IAC Local Search marries online, offline

Citysearch, Entertainment Publications Team For Offers

The lack of integration between IACI (InterActive Corp) properties has been a mystery to me for quite some time. Sure, there’s some cross-linking, but nothing that really provides end users with a significantly better experience than they would have using best-of-class local city guide, mapping, or travel sites vs. an IAC “local suite”.

And, that doesn’t change with this news.

However, as SocalTech.com reports this morning, the company finally appears to be leveraging its local print product division, Entertainment Publications (best known for its Entertainment Coupon books) with its CitySearch online local guide. More specifically, it will now cross-sell CitySearch advertising to its large base of EP print advertising customers, giving them significantly more reach.In the race to gather as many local advertisers as possible, this is a significant step forward (at least in leverage) for CitySearch, who invested significantly in hiring and training an internal telesales team.

I haven’t played with the offering to see how they are handling online coupon security, etc, but would be interested in hearing from anyone who has. I suspect they’re a direct or downstream licensee of Coupons.com (Coupons, Inc), who I spent quite a bit of them analyzing while at Knight Ridder Digital.

The next step in IACs local search puzzle will likely be integration of Service Magic (whom they recently acquired) with CitySearch. The “final” near-term piece would be linking in ZeroDegrees social networking functionality with both CitySearch and Evite.

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