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On Target Podcast: Gordon Henry, CMO, DexYP

Thryv

Dex Media’s June acquisition of YP to create DexYP was a disruptive event in the local search industry, combining two giant competitors who were pursuing very different strategies.

While both companies were in the business of making SMBs’ phones ring, Dex was making a big bet on expanding  beyond media into something more akin to software as a service. DexYP offers a platform called Thryv that allows SMBs to “operate their business through their phone,” says DexYP CMO Gordon Henry.

Henry believes this new direction will move DexYP into a new business that is much larger than the existing Yellow Pages industry.

In the latest On Target podcast, we spoke with Henry about the acquisition and what it means for DexYP. We also spoke at length about Thryv (formerly DexHub), and how it represents a new direction for DexYP and for the local search industry.

The premise behind Thryv dovetails with the rationale for LSA’s new Tech Adoption Index initiative, which is measuring and tracking the emerging SMB cloud-based tools ecosystem. DexYP is a charter sponsor of this initiative.

“Across the U.S., small businesses are in a tough position right now,” Henry said on the podcast. “The are facing competition from national chains, regional chains and VC backed start ups. They are getting Starbucked and Amazoned and Dominoed to death. The big companies have technologies and tools that SMBs don’t have.”

With Thryv, DexYP is betting that the movement to arm SMBs with these tools once confined to the enterprise space is the next big opportunity for companies addressing the small-business market.

Thryv is a platform that includes a customer relationship management system at its core, with the ability to engage with customers with email and text reminders, run email campaigns, engage via social media, manage listings, book appointments, and now handle payments, among other features.

The YP acquisition first and foremost gives Dex access to more customers for Thryv, with a combined post-merge customer base topping 700,000 small businesses.

Thryv is more akin to a SaaS product than the lead generating media products Yellow Pages companies are used to selling. This begs the question whether a company built to sell Yellow Pages is suited to selling software. Henry acknowledged that DexYP’s sales approach is transforming.

“The way that we are selling is changing pretty dramatically,” he said. “Thryv is a big piece of it, but not the only reason.”

DexYP still has outbound premise and telesales reps. But it is becoming more inbound focused and omnichannel. The company is using content marketing to drive form fills that are then handled by an inbound telesales channel. And DexYP has a buy it yourself online channel as well.

Henry revealed that DexYP is actively recruiting resellers, from the LSA community and beyond. DexYP estimated the U.S. addressable market for Thryv is about 8 million. Henry doesn’t see DexYP reaching all those businesses without affiliates and resellers.

As DexYP expands into this new business operations space, its opportunities are expanding, but so is its competitive set.

Henry recognizes this and noted that companies like Square and Infusionsoft are as much on their radar as legacy media sellers. But he also believes many competitors are also potential partners.

“We are aware of all of these, but we feel that we are forging something unique,” Henry said.

Anyone who is interested in getting in touch with Henry can reach him at Gordon.Henry@dexyp.com.

You can listen to the full podcast interview below:

 

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