Leaders of PagesJaunes the French Yel low Pages company realized a few years

Leaders of pagesjaunes the french yel low pages

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Leaders of PagesJaunes, the French Yel- low Pages company, realized a few years ago that selling ads in thick yellow print directories would not remain viable for long in an age of Google and Yelp. The company’s CEO saw an opportunity to re- direct the business toward digital services. Instead of selling ads in books, the com- pany could sell online advertising. It could also help small businesses build digital ca- pabilities such as Web pages and search engine optimization. Managers saw that the assets related to printing and deliver- ing books would have little use in the new model, but the company’s knowledge of local businesses and the relationships its salespeople had with business owners were potentially critical assets going for- ward. By leveraging existing data and retraining the sales force, the company is attempting to reinvent itself in partner- ship with former competitor Google Inc. and other born-digital companies. Al- though the future of the global Yellow Pages industry is still uncertain, Pages- Jaunes began ramping up digital revenues in France faster than physical revenues were declining. The exponential growth of digital in- formation, combined with increasingly sophisticated analytics capabilities, means that data should be considered an asset class in its own right. Analytics are useful for more than just optimizing business processes. Many companies are using ana- lytics, or even gathering new categories of data, to radically change their products and services. For instance, with its Snapshot box, the insurance company Progressive Corp., based in Mayfield Village, Ohio, transformed its business model for auto insurance by gathering data on insured parties’ actual driving be- havior rather than just relying on their driving history. Similarly, Japanese prop- erty and casualty insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. realized that digital channels and location-based monitoring enabled it to offer insurance for very brief one-off needs (such as insuring a car borrowed from a friend or providing accident insur- ance for a ski vacation). Companies are also discovering oppor- tunities to combine old and new assets in the customer experience. The London- based apparel and beauty company Burberry Group PLC, for instance, re- vamped its online assets and built a strong, engaging experience on social media. But it did not stop there. Through strong top- down leadership, the company has transformed so that it can engage its cus- tomers and showcase its brand seamlessly across its physical and digital channels. Equally important is the role of assets in your business model. The rise of startup companies such as Airbnb and Uber shows the potential of new business models that leverage digital platforms in the lodging and transportation industries. Now, tradi- tional companies are taking a fresh look at how they can use the assets they own in new ways to participate in today’s “sharing economy.” For example, Marriott Interna- tional Inc. has started a collaboration with digital startup LiquidSpace Inc. to rent out Revamping Your Business Through Digital Transformation )
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SPRING 2015 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 5 SLOANREVIEW.MIT.EDU work spaces in Marriott hotels on demand.
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  • Fall '15
  • Dr.DeenDayalUpa
  • Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Management Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, mit sloan management

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