Clickable Unveils 'Platform,' Seeks To Make Local Lead-Gen More Manageable

As part of its bid to become the "Apple" of online advertising management, Clickable Monday introduced "Platform," a new white-label solution enabling online marketers - especially small-, medium-sized, and big national marketers with lots of local or franchise marketing needs - to manage their local search and lead generation businesses more easily and efficiently.

The rollout of the Clickable Platform, is another key step toward making the complexity of online advertising management simpler for companies that don't have the scale, resources and wherewithal of big online marketing enterprises, says David Kidder, co-founder and CEO of Clickable, who is prone to use the Apple analogy to illustrate Clickable's positioning in the market.

"We are not chasing the enterprise marketplace," he explains. "We work with smaller and mid-size businesses, everyone from the local advertiser all the way up to the so-called professional, but we are not focused on the enterprise customer."

Kidder says that's a good thing, because "99%" of the online advertising marketplace is comprised of non-enterprise clients. That's based on the number of companies, not on their revenues, he notes, citing Google as an example, which he estimates derives about half its revenues from 1% of its customers.

By offering smaller online marketers a turnkey solution that they can white label as their own online management system, Kidder believes Clickable will help professionalize the long-tail of the online advertising economy. As such, the rollout of Clickable Platform adds another important component to that solution, a powerful performance-based technology infrastructure that, when coupled with Clickable's search advertising solutions, will enable online marketers to more easily convert leads, and grow their businesses.

The Platform can be used by any brand, but Kidder says it is especially well-suited for online marketers that have a lot of localized lead generation and conversion needs, such as franchise-based companies that have national brand marketing, but local sales. One of the Platform's first customers, not surprisingly, is Franchise Company Solutions, a company that specializes in managing online advertising and marketing for thousands of franchise businesses nationwide. Another is LexisNexis, the unit of Reed Elsevier that markets databases to lawyers and other professional services, but which also is utilizing the Clickable Platform to develop a lead-generation business.

"LexisNexis has 500,000 lawyers listing their services. This gives them a way to generate leads," Kidder explains, adding that when someone "search for lawyers in Westchester" via Google or Yahoo or another search engine, the Clickable Platform allows local lawyers to convert those leads.

"It's all done in a beautiful, elegant black box," Kidder boasts, emphasizing the simplicity of the Clickable Platform. Clickable's margins on the leads generated range from 15% to 30%, he says.

Other categories well suited to utilize the platform, he says, are media sales organizations with localized companies, such as cable TV systems, TV or radio stations, newspapers, or the certified marketing representatives of Yellow Pages and directories.

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