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I'm Sayin'??
Sunday, April 02, 2006
A Capitalist Society at Work
I found this article today.

Essentially, Verizon is publishing some generic ads in their Yellow Pages. To use the article's example, under the heading of "taxi" in the book, there is a generic ad that says
"Need a lift? 24 hour service. 7 days a week...reliable and professional."
Sounds pretty boilerplate. Here's the catch: depending on the day you call, you can be connected to any of a number of taxi services when you call the attached number. Your business is being sold to the highest bidder. Depending on the industry, Verizon will get at least $2 per call, and as much as - well, the sky's the limit. That's the beauty of a bidding process. Think about it. It doesn't make sense for a taxi service to pay more than $3 per call or so because the average fare would be what? 25 bucks or so? But...think about it like this: What about a roofing service after a tough storm has passed through town? How much would you pay to make sure that every customer who calls that number for one day talks to you? How about pizza delivery on Superbowl Sunday?

The logical hole to poke in this is the confusion it would cause if you find a roofer you like but can't find their business card or leave something in that taxi, but don't remember it until the next day. Tomorrow, that same number might connect you to another company. Verizon has you covered. The system remembers what roofing service or taxi service it connected you to, and the next time you call that number, it connects you to the same business that you worked with, regardless of who's the highest bidder for that day. Pretty smart, huh?

Big V is running the ads on a trial basis in Boston right now, but plan to roll the ads out to over 500 directories this year, with the ads appearing in dozens of categories. The profit potential here boggles the mind.

Wish I'd thought of it.

Know what I'm sayin'??
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