Sensis is looking at mobility as its salvation in the increasingly competitive search and online advertising
market. Speaking at an Australia -Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch yesterday, Sensis
CEO Bruce Akhurst said that while local advertising is an “economic powerhouse”, the key driver
to igniting its potential is mobility.
“It takes local advertising to a whole new level by putting local services in the hands of buyers
virtually no matter where they are. The Internet maybe exciting, but mobiles are addictive,” he said.
Countering analyst claims that Sensis faces a difficult time ahead as it is forced to cannibalise
its core revenue earner the White and Yellow Pages, moving it to mobility, Akhurst said pointed to
US research illustrating that Yellow Pages data is a major driver of mobile phone subscriptions.
“We can use our local content to not only increase advertiser reach to more potential buyers but
drive new subscription revenues. Sensis’ content will power Telstra’s leading edge technology, ”
he said. He added that “the bottom line is that new channels don’t just cannibalise existing channels…
they actually give people new reasons to search. So the local usage pie isn’t being carved
up – it’s growing.
That means more potential buyers and a much stronger value proposition to offer
our local advertisers.” Akhurst said “we have put some pretty bullish projections out there in terms
of our growth rates and what we are expecting. Our projections are still on track and we look forward
to releasing our annual results at the end of this financial year.” Over the next five years, Telstra
management has forecast that Sensis will double the size of its business and grow annual revenue
to more than $3 billion.