CLEVELAND, OH - The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced its endorsement of yextcountertops.com, a new online service that will help connect potential countertop customers to MIA member fabricators. MIA was attracted to Yext because there is a significant shift taking place right now in local advertising. The Yellow Pages recently was delisted from the NYSE and declared bankruptcy. Several newspapers and radio stations are closing due to lack of ad buyers. All the while, online search is growing as the preferred medium for people to find local businesses. In 2009, U.S. consumers will conduct more than 300 billion online searches - a 40% increase over 2008. The average adult user searches online for more than 20 times a month, 67% of the time, it’s for something local.

The founders of Yext started their company several years ago to help local businesses take advantage of these trends and find new customers through the most efficient means possible. “Instead of helping our clients get Web site ‘clicks,’ the company decided instead to use the Internet to deliver something much more valuable: a live, inbound phone call from a prospect, which can be tracked and measured,” said Todd Albright, division president.

Yextcountertops.com is a specific offering built to drive new customers to independent fabricators. “The service is very unique for two distinct reasons,” Albright said. “First, we are totally pay-for-performance. Fabricators pay nothing until they receive a phone call from a prospective customer. Second, fabricators have access to recordings of every phone call we send to them. It’s a free secret shopper program to help owners hear how their staff is handling sales opportunities and provide training.”

Launched in June 2009 after several months of R&D, yextcountertops.com is growing rapidly, with participating fabricators ranging from small independent firms serving a local area to larger regional and national firms. The program has been endorsed by the MIA and the association’s member firms get preferential incentives from Yext. “We are excited about being able to introduce this revolutionary and extremely timely new member service at this time,” stated Gary Distelhorst of the MIA. “With the economy struggling, MIA member firms are looking for new ways to reach qualified customers, and yextcountertops.com is a perfect fit for that.”

Special Advisor to the countertop effort is G.K. Naquin, a fabricator in the Southeast and an officer of the MIA. “After 34 years in the stone industry, it is my sincere pleasure to introduce you to yextcountertops.com,” he said of the site. “We launched the site with one goal in mind - to deliver new customers to MIA member fabricators around the country. The Internet has become the number one place people go to find countertop fabricators, and yextcountertops.com makes it easy for your stone business to connect with these prospects and convert them into new customers for your business.”