Thomson Local is looking to bolster its online business with the launch of new services including consumer-to-consumer advertising and a new function to allow users to rate advertisers’ services.
The launches on Thomsonlocal.com are due to be revealed this year, though a date is yet to be confirmed. The company claims both schemes are a “first” for the directories market.
Gary Brown, Thomson Local product and marketing director, says it is planning to offer a “small ads” service to consumers, which will allow them to take out ads to help them sell products.
It will also allow users to write reviews and rate companies they have done business with. Advertisers will be given the opportunity to defend any negative claims.
He adds: “We have a strategy to grow the internet part of our business, while maintaining our print revenues. New initiatives [this year] are mostly going to centre around the internet.”
Brown says that it does not expect to be particularly hard hit by the recession, as small businesses look to maintain their share and turn to targeted means of advertising.
He says that as part of its marketing activity, it will look to boost awareness of its association with the Nectar loyalty scheme.
In June last year, Thomson Local announced a deal to become the exclusive UK agent and partner for EuroPages.com, the B2B directory company. It principally serves the European market but its online directory features over 900,000 businesses worldwide.