MONTREAL - Deals, coupons and promotions.
That's what Yellow Pages Group (TSX:YLO.UN) is counting on consumers to want more of, and advertisers to offer both online and on smartphones like iPhones and BlackBerrys.
The directory publisher said Monday it made two acquisitions to boost its Internet presence and target the increasing number of smartphone users.
The idea is to provide shoppers with coupons on their mobile devices as an easy alternative to paper ones.
"It's handy and you didn't have to cut it out," president and CEO Marc Tellier said in an interview.
"You didn't forget it in the car, you didn't leave it home and so on."
The Montreal-based company has acquired Clear Sky Media Inc., owner of bargaining hunting site RedFlagDeals.com, technology shopping comparison site PriceCanada.com, and Scarlett Lounge, which features fashion, beauty and travel deals aimed at women.
Yellow Pages Group will also buy the 411.ca brand and acquire an ownership interest in 411 Local Search Corp.
Terms of the deals were not immediately available.
Tellier said coupons on mobile phones will likely mean that shoppers will more likely take advantage of the offers when they are made available later this year.
"The smart devices, the mobile phones today, in our opinion, will proliferate the use of deal redemption."
RedFlagDeals.com is a leading provider of online promotions and shopping tools for Canadians, with an estimated 2.2 million unique visitors per month.
"We will also be able to offer YPG's vast customer base of approximately 385,000 advertisers easy access to our deals and coupon distribution outlets," said Derek Szeto, president and founder of Clear Sky Media.
"In joining one of Canada's leading online media companies, we will now be able to bring even more deals, more coupons and more savings to our growing community of Internet and mobile consumers."
Tellier said with the acquisition of 411.ca will complement Yellow Pages' Canada411.ca site, which is a free people and business search directory.
"It's very much a natural extension of our platform," he said, noting there has been some "confusion" with web links between it and Yellow Pages' Canada411.ca.
Tellier said the acquisitions will increase Yellow Page's web audience to 11 million unique visitors per month, up from nine million.
A unique visitor counts only the number of computers through their IP addresses that accessed the website, not how many times one person visited it.
The Montreal-based directory company, which is the main operating business of Yellow Pages income Fund (TSX:YLO.UN), also owns YellowPages.ca, an online version of the company's printed directories.
Yellow Pages is on track to have 20 per cent of its revenues in 2010 come from digital applications, Tellier has said.
But he has said he hasn't yet seen a turning point when digital and print revenues will be equal.