Idearc Media is planning to change the companies name after bankruptcy…


When my former employer, Idearc Media, emerges from a questionable bankruptcy court the first of the year (on January 4th 2010), what do you think they will change the name to?

  • SuperMedia  www.SuperMedia.com
  • SuperLeads Media
  • SuperGuarantee (ServiceGuarantee) Yellow Pages

Does Verizon want out? Does the media company hurt Verizon’s reputation or vice-versa?

My thoughts:

I like the idea of changing the company name to “LocalSearch” Find It or something that insinuates this. Superpages does not really make as much sense…. It’s just “Super” {Ya Know}. Or what about Inceptor? Nope. I like the idea of naming it Local.com, R.H. Donnelley or IAC. There needs to be a few mergers for the company to sustain viability with a monopolizing industry in Local Search. Make the offer larger and more powerful. When #27 at 30 million visitors is not even close to #1 at 130+ million visitors and #1 dictates your future….. monopolies are your friend. A partnership with Twitter and Facebook…. something to bring new life in the company and offset losses from folks not paying for and not buying yellow pages.

The future name of the company needs to become something that is not the combination of two words like veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon or idea and arc. How about RHD or IAC? I think it is time some mergers take place in the local advertising industry! Hopefully someone other than a hedge fund like Paulson and Company step in and change the direction of the company.

Lets go to an online purchase model for the industry. Make the company more like McDonald’s. Need a web hosting package? Sure… we got it! Need a media consultant for yellow pages? Sure! That will be a number 5. The agent keys the order in the SuperViewable McTools system and whala… you got yourself a great bundle!

If you expect that to work in online advertising….. you need to make a trip to a local Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing training and networking class by the folks at www.DFWSEM.org, for a rude awakening. That business model only works when you sell listings on a website and print phone book ads. Not the advice you want from knowledgeable “media consultants.”

Yellow pages work well because you don’t have to bug a client after the product is purchased.  The internet, not so much. I plan on bugging my clients everyday… or every other day. Whatever is just enough to keep them on their toes in the ever-changing internet marketing environment!

That SuperViewable McTool system officially means you are no longer worth more than the next $79.00 Super Profile Page you are able to sell each day. What a living. What a great future. What a huge asset you are going to be. Congrats!

Meanwhile business owners will continue to pay for the advertisement of competitors (unlike Google and other forms of marketing) in the antiquated yellow pages due to the credit policies and pricing of the yellow page industry. Time to consider a consumer subscription based rewards yellow page business model if you ask me!

Idearc’s latest ideas from the executive team are failing. They rolled out http://www.SuperYellowPages.com which is an online version of the printed yellow pages. Can someone say “doomed for FAILURE.” Next was the Idearc Challenge (must have come from the Pepsi Challenge while Klein was in charge of Marketing at Pepsi) and that is failing because in many markets for 1/2 the price a YellowBook ad has more calls – a lower cost per call, and finally the SuperLeads was over-priced and the company had dismal sales results from the program. For the State of Texas, I can recall one new client listed in the SuperLeads program. The sales reps are not selling it as Idearc wants to charge over $30.00 per call. Doing the math on the spot with a client and they look at you like your just walked out of the local loony- bin claiming to be President of the United States. Pretty much everything rolled out in the big fancy Dallas national sales meeting back in February was a bust (minus the Menu Pricing, but of course the sales reps are still without “menus”.)

It is obvious to folks in the organization that, aside from copying the ServiceMagic ServiceGuarantee program, the executives of the company have very few solutions to fix the consumer perception of yellow pages, wasteful saturation distribution methods, sales tactics, lack of accountability in fulfillment, and offering a better online marketing solution that incorporates social and organic website marketing. The executives at Idearc Media could care less about what I or other knowledgeable folks who work with clients think about the ideas. The disconnect between marketing and sales is growing due to job cuts. Idearc is also moving account management jobs to the Union areas of the country (due to a 3 year outstanding contract with the CWA) and then will continue moving the jobs overseas to India. At the next quarterly earnings call be sure to ask them exactly what and how many jobs are now overseas. Everything the company is doing only focuses on cost cutting to support revenue. This is fine for Wall-Street investors but doesn’t address the problem of the long-term future of the company. Keep up this mentality and they will continue to piss off clients and lose future revenue from these clients. Just because you can lock a client into a contract, you have not actually created revenue for the company until the client pays for the advertising charges. The company has “hung paper” for as long as I have been in it. Quality control should be the #1 area of investment for the organization. Quality control does not happen when you send account management jobs to India. It may be wise for future investors to also ask them about the churn rate of clients and account receivables issues.

As far as the web marketing boutique you seek……. IS NOT the YELLOW PAGES! This is probably going to be my last comment on the subject as I am going to avoid sounding like a broken record.

(I am sure that the name change is going to create another issue with people paying their advertising bill. Great excuse! Who is SuperMedia Company? lol)

Cheers,

Mike Stewart

(NEWSFLASH: YELLOW PAGES SALES REPS ARE NOT SEARCH MARKETING EXPERTS. THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN SELLING. WHEN THE SALES REP MAKES MORE THAN THE PERSON MANAGING THE ACCOUNT YOU HAVE ” ACCOUNTABILITY ” ISSUES. IDEARC/SUPERMEDIA INTERNET MARKETING TRAINING FOR SALES REPS IS WORSE THAN BASIC. DON”T EXPECT GOOD ADVICE OTHER THAN A PRODUCT PITCH.)

Idearc is now SuperMedia LLC

edit: This is for Michelle:

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15 Responses to Idearc Media is planning to change the companies name after bankruptcy…

  1. […] This post was Twitted by DallasSEOGuru […]

  2. Michelle Taylor says:

    Sounds like a disgruntled employee to me…

    • Mike Stewart says:

      The company has many disgruntled employees. What once was the best marketing sales job in America has now turned into a telemarketing gig. The CEO of the company has a show every couple of weeks called the Tomorrow Show Today with Scott Klein. If you haven’t seen it is is a must. Klein, who has zero understanding of real advertising consultant and the amount it takes to properly strategize on marketing plans for local businesses, proceeds to get on stage like David Letterman in a “cocksure” fashion and tell the “telemarketers” at Idearc about his Super Media Consultants who make 30-40 appointments per day. Meanwhile all the anti-telemarketing reps of old (much like myself) cringe at the thought of seeing 30 clients in a day. How do you manage to do that in 8 -10 hours? Maybe in Manhattan when you go around town soliciting on the street, while getting kicked out of offices. Sounds like the future for sure!

      Tomorrow folks will be using the internet to view a phone book! ROTFLMAO. http://www.superyellowpages.com What a bright Idea Scott! Are you kidding me? How about http://www.howmuchhere.com and creating an app for the Droid and iPhone? Allow consumers to offer pricing. Charge folks for the app. I would pay 2.99 for an app that told me how much a brake job on my 2004 Tahoe costs (around $650.00 from what I have discovered.)

      I have a few ideas. My former RVP at the company had an appt. setup for me to meet with our areas Executive Vice President Dave Bethea. Sharing ideas with someone like Scott and his executives team” is dumb. After Scott failed to tell the market that he lowered the credit requirements (which subsequently impacted bad debt the following year …. you serious! You lower the credit limits and you didn’t expect it to result in bad debt!) then Scott’s buddy, who worked for him at PrimeSource Building Products, buddy Dave Bethea hires his unqualified next door neighbor Clint Siddell. Dave has zero clue about advertising and yellow pages. But he understands SALES! Next on the chopping block is another executive, Sandy (Roach) Henjum, who literally created a new heading for her husbands company to get in the front of the phone book!

      I have had countless calls from current and former employees who are disgruntled.

      Michelle, do you have the slightest understanding of what a marketing media consultant really does on an appointment? What Klein really wants is someone to go in to an appointment whether it is agreed on or not, throw out the “Yellow Pages Story,” (as if business owners haven’t heard it from the last 400 yellow pages sales reps by now) then proceed to tell them about SuperLeads, SuperBundle, SuperPages, and whatever else SuperMcDonald’s has on special.

      I would love to see how those SuperMedia Reps of his manage to have 30 intelligent worthwhile conversations in such a short period of time?

      Am I disgruntled? I started the company at 19. After over 9 years, and a complete change for the worse, I am no longer with the company. I have many friends and mentors at Idearc. I am disgruntled at the direction the Executives of the organization have taken the company.

      Too much middle management softening up the issues. No one cares to tell the Executives they are wrong due to fear. What an amazing culture. Middle management feels like sheep. While Mr. Klein proceeds to do a jig and a song and dance for them. He is a by far the smartest fool on the planet!

      I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid as soon as I (and countless others who are still there trying to hang on) realized that his goal is to farm as many jobs to India as he can. Wonder what would happen if Idearc became non-profit. Just imagine. If they acted as a non-profit for 2 years, I am sure SuperMedia would end up being the most successful media company in America. The company has real talent within it’s ranks. They just stifle it terribly.

      Why make a sale if the client won’t pay the bill? Why sell products to folks who you know can’t afford them only to go chasing after them with credit and collections attorneys? Why work with a business who could care less if the ad works? Why work with companies that are unethical? Why piss off your clients with horrible customer service, knowing that they will not do business with you in the future?

      Idearc and Verizon invested in my skills. I leveraged my skills at the company. Overtime at Verizon/Idearc, I received and education greater than many of America’s top business schools. Then Mr. Klein asked me to work for SuperMcDonald’s Media. The talent in the company is going to quickly go to shit, the company will proceed to lower commissions, then the hire the masses and fire their asses culture begins.

      Yellow Pages was once the greatest sales job in America. The competition, Internet, industry, and crony CEO’s killed it. If they keep going more people will hate them. In my opinion, the only (besides those putting food on the table from it) folks that don’t hate the yellow pages will probably never read my blog!

      Cheers,
      Mike Stewart

  3. anon says:

    i’ve seen the logo. one of the four you’ve listed is it

    • Mike Stewart says:

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  4. You Are Disgruntled says:

    Looks like you had a hard time keeping up with the big dogs, Mike

    • Mike Stewart says:

      What do you define as “big dogs”? Are you in sales at Idearc?

      List of accomplishments:
      – The 2002 Presidents Award Recipient for Texas
      – The 2004 Presidents Award Recipient for Texas
      – The 2005 Presidents Award Recipient for Texas
      – Eagle Award Winner
      – Ace Award 2005
      – Diamond Award 2002
      – Prestige Award 2000-2001

      Convincing business owners to do what is right is not difficult. Convincing folks to sign contracts without arbitration that are vague, while backed up by Idearc’s big attorneys is wrong. How many clients read the contracts? How much time do sales agents give them to read such contracts?

      It is not a matter of keeping up with the “big dogs”….. it really comes down to having a conscience!

      The real big dogs at Idearc are in the Spanish department. Ever go thru one of those unhandled reports? For a fact 4 or the reps I checked had 95% delinquentcy rates on new sales. Does that go towards company earnings? Sure… Does it pay any bills? Nope! Meanwhile they also were getting higher commission rates to boot! lol

      It is a joke, and the Executives have zero intention on fixing it!

  5. Anon says:

    “… it really comes down to having a conscious!”

    I believe you mean “conscience”.

  6. Mike Stewart says:

    No joke Chris.

    Let’s just say that I am off my kilter…..

    take both ends…

    Me———————————————Klein
    What’s | right

    Sounds like a big improvement for Idearc.

    Why has Idearc failed to discuss the Executive fraud? Because we don’t hold the companies actions to a standard. Folks have had the YP axeman swinging over heads for years. Those days are over.

    Stay tuned to http://www.YellowCrooks.com . It is a new forum focused on creating transparency in the Yellow Page industry.

    http://www.twitter.com/yellowcrooks

  7. Dudley says:

    Couple quick questions:
    Have you had any backlash from your previous company regarding your comments? Although freedom of speech is our right, personal attacks could have legal action. Are you at all concerned your comments might force this? And can you elaborate on what you meant by “spanish reps” and screwing the company, shareholders, & local businesses out of money?

    • Mike Stewart says:

      My latest blog post might answer your concerns.

      By Spanish Reps, I mean the Spanish Book Sales division representatives. I am not speaking about an ethnic group, although in this case it does appear that many of the reps taking advantage of Idearc’s commission structure and sales fraud are in that unit or division do happen to be Hispanic. Hispanic reps and Spanish reps was stated to distinguish the meaning, but in today’s politically correct world it would only be right for me to disclose my meaning. By Spanish I meant Spanish Language Phone Book, by Hispanic I would then mean someone of Hispanic or Latino decent, like Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Central America. Why does Idearc continue to publish a Spanish Yellow Pages? The amount of credit and collections issues is atrocious. It might just be because the companies management pushing to put people in the product so that it shows results and appears to be useful. Great way to account for terrible marketing decisions. But trust me, as one of the companies most successful media reps, I can attest that they did very little to find out what is going on in the field. Idearc executives will soon realize as even a few of my former Hispanic Co-Workers have shared, need to be discontinued due to the cost, small margins, waste and lack of results.

      That said, I have a feeling Idearc will soon come to senses and the new SuperMedia LLC will discontinue those products.

      If not for those in the industry who don’t want to be embarrassed of our employer:
      For the sake of our doorsteps and landfills everywhere!

      Maybe Idearc should reconsider Surname research. Or stick to only secondary forms of distribution.

      Just imagine what would happen if someone put a banner against Verizon Yellow Pages for Yellow Pages phone books on an Anti-Illegal Immigration site or video on YouTube…. another social media nightmare for SuperMedia.

  8. T R says:

    Its been hard to find information about Idearc lately. Glad I found you. I was a Premise Rep in the midwest region and was one of the top sales people in my division. I am happy to be gone even though I am makeing much less money I sleep much better now. My training class in Dallas was the last one under the name Verizon Informaton Systems. I joined VIS and was informed in training that they were spinning off so I got one of those really nice Kathy Harless bridge photos (it went in the trash when I left).
    The company was good – I made some great friends and prior to them becoming Idearc things were really good. After Idearc it went downhill fast. One thing I noticed from day one was that the ideas they put forth as Idearc were good ideas – that is why other companies were doing them much better. We couldn’t compete with real direct mail companies – our programs just cost too much and results were non existent for many of my customers. How you can send out so many drops and not get one call and then have sold 4 or 5 customers for that drop and they don’t get any calls or just one or two – you can’t say “Hey, it was the message.”. So they leave with a bitter taste and you lose their trust and you find someone new – you also lose or cut back on their print advertising as well.
    Internet – they still have not gotten the hang of it. When it was easy to explain (hey mr customer – you pay just one cent more than the guy below you – it worked. When they made it “Mr customer – I don’t know what it will cost you – it depends on time of day, movement of the sun, and what you had for lunch.
    In our area no one has heard of Superpages but then they never put more than $5.00 in advertising in our market. All that money they spent the first time to give customers the idea of the new Idearc name – what a waste – the new commercials – no real call to action.
    I loved watching the Kool-Aid drinkers who were VP’s and trainers go down in flames. It took them too long to make their changes to reflect the market. The Yellow Page management philosophy of being a Dinosaur. The managers would ask what is happening and you would tell them and they would say you were wrong – the customers is stalling, lying or your not telling the truth. They would tell you what it was like when “They sold Yellow Pages 10-15 years ago” Dinosaurs as I said.
    I don’t know why I care about this company – I have been gone a year and moved on. I guess I tied my dreams to this promise and got burned and left a lot of friends in the ashes.
    So they are going to change their name – I wonder what B.S. they are going to tell the reps about that (MY guess is “tell them it better reflects who we are now and what we do . . . “.
    Online Phone Books – crap – My wife wouldn’t touch a computer and now she won’t touch the yellow pages – its just easier to find the info elsewhere.
    If I want a plumber, furnitue place etc. Just google it and I can find all the locations plus their webpages with a nice big map, a list of all they do etc.
    So Mr Scott Klien – play your games – watch them die on the vine and explain to the stockholders why your still at .01 / share. No matter how much cash reserves you have it doesn’t last forever.
    If a customer wants to learn about Idearc and googles them its fun to see what they can read – yea, that will prompt a phone call for business.
    Quit the fancy phone blitz’s asking “Can you handle more business” – it didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.
    What works is having a product that the customer can make money from and an honest company that practices those values in deeds and not in words. When premise reps did that – sold the customer what they needed they earned the trust from the customer. The first few times they dumped direct mail or internet on a customer and it didn’t work then you better start looking at Yellow Book for sales leads because your going to need another customer.

  9. Bob says:

    Nice to know that high level management will continue to receive outrageous salary, perks, and bonuses as they outsource jobs, fire personnel, alienate existing and prospective customers, and slowly strangle a once robust, viable, reliable, and wonderful company. Reorganization and zeroing out stock value with no distribution in new company allows them to thump chest and say that they saved the company. Any executive can fire employees and cut back on needed infrastructure and see a decrease in expenses (at the expense of productivity and clients).

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