Directory, directory assistance and local search infrastructure provider Local Matters today announced a deal with European mobile search company Mobile People. According to the press release, “The collaboration between Local Matters and Mobile People is designed to bring new revenue opportunities to the Yellow Pages industry by combining mobile search capabilities with existing yellow and white pages information for competing in the growing search marketing industry.”
There are already a range of yellow pages-like mobile content services on the market. (Nokia has relationships in Europe with most of the local directory publishers and uses their data to power its local search product.) But the mobile needs and interests of consumers requires expansion way beyond traditional yellow pages content. The user experience is critical in mobile (even more than online) and directory publishers will need to rely on third parties with mobile expertise to create that user experience.
For yellow pages publishers, simply announcing, “now our content is wirelessly enabled,” will not be sufficient to gain consumer adoption in a segment that will be even more competitive and difficult than local search online.