Yellow Pages to Remain a Force in Local Search

With the huge focus on big search providers like Google and Yahoo!, marketers might wonder what role a traditional provider like print Yellow Pages should play in an optimal media mix. A significant new study on this topic had just been published. According to AT&T, print directories play a big role in the daily lives of consumers.

Top-​level data from M/​A/​R/​C Research, carried out for AT&T and based on input from 50,000 consumers, looks like this:

  • Used the AT&T Real Yellow pages in the last year: 69%
  • Used YP​.com as a local online search directory: 29%
  • Used either a print or the YP​.com directory:  78%

Another study from CRM Associates has also found that Yellow Page marketers reported a 10% call increase on a year over year basis stemming from the same set of ads.  Further AT&T analysis shows that marketers who place an ad in a print directory get an average additional 18 calls a month. When the company measures ads placed online, it found that marketers can count on an average of 6 lookups a month as a result of a unique directory ad.

Ken Ray, chief marketing officer of AT&T Advertising Solutions say “[t]hese findings confirm the continued relevancy of print directories, and especially AT&T's directories."  Ray notes that while consumers are using print directories, they are clearly transitioning to online resources. During this transition period, which has no definitive end date in sight, marketers would do well to go with a provider that bundles local search offerings in both print and online formats. Because of the huge interest in local search by major players like Google and the established market presence of competitors like AT&T, the media segment is likely to remain a battleground for the forseeable future.

[Source: Consumers Turn to AT&T's Real Yellow Pages Directories More Often Than Others. AT&T.com. 5 Apr. 2011. Web. 19 Apr. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.