Canpages CEO wages hair for more web traffic

Canpages’ Head Loses Bet to NVI and Shaves it All off on YouTube

VANCOUVER, BC.(RUSHPRNEWS)08/10/2008– When Canpages CEO, Olivier Vincent, approached NVI, an online interactive strategy shop, with the challenge “to take on the Yellow giant” of the directory industry in Canada, the solution was really something “to lose his hair over.”

Competing with directory giants like Yellow Pages Group, Vincent was not convinced that Canpages’ web visits could grow at the rate and speed that NVI CEO, Guillaume Bouchard was telling him. Bouchard challenged Vincent’s scepticism by betting the Canpages CEO, that if NVI could increase Canpages’ web traffic threshold from the 30,000 to 1 million unique visitors per month within a year, Vincent would have to shave his head in front of the whole company and broadcast it on the most used video-sharing website: youtube.com.

Vincent took on the challenge whole-heartedly, mostly assuming the odds were in his favour. Lucky and not so lucky for him, and within six months, Canpages’ visibility and web hit-rates rocketed. But what the company won in increased web traffic, Vincent lost in hair.

“I always love a good challenge,” said Bouchard regarding the bet, “but the opportunity to see Olivier shave his head on YouTube was really the driving force behind my plan.”(Watch the original video of CEO getting head shaved http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlV8Bpnm5AU)

Canpages establishes itself as a major force in the online directory world, poised and driven to take an industry lead for innovation and effectiveness. But with such a large user base using Google as the default search, Canpages has been constantly developing their features to create an added value to their service.

Although print directories are still a great source of revenue for companies such as Canpages, and continue to expand year to year, small businesses are demanding increased web-based visibility.  Canpages online directories and search services are successfully responding to this growing demand from tech savvy users.

Canpages now offers businesses the opportunity to insert videos, pictures, descriptions and several Map features that are not available through Google. On Canpages, users can use the site’s traffic cameras to make decisions on which streets to take, or even access local information such as public transportation directions. Building upon the Google Map base, Canpages has also improved Google Map features which did not take one way streets into consideration before.

With their revamped marketing strategies and joint ventures with strategic partners, not only has Canpages trafficking increased, but so has their branding. “Forming partnerships has played a positive role in Canpages recognition,” says Vincent. “People weren’t specifically searching for “Canpages” before, but now they are.”

The Canpages website now reaches over three million unique visitors monthly, a 100-fold increase in traffic when compared to the same period last year. It now grabs over 50 percent of yellowpages.ca/pagesjaunes.ca daily unique visitors.  Statistics show that within a twelve month period, Canpages acquired half of the unique visits that yellowpages.ca/pagesjaunes.ca has, and is penetrating markets that were closed to them until then. Per Google, the term ‘unique visitors’ represents the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to a website over the course of a specified time period.

This first graph (Google Trends, above) estimates the traffic for canpages.ca, yellowpages.ca and pagesjaunes.ca for the last 12 months.

The second graph (Alexa, below) compares the estimation of traffic between canpages.ca, yellowpages.ca and pagesjaunes.ca for the last 12 months. It is interesting to note that although these graphs differ in daily unique visitors, the proportions remain very similar through the two different tools used.

“The Canpages team knows that we’ve entered the Information Age, and that running an online business directory requires adaptation to be effective,” says Vincent. “With our strategic agility and our ability to digest and act upon a massive data, NVI has been a perfect fit for a singular results-driven vision, and that continues to help us provide the best and most profitable web directory user experience.” And Vincent adds, “if only my hair grew back as quickly as our business has in the past year, I would be a hairy guy. Next challenge is to beat the yellow pages in its own territory.” Vincent concludes, “Another challenge, another spot to shave?”

About Canpages

Canpages Inc. publishes more than 80 telephone directories across Canada with a total circulation exceeding 8 million. The company, headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, has almost 600 employees in offices located in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Canpages is owned by HM Capital Partners who, recognizing the potential of this business, invested more than $110 million into growing the company’s operations and markets. For more information, visit www.canpages.ca.

If you wish to set up an interview with Olivier Vincent, write Anne Howard at ahoward@nvisolutions.com, or/and contact her by phone at 514-523-3771 EST, or 310-295-9578 PST.

NVI

Anne Howard

Public Relations Associate

ahoward@nvisolutions.com

514-523-3771 (direct)

www.nvisolutions.com

www.nvisolutions.com/blog

Canpages

David Charron

Vice-President Business Development

604.422.7809 (direct)

toll free: 1.800.634.1476

www.canpages.ca

www.canpages.ca/blog