#SFSW16: Yelp Announces New CPC Program

Chad Richard, SVP Business and Corporate Development, Yelp, presents “Data, Dreams, and the Ordering of Things” at Street Fight Summit West, held at the Terra Gallery, the premier event for businesses working in local commerce, marketing, media, and technology, San Francisco, California, June 7, 2016.

Yelp debuted the “next generation” of advertising partnerships at Street Fight Summit West on Tuesday, along with four of the partners its working with to kick off the launch of a new Yelp Knowledge program. The announcement followed news on Monday that Yelp had added five new partners to its online booking platform.

Senior vice president of business and corporate development Chad Richard laid out the company’s new advertising program, which enables partners to sell Yelp cost-per-click (CPC) ads. YP and ReachLocal will start working with the new CPC selling program this month, and Yelp will be rolling out additional partners soon after. Last month, Richard hinted at such deals in an interview with Street Fight about an overall industry trend toward further collaboration.

“Now, partners can use these new APIs and this new program to sell CPC ads on Yelp,” Richard said. “[We’re] excited to get these off the ground.”

Richard also announced a new platform called Yelp Knowledge, which he described as a “Twitter fire hose for local analytics.” Vendors will be able to ingest Yelp data and reviews and analyze those reviews, and then provide those insights to their own partners. Vendors will also be able to host reviews for clients and aggregate those Yelp reviews next to reviews from other sites.

“We think with 100 million reviews in Yelp right now, there’s untapped knowledge,” he said.

Yelp launched the platform quietly a few months ago, partnering exclusively with the social media management system Sprinklr. Today, the company announced three additional Yelp Knowledge partners: Reputology, Revinate, and Medallia. Richard sees infinite opportunities for businesses, which could include hedge funds, social media firms, and even lenders working with small and mid-size merchants, to take advantage of the data being generated by the consumer review platform.

“[The data] allows them to make very important business decisions,” he said. “We think this kind of analysis is just critical for modern marketing.”

Both new programs are helping to further Yelp’s mission to make the local marketing ecosystem less daunting for merchants. Richard explained that business owners are being sold hundreds of new products and gadgets. When this technology exists in a silo, it creates a barrier to adoption. As an industry, he says technology vendors should be making their products work together more efficiently.

“I think that’s one of our big opportunities as an industry as we sit here today,” Richard says.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Photo Credit: Shana Wittenwyler

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