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Whilst Sensis is no stranger to advertising on the Australian TV - the Yellow Pages "Not Happy Jan" adverts spring to mind - this is the first time that I can recall that the branding has been Sensis.
Spending some $8Million Aus on TV branding apparently, according to a news.com.au article.
"TELSTRA'S rivals were watching it closely for anti-competitive behaviour as Sensis yesterday launched Sensis 1234, the first of three search services designed to re-engineer Sensis as Australia's one-stop information shop.
Backed by an estimated $8 million television-led advertising campaign launched last night and tagged "All you need to know", the new premium operator-assisted voice service will be accessed when Telstra fixed-line and mobile customers dial 1234."
Full Article at : [news.com.au...]
joined:Mar 3, 2003
Somehow I don't know if $A8M worth of TV ads could be recouped in a hurry, but it's all branding, after all.
The offerings of the beta search look promising (apart from not listing me in top positions of course) and would certainly bolster up the Aussie Search market. Looking forward to the launch.
I know it is only early days, I do find it dissapointing that although using the "Australia Only" button does change the SERPs, it does not restrict it to only Aussie results. They results still come from all over the globe, so I am not sure what the difference is.
It is also very interesting what it considers to be the most important (highest ranked sites). There seems to be a very strong bias to sites with the key phrase in the domain name.
I don't understand the logic in page it places at the top of the results for a site. For one of our sites it did not pick the home page, nor the theme page (This is the highest in Google), but uses one of the minor pages.
With the advertising money that Telstra is throwing at this project I am worried. Telstra has a history of being a bully in the market place, but this time there is large domestic competition from NineMSN and international competition from Google.
On the positive side, it will be good news if you can actually find stuff in their Yellowpages site though.
I am still befuddled as to why so much money is being thrown at promoting an engine still in it's infancy. Anzwers attained far better traffic flow without all the TV hoopla, albeit in a less competative environment.
And certainly the referrals are not there as yet on the few Aussie sites I look after.
Thoughts anyone? Should they be using the Ad money on product improvement?
I am still befuddled as to why so much money is being thrown at promoting an engine still in it's infancy
Sometimes it's more important to be first than to be best. Which they are, in a sense, for a mainstream local Aussie search engine. If this is one of those instances where it's better to be first, I'm not sure...
Remember this is the company that spent millions on the Telstra.com portal brand, only to ditch it later on.
I found their advanced search and geo search very difficult to use.
So search is different for Sensis. Sensis are used to spending heaps on 'panic the customer' advertising: - 'not happy Jan' - 'if you don't advertise in our book, you'll get no phone calls for the next year' advertising.
Being the only yellow pages directory in Australia - small business does get scared of what may happen if they don't advertise - and most just pay up.
Sensis are trying to do the same thing with their search product. But the major difference is - they have competitors (Yahoo Local search/ Google/ Overture); and their competitors have more compelling PPC products, with better systems, and - more importantly - with a larger and more established client and ad syndication base.
I think Sensis have totally underestimated the tecnical aspects of search - and their competitors.
Sensis should have built a 'better' product with the $10 or $12M they are spending advertising their half baked 1234 service.
The fact that Sensis have waited until 2004 to do anything about entering the search market (and then its strategic move was to buy bits of Looksmart..) just shows how strategic and well planned the whole search market strategy really has been for Sensis.........
Once Howard is no longer around to take the flack for any price fall I think they will go down, his support is keeping them up at present I think.
I'm not good at predicting these things but it's just my two cents worth.
The challenge they are facing is that their results are still not that good (as we all know), although multiple keyword phrases are a bit better. However, they really need to improve the qualty of the organic listings before people will start to take notice, until then PPC is too much an unknown quantity.
Throwing mega TV dollars at it won't fix the problem.
PS, I gave that advice to a client recently, and the scary part was that after working together for two years, he finally understood what I said. :)
PS, I gave that advice to a client recently, and the scary part was that after working together for two years, he finally understood what I said.
Careful Woz - keep educating your client like that and soon they won't need you! Got to keep them in the dark just a little bit!
Just curious to know if anyone is getting any decent traffic from Sensis as yet? I have some good rankings and from looking at the quality of results it seems Sensis has improved quite alot (considering the poor quality of their beta results).
So far I haven't experienced much traffic from Sensis and considering the high rankings in the search engine I would have expected more by now. Also anybody else annoyed about their featured listings? They are not very distinguishable from the regular results.
I've closed them down now because the time taken to administer the account simply wasn't worth the traffic.