YP Attempts To Close Its Targeting Loops Around Display/Search, National/Local

The release of YP Audience Extension will allow YP’s brand clients to target 70 million consumers based on desktop search activity.

YP's display/search, nat-lo connection
YP’s display/search, nat-lo connection

Local online business directory publisher YP is offering national advertisers another way to access the company’s first-party data based on the searches of the 70 million unique monthly visitors who search its platform.

The searches on YP’s properties provide clear insight about consumers’ intent when it comes to finding local businesses and services.

As large enterprises with thousands of outlets across the country seek to streamline and align their national-to-local marketing and ad targeting programs, today’s official launch of the YP Audience Extension could prove valuable to both YP and its roughly 1,000 national clients.

Search-based Display Targeting

And while YP and others in the space see cross-platform and mobile targeting as important areas of focus for building new business, it is worth noting that the YP Audience Extension is clearly aimed at drawing a straight connection between desktop searches and real-time display ad targeting, said Luke Edson, YP’s SVP of National Markets unit.

“Consumers use YP to find local businesses that they’re ready to transact with,” Edson said. “Many of those 70 million YP users will click, call, and convert right from the search or listing ad on our site, on the mobile site, or on the app. At the same time, we drop cookies, especially on the desktop site. Those cookies tell us what consumers searched for, on what day, and at what time. That allows us to provide a deeper level of relevant, search-based retargeting to power national clients locally-focused display ads.”

Local Actions, Powered By Rocket Fuel

To harness that data, YP has turned to Rocket Fuel, the programmatic display platform that has been turning its own attentions to local advertising products even as it faces the recent loss of its CEO and an 11 percent reduction in staffing.

“We are using Rocket Fuel’s technology to power our ability to both target and optimize the YP Audience Extension,” Edson said, adding that more advertising partners will ultimately be added.

The creation of the YP Audience Extension follows several moves to expand and promote the company’s consumer data. It began with the continued integration of mobile geo-targeting software from in Sense Networks, which YP acquired in Jan. 2014.

YP's Luke Edson
YP’s Luke Edson

YP’s Sweet Spot

With Sense Networks’ system more completely absorbed, this past March YP established its search marketplace, which is an auction-modeled, keyword-based, cost-per-click platform for cross-platform ad placements. The YP Audience Extension is meant to close the loop around search and mobile by bringing similar capabilities to the desktop display and search, which is still where most of online ad dollars flow into.

“This is about rounding out our portfolio,” Edson said, noting that while his purview covers national clients, other YP units, such as those focused on small-to-medium sized businesses and mobile may develop additional products based on this one. “The outcomes from using the YP Audience Extension can be clicks and conversions online, but they can also be calls and appointments, and right down to leading someone to walk into a business location. It sits in our sweet spot of driving local customers to our largest national advertisers.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.