What new technologies are in Yellow Pages’ pipeline? We talk to Bradley to find out.
Describe your role.
In partnership with an amazing team, I set Yellow Pages’ product strategy and the roadmap for digital products at Yellow Pages. We innovate and create new products, maintain existing products, and partner with other solution providers to provide a diverse portfolio of options to cater to our customers’ advertising and business management needs.
Why did you decide to work for Yellow Pages?
A lot of my career has been as a small business owner – everything from marketing and software consultancy, through to pet services and retail – and a lot of things in between too. I like to create new solutions that aim to solve real business problems. I’ve done it in my own business for a long time, and at Yellow Pages I get to do more of that at scale for every Australian business.
What are you working on at the moment?
We have many initiatives in various stages of readiness and it’s going to be one of the busiest years ever as far as new (and improved) product development goes. We’ve recently introduced new capabilities like real-time bookings and a request-for-quote feature. We’re also working on a redesign of our site to make it easier for consumers to find what they’re looking for and to make contact with businesses.
Why should small businesses work with Yellow Pages rather than a competitor brand?
Businesses have more options than ever when it comes to marketing. That’s a blessing – but, it can also be a curse sometimes as there is a lot of noise out there in the marketplace – and it can be confusing to know what to do for your business. Yellow Pages has a lot of experience in helping make the complex world of marketing and business tools simple and accessible for Australian businesses.
What are your thoughts on voice searches and how/if this will affect consumer purchase decisions?
There’s a growing number of people that are searching like this on their phone and from new devices in the home – but, it’s nowhere near the majority of searches – most people still search online through Google and directories like Yellow Pages via text search queries. Yellow Pages will have voice search features in the future for those who like that, but, we know how important it is to get the experience right for customers and users, so we want to take the time to get this just right before making it available. It’s definitely a hot trend and we will be ready for it.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
Definitely seeing how my team get excited about a hard problem to solve, and then working out the answer. The satisfaction that comes from knowing we help businesses and consumers make a good match, and ideally do business together.
And the least?
There’s not much I don’t like – I think we’d all like less time on emails – but, it’s a necessary evil.
What opportunities do you see for small business in the digital marketing landscape?
Old fashioned customer service still is a powerful drawcard for new and existing customers. From a digital marketing landscape, the trick now is to make sure you’re represented on all the different places your customers are hanging out. It isn’t the same for every business, but, as a minimum – having a website that you respond to customer queries through and being available to give service through social platforms like Facebook is really important.
Top trends for 2018?
This will still take a few years to play out, but, increasingly consumers are more inclined to accept being marketed to by business as they physically interact in their stores. For example, if you are in a shopping centre, a business may push a personal and relevant offer to your smartphone because you are near their store. It sounds a little creepy to some people, but, it’s becoming much more common.
What’s ‘so last year’?
My entire business attire wardrobe – it needs an update. Blockchain is probably the most overused industry buzzword from last year. A technology that has lots of potential, but, a lot of people not really sure what to do with it. It’s a hammer looking for a nail.