When I was at the Kelsey Group conference ILM’08 I spoke with a number of different companies about the services that they provide. One of those was AgendiZe.  They provide some interesting options for small business, so I did some extra q&a with Alexandre Rambaud (founder and CEO) of AgendiZe.

Q. What is AgendiZe and what do you guys do?
A. AgendiZe offers a full suite of user engagement tools to help SMBs, yellow pages publishers and marketing companies generate more leads in online marketing initiatives. In other words, instead of just clicks, we help any company generate actual phone calls, emails, customer interactions and real-world store visits from their online campaigns.

Q. How long have you been around?
A.  We started five years ago and now power more than 3 million local online ads.

Q. How can your services help small business promote themselves online?
A. AgendiZeMe, our Call-to-Action toolkit for SMBs, helps local businesses increase their conversion rates in two ways. First, we make it easy for consumers that visited their website or saw an ad or email to contact them live with free Click-to-Call. Second, we help customers revisit them later, remember and save business product or service information, and recommend it to their friends & colleagues on more than 80 services and devices, including cell phones (SMS), social networks (ie. Facebook, MySpace), email, IM, address books, calendars, PDAs and more.

Q. Have you found one particular click to action to be the most effective?
A. Send to Phone and Send to Address Book are two of the most effective Call-to-Action tools that consumers use the most. Your customers are busy people who, even if they’re interested, don’t have time to call you or visit your store right now. However, if you give them the ability to save your contact information to their phone or address book, you give them an easy way to save your business information and quickly contact you in the future when the time is right.

Over the past five years, we’ve seen that SMBs who offer a combination of 10+ different AgendiZe Call-to-Action tools (including Click-to-Call) within their websites, ads or emails can generate up to up to 20 times more direct customer interactions (ie. Calls, emails, in-store visits, etc.).

Q. Can you provide some live examples of where Agendize is being used?

  • Yellowbook.com: Deployment of Click-to-Call and Click-to-Save & Share on over 700,000 advertisers.
  • Bermudayp.com: Deployment of Click-to-Comment & Rate on all their advertiser listings. Deployment of Click-to-Call and Click-to-Save & Share on all advertiser listings
  • Yellowpages.ca: Deployment of Click-to-Save & Share on 400,000 advertisers and 2 million business listings. Yellow Pages Group Canada also offers the SMBs to copy & paste for free some “Call-to-Action” features into their web site. See example here:
  • Herboristeriedesjardins.com

Q. Where do you see social marketing going these days?
A. We’re seeing a move towards closer integration with Permission Marketing. It’s important Marketers understand that at one point you must rely on the users themselves to make an actual decision and move to the next stage in the decision/buying process.  A traditional online ad boosts awareness but it does not necessarily make it any easier for the consumer to make that quick decision.

The key is to make it super-convenient for users to remember, recommend or contact a business. Users rely on their community of friends and colleagues to help them make decisions, so you must help social consumers share your business information across not just one, but all social networks, platforms and devices quickly and easily.

Q. Where do you see local search marketing going in the next year or so?
A. The local search market is getting more and more mature. Therefore, many local businesses are now starting to move beyond just generating more traffic, but also increasing their existing conversion rates. Traffic is important, but implementing tools to increase the conversion rate (especially from online views to off-line sales and store visits) and better track that traffic is critical for businesses. At least 1/3 of marketing budgets should be dedicated to conversion in order to optimize the ROI of your online traffic.