Business to Business Publishing and Golf Yellow Pages-Sellbox Case Study


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Golf Yellow Pages is a business directory used by golf course personnel to find golf businesses. This case study looks at how Sellbox transformed Golf Yellow Pages over a five year period following its acquisition in 2005.

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Business to Business Publishing and Golf Yellow Pages-Sellbox Case Study

  1. 1. Business-to-Business Publishing and the Golf Yellow Pages a Sellbox Case Study by David Wogahn
  2. 2. Golf Yellow Pages is a business directory used by golf coursepersonnel to find golf businesses. This case study looks athow Sellbox transformed Golf Yellow Pages over a five yearperiod following its acquisition in 2005.Contents1. Introduction2. Strategy3. Execution Highlights a. Establishing industry partnerships b. Refreshing the brand c. Managing the data d. Niche website development e. Digital workflow replaces print workflow f. Re-inventing the print directory4. Conclusions a. Publishers vs. Agencies b. Three Trends5. About Sellbox
  3. 3. The golf ecosystem consists of four stakeholders: golf courses,trade organizations, golf businesses and the golfing public. Golfcourses use Golf Yellow Pages to find business resources.• U.S. golf course managers spend $17.5 billion a year to operate their facilities and golfers spend $25 billion annually on green fees and golf products.• The golf boom that began in the mid 1990’s was on the mend after 9/11. Tiger Woods was unbeatable. Industry research forecasted growing demand as baby boomers began nearing retirement.• Originally founded in 1994, the Golf Yellow Pages was acquired in 2005 by Sellbox investors.• Sellbox core strengths—data management & analytics, sales, business development and Internet technology—ideal for executing the vision and strategy. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  4. 4. Our vision was to expand into digital media while leveraging thebrand to create an industry-wide resource.Strategy Execution Highlights1. Establish industry partnerships 1. Establishing industry partnerships2. Improve efficiency using technology 2. Refreshing the brand3. Launch new digital services 3. Managing the data 4. Embracing the Internet 5. Digital workflow replaces print workflow 6. Re-inventing the print directory Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  5. 5. PARTNERSHIPS: Over the course of three years we went from noindustry relationships to partnerships with seven respected tradeassociations, three tradeshows and three golf media companies.Partnership Criteria Benefits and Successes1. Will our relationship with this group reinforce 1. Special ad packages provided value to both our position as an industry resource? the partner and their member/customer.2. Are the prospective partner’s members 2. Reduced cost of marketing. potential advertisers? 3. Created goodwill within the industry.3. Or if not a potential advertiser, will our 4. Provided access to new businesses for further partnership increase circulation and directory marketing. usage thereby benefiting our advertisers? 5. Barter arrangements reduced cash4. Does this relationship provide us with access requirements. to new golf businesses? 6. Favored status (as a partner) accelerated awareness among new companies. 7. Media partnerships created additional visibility for both partners and did not result in lost advertising sales. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  6. 6. BRANDING: Modernize the look and differentiate the brand fromlocal consumer yellow pages.Considerations: Actions:1. How to modernize the look without 1. Shortened the name. abandoning our history. 2. Clearly communicated a national business focus.2. Can we make it seem more Internet-friendly? 3. Replaced traditional yellow page colors of black3. What about colors? and yellow with blue and green.4. How do you position the name to reflect more 4. Refined design elements to reflect a more than a print directory? updated look. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  7. 7. DATA: How do you manage 8,000 business listings, 17,000 golfcourse listings and 23,000 contacts from three offices using Excel?Answer: You can’t.• We implemented’s cloud-based customer relationship management system in 2006. We use it to: – Manage sales and sales prospecting – Maintain business and golf course listings – Send mass emails targeted to specific audiences• Implemented in 30 days without assistance from Salesforce consulting personnel.• We created workflows and specially-designed reports to support print directory publishing. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  8. 8. INTERNET: We develop websites that feature niche content;support & educate business partners; use off-the-shelf technologyto control costs and simplify management and training. An online directory for A media products portal specific to golf advertisers and key businesses and designed to monetize long-tail traffic FAQs and articles about buying A Craig’s List-like classifieds website mailing lists and direct mail services for buying and selling used turf equipment [phased out] Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  9. 9. WORKFLOW: The print-centric workflow had numerous variables and manual steps. The new digital workflow leveraged our investments in Salesforce and websites to create for a production time savings of ~ 40%. Customers benefited by receiving lower prices and control over the process.Print-Centric Ad Design Process Manual Final Layout Order Review Edits Processing Design ApprovalNew Internet-Centric Ad Design Process Final Layout Order Approval Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  10. 10. RE-INVENTING THE PRINT DIRECTORY: In 2010 we took advantage of our new workflows to re-think the core print directory—design, production, distribution and how it is sold.Change 00-09 2011 Results/Benefits Handbook size easier to handle. LessReduced Size 8” x 10.5” 6” x 9” expensive to manufacture. Smaller size results in thicker book.Accelerated Release Longer shelf-life. Spring Early JanuaryDate Easier to sell, easier to understand, fewerReduced Ad Types 48 different ad units 6 ad units decisionsReduced Time for Indesign expert simplified import and 4 weeks 2 weeksProduction/Layout format processShortened Selling More efficient use of time. Reduces 10 months 3.5 monthsPeriod customer procrastination. Mailings timed to opening of coursesTimed Distribution created interest in new advertising Single mailing Multiple mailingto Golf Seasons opportunity. This new revenue reduced postage costs by 95%. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  11. 11. Business-to-business marketing has fundamentally changed thepast two years. Publishers now offer agency-like services whileagencies help businesses build & manage audiences. Why?Three key reasons:1. When the “great recession” of 2008 reduced marketing budgets publishers and agencies began searching for new revenue.2. New consumer technologies (i.e. devices, social media, high-speed wireless delivery) are re-writing the rules of marketing and customer engagement.3. The Internet continues to condition businesses to expect media measurement. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  12. 12. Three Trends for Business-to-Business Publishers1. Companies will become ‘brand publishers’ as they build and manage their own audience using tools like email newsletters, social media, ebooks and mobile apps. The B2B marketer’s role is to help them manage their audience: define and write new content, apply best practices and find new audience members.2. Publishers will open their internal systems to business partners. For example, a publisher could manage an industry-wide database of contact information and allow access based on certain conditions.3. Consumers are replacing businesses as the driving force behind device adoption and media consumption. They are educated about capabilities and their personal usage is creating high levels of expectations. B2B marketers can help ‘brand publishers’ (businesses) secure the right content into the right formats for audience engagement. Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About
  13. 13. About SellboxSellbox works with businesses and publishers on epublishing strategies, ebook marketingand ebook conversions. We were founded in 2002 by Internet veteran and mediaentrepreneur David Wogahn, co-founder of the first university athletic department websitenetwork (, now part of CBS Sports) and Times Mirror Multimedia.In addition to digital media consulting Sellbox is also the parent company of print andonline business publisher Golf Yellow Pages. Golf Yellow Pages was acquired by Sellboxin is home to Wogahn’s blog about the latest in digital media tools, marketingand commentary on industry developments. He is a community leader for Kindlepublishing and performs public speaking engagements on the topic of ebook publishing.For more information visit Introduction Strategy Highlights Conclusions About