elocal Listing Corporate Case Study: Search Visionaries1 Jul, 2011 By: Bridget McCrea Response
eLocal Listing helps companies of all sizes harness the power of local search.
Tim Judd has a message to share with all marketers: “Whether you like it or not, your audience has fractured, so get over it.” The same consumers who just 10 years ago were reachable through one or two means are now tuned into television, radio, websites, blogs and social media, he says, and search is at the root of those and most other channels that marketers are scrambling to add to their repertoires right now.
“You can’t get away with just buying a few pay-per-click keywords anymore,” says Judd, president and CEO at Temecula, Calif.-based eLocal Listing, a provider of search-driven lead generation solutions for local businesses. “You have to cover search thoroughly or risk getting left behind.”
Judd points to the “two guys running their company from a garage” example as proof of search’s power. On the Internet, no one can discern the size of that operation, or its prowess. “A national leader in the same industry as those two guys can easily get crowded out, mainly because the larger firm is still thinking in 1990s marketing terms,” says Judd. “What it doesn’t realize is that it’s a messy world out there; you have to cover all of the bases.”
In fact, the word “messy” is an understatement, according to Judd, who envisions a time when marketers struggle to engage consumers and drive leads in an increasingly global world. “It’s a nightmare,” says Judd, “and we’re in the middle of it, helping to untangle this massive ball of string.”
Deciphering the Code
Founded in 2007, eLocal Listing isn’t Judd’s first foray into the world of search. In fact, he’s a pioneer in the field. In 1999, he joined Fast Search and Transfer (FAST), a provider of enterprise search solutions, as director of business development. An early competitor in the Web search wars of the early 2000s, FAST was later acquired by Overture Advertising, which was subsequently merged into Yahoo.
Judd’s next stop was Terra Lycos, which — at the time — was another large player in the search game. There he was responsible for the maintenance and growth of the company’s SideSearch product, which displayed related web links in a panel on users’ Internet Explorer browsers.
After racking up success at two major search firms, Judd was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. “At that point, I knew that I wanted to form my own U.S.-based search consulting firm,” recalls Judd, who started Contraco USA, an international search and consulting company focusing on vertical applications of innovative search technology.
Around the time Judd decided to strike out on his own, a few kids in a college dorm were making waves with an innovative search engine known as Google. “There was a clear winner in the national search space, followed by a clear second place and third place,” says Judd. “For anyone else to break into national search would require an enormous war chest, which was pretty impossible to come by.”
Uninterested in going head-to-head with Google — despite his expertise in the national search arena — Judd set his sights on what he calls “the next big frontier” — local search. Unlike the soup-to-nuts national searches, local search utilizes specialized search engines and geographically constrained parameters to provide only those results applicable to a structured database of local business listings.