makes Yodle the local online advertising partner for Spot Runner. As part of the partnership, Yodle will assume responsibility for providing local online advertising services for Spot Runner’s local online clients, including several noteworthy franchise accounts, and collaborate with Spot Runner on future opportunities . . .

Spot Runner conducted a pilot program to evaluate Yodle’s online lead generation services and based on the positive results, it selected Yodle as its local online advertising partner.

This is a nice affirmation for Yodle and obviously the end of a disastrous chapter for Spot Runner, which bought Weblistic only to shutter it after many false starts, mishaps and miscues around strategic direction.

In an email exchange with Yodle CEO Court Cunningham this morning he said:

I think this portends future consolidation.  The two drivers will be 1) need for companies to focus where they can be great and partner in areas where they cannot  (this case) 2) bandwidth at the SMB.  The small business owner is being bombarded by solicitations and trusted brands need to emerge to simplify the buying process for them.

I certainly agree with his second point. There’s still way to much confusion and “noise” in the market.

Picture 84

Source: Opus Research (8/08) n=615 US small businesses

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Related: Here’s a bit more color from ClickZ.

9 Responses to “Spot Runner Chooses Yodle to Service SMBs”

  1. Sebastien Provencher Says:

    Interesting. This is definitely what SpotRunner was expecting to do with the Weblistic acquisition. I hope YPs are having better success with their own SEM acquisitions.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I think they are, except for the churn problem.

  3. Dave Hucker Says:

    Always interesting Greg…. I got this via twitter. Thanks for keeping the community up to speed.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Sure

  5. Mike Bunnell Says:

    I wonder how many other firms were seriously in the running…

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    It’s not clear to me. Court do you want to answer Mike’s question?

  7. Tom Jones Says:

    How long did they run their test with Yodle? And, like Mike, where there any other firms in the running? Thanks for the tweet. This is pretty big news for any major local search players.

  8. Court Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Spot Runner did not tell us exactly who they evaluated, but did say they actively considered “several top players in the industry”. The pilot spanned multiple months.

    Court

  9. Ex Spot Runner Says:

    I worked in this department before it was nuked and we were told web.com was the big suitor, but they obviously never landed on a deal. SR also courted ReachLocal early on, but to little interest. I imagine they dumped it for nothing to Yodle, as the churn rate for these clients ranged from dire to astronomical.

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