The company’s history is rooted in performance-based advertising and it is attempting to enhance its services with local ad-targeting capabilities. In January, YP acquired Sense Networks, a 10-person startup that offers location and behavioral-based ad-targeting capabilities. It also partnered with Yelp in March, allowing YP advertisers to add content to Yelp listings.
Even through YP pulled in approximately $350 million in mobile ad revenue in 2012 (it is working on its 2013 figures), and has a sales staff of more than 3,000 people, it is “the biggest company that people haven’t heard of,” Lebow said. “Brand and consumer awareness are gigantic priorities, and so is enhancing the usage and usability of our YP app and the onsite experience.”
YP faces competition from numerous players who are also racing to deliver local, targeted ads to consumers. Facebook recently began collecting its users’ location history, which it could apply to ads and Google lets advertisers show ads that are triggered by searches on Google Maps. Twitter is also reportedly working on its own location-based mobile ad capabilities.