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Hi.  I’m Susan Dalton, VP of Engineering & Operations at LocaModa.  I’m new to LocaModa and new to the DOOH industry.  I’ve been here for two months and this is my first blog post.

I spent the last ten years selling and deploying Internet products to the Yellow Pages’ industry.   It was really frustrating; the industry leaders went to market with online local search features years after availability.  This was because the rare forward thinking YP executive was held hostage by a sales force that made good money, knew how to sell print ads, and had virtually no comprehension of the Internet.  What would compel a six figure commissioned sales person to sell a product that they didn’t understand?  Well, nothing, really. 

In the early years, 2000 – 2004, we heard the broken record from the YP industry. 

The book is here to stay. 

People have everything they need in the book.

Consumers don’t understand the Internet.

The advertisers don’t want it.

That coupled with a decades old culture steeped in the mantra – no mistakes:  we can’t fix them for a year – paralyzed forward progress on the YP websites.  Google, Yahoo! and others envied the countess SMB relationships and the plethora of enhanced content of the YPs.  But the YPs were not able to leverage that content.  The industry found itself burdened by a naïve sales force – whose ignorant resistence overpowered the momentum to transition to online.

The result?  The industry collapsed (just check out market caps from 2000 to 2010 of the leaders).  And the print book emerged as the enigma for the generations that followed.

Here we are again.  This time, it’s signage.  Why would a digital signage network want to connect to the Internet?  Why would a DOOH network want to connect their OOH signs with Facebook, text messaging, and tweets?  It’s oh so similar because the arguments are all the same.

They say:         The users don’t want it.

                        People like what we have.

                        Consumers don’t understand how to use it.

                        The brands aren’t buying in.

They mean:      I don’t understand Facebook.

                        What’s a tweet?

                        How can we deploy a campaign across multiple mediums?

New industry.  New company.  This time around, I hope we are all smarter.  We need to ensure that the front line is not burdened with fear and naïveté.  Whatever it takes, the industry leaders need to propel the sales force in to an aggressive campaign to sell a comprehensive DOOH solution.  Because if we don’t, isn’t the future predictable?



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One Response to “Been there. Done that.”

  1. Kyle Porter Says:

    Great post and welcome to the business Susan! You are on the right side of the curve. Love the pic; best of luck to you.

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