Local search powered by word of mouth
Kudzu.com helps homeowners choose the best service providers for their home and family and gives service providers an online forum to drive ?word of mouth? for their businesses.
Launched in Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego in 2006, Kudzu features 4 million consumer reviews and detailed profiles built by local service businesses. These profiles include specialties, descriptions, photos, video and deals.
Today, Kudzu is expanding nationwide and now lists businesses across the country. Key categories include: home improvement, dentists, child care, vets and auto repair.
Key features and partnerships
In February 2009, Kudzu hooked up with Facebook Connect to allow consumers to sign in with their Facebook ID and share reviews with friends. And in May 2009, Kudzu connected with Twitter to allow users to easily share their favorites.
Kudzu features more than 27,000 local deals — updated daily through a partnership with Valpak. And the site encourages businesses to share their "green credentials" including environmentally-focused certifications and ecologically-based efforts such as paperless record keeping/billing, recycling and the use of non-toxic products or green vehicles.
Kudzu is a member of the CafeMom Plus and Adify Elite advertising networks — and Kudzu business profiles can be seen on more than 100 major TV, radio and newspaper websites from the Cox Media group, as well as Cox.net the home page for Cox High Speed Internet customers.
Helping local businesses
Kudzu puts businesses in front of local customers — at the very moment they need you. And it helps businesses unleash the power of "word of mouth referral marketing" — by turning their best customers into advocates.
Businesses have the ability to create and edit profiles; solicit and respond to reviews; and track exposure through an online business center. Kudzu also offers video production services — and allows businesses to recommend each other on the site.
Kudzu was founded by Tom Bates, Nancy Nethery and Frank Bongiorno, three internet veterans. And it is owned by Cox Search Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, one of the nation's leading media companies. Cox's other businesses include Cox Communications, AutoTrader.com, Travel Channel, Valpak and prominent newspapers, TV and radio stations.