update on the Merger click below:
According to Media Post, for the first time in history digital ad revenues is set to top print in 2010.
The long-predicted tipping point has arrived, with total U.S. digital advertising and marketing revenues set to surpass print revenues in 2010, according to a new study from Outsell, a consulting and research group serving the information industry.
This prediction, based on Outsell’s annual survey of over 1,000 U.S. advertisers and marketers in December 2009, heralds one of the most important symbolic milestones in the history of online advertising.
Altogether, U.S. advertisers and marketers plan to spend $368 billion in 2010, Outsell found — up 1.2% from about $364 billion in 2009. Within the 2010 figure, 32.5% ($119.6 billion) will go to digital, versus 30.3% ($111.5 billion) for print.
Savvy investors might have noticed that SuperMedia is now reporting all revenues lumped together for the companies print and electronic product., something that competitors are not doing. This is believed to be a plan by CEO Scott Klein to cover-up the fact that electronic revenues are not growing as they believed they would and the company no longer has a shining star among the 20%+ year over year declines in total revenues. In my opinion it is a sinking ship destined to end up at the bottom of the sea. Online revenue growth was previously something the company wanted to show off, so now they are only reporting overall revenues to Wall Street investors so they cannot determine that their .com product offering (or lackthereof) is suffering. Do you think they are hiding something? As an insider to both SuperMedia and Local Search Marketing, I can attest that this rumor is most likely true.
I am going to go out on a limb and predict folks start jumping ship…. I wonder if the CEO will be the last guy on board? Likely not! He and “his executive team” are probably down in the treasury looking for every last dime they can pocket before the big sell-off.
-Rod Diedendorf, the next in line behind Briggs Ferguson (former President of Internet who left the company recently) SuperMedia’s other senior internet guy, the companies VP of Internet Consumer Products is going to leave the company soon.
– New registrations for the SuperGuarantee Program are not what the company expected. It is very low and these numbers are being ignored by a few senior management folks. I am sure that SuperMedia CEO Scott Klein knows nothing about this.
– The attempt to convert the Super Guarantee shield into the BBB logo are also failing. Contrary to the companies propaganda and lip service, they are not slowing the revenue decline, partially due to the decline of traditional media amongst a shift to digital.
– The offering of “Integrated Advertising Solutions” to local SMBs is challenging since SuperMedia’s direct mail products are overpriced, print is rapidly declining with mobile search and search growth, internet products are marked up and resold from Google’s huge volume of traffic, and web-based products are worst in class. The only positive offering is the fact that the company will extend credit to anyone regardless of the clients ability to handle the calls or pay the bills. Sales results are like counting chickens before they hatch. While competitors like AT&T do not report earnings or operate with such trickery, Idearc/SuperMedia has been doing this for YEARS!
– Paulson, the hedge fund that purchased 17+% of SuperMedia, is working on a deal with Dex One, the post bankrupt R.H. Donnelley, to purchase SuperMedia and considering that the companies executives pocketed much of the company’s stock they are set to walk away from this with millions and the company will be gone.
– SuperMedia has hired yet another consulting group, likely Alexander Proudfoot, to strategize for sales improvements or due diligence. I am sure they are looking at the business to find the best means of integrating Dex One and Super Media.
Does the potential merger with Dex One mean that the stock is a good buy, likely not. In my opinion traditional media companies like SuperMedia have a horrible product offering compared to leading edge local search companies like Yelp and even Briggs Ferguson’s former company CitySearch.
I remember when CEO Scott Klein came to the Texas local sales offices to do a “State of the Business” address. Apparently he had little clue as to the true state of the business after taking the companies helm. Instead of relieving the concerns of tenured employees (like myself) and new hires, Klein proceeded to pander employees with his “7 Keys to Success.” At the time the companies stock was dropping like a rock (partially due to naked short sellers and Wall Street’s inability to understand the cyclical nature of the Yellow Page industry.) I am sure that the mood and sentiment of sales reps is at an all time low. The reason being is Klein came in and took a very basic fundamental business and added more hurdles vs removing them. He forced all sales reps to adapt to a CRM, SalesForce.com, to record all “sales” actions by employees. Reps are required to navigate the CRM after each call to get credit for “activities.” Klein, who once promised not to micro-manage the sales divisions, has turned the company into a telemarketing call center vs local advertising consultancy. Sales reps are frustrated with the additional time-consuming activities and are also having problems selling the companies inferior offering. The real reason the challenge exist in sales is not because of the CRM or management, but due to the fact that in most cases the company is failing to deliver on the promises of sales. Traffic to SuperPages.com’s network is declining in a fragmented local search market. Sales reps have a conscience. They are unwilling to sell products to clients that they feel will not meet the needs of clients.
– Scott Klein will proceed to pad his personal pockets further.
– Klein’s henchman Jessie Vickers is no longer going after sales fraud.
All of this information is of course guesswork, rumor, and speculation.
In my personal opinion Scott Klein needs to be relieved of his duties. The company desperately needs new leadership. Employees need to strike and request a company take-over. If they fail to act, they will soon be working for a new employer or lose employment.
I have a few ideas that I would love to present to a company like SuperMedia who wants to offer the best in local search marketing. I also have a few ideas to really distinguish a print product from the other in the marketplace, and it does not require millions of dollars worth of TV advertising.
Grab your life vests, hold on tight, and stay tuned folks! It is going to be a quick ride down, just don’t abandon ship too late or you will also drown with the company.