As we are entering “Energy Awareness Month” and the winter season, the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) has released information that the “Windows” heading in the print Yellow Pages ranks 85th out of more than 4,500 potential headings and generates 26 million references annually for advertisers. Clearly Americans are turning to the Yellow Pages to help save on utility bills.
The results that print Yellow Pages bring to advertisers as the most frequently referenced medium before a purchase decision is made for this heading can be seen in the 94% of purchasers who indicated they made a buying decision based on what saw in the Yellow Pages.
Another interesting note in the YPA release show that under the “Windows” heading, most users (73%) indicated looking at a local window company over a chain store. That kind of strong further demonstrates why the Yellow Pages are a top local resource for residential window needs.
According to a recent Yankelovich survey of 2,763 consumers about their environmental attitudes titled “Going Green”, a mere 34% of consumers indicated they feel much more concerned about environmental issues today than just a year ago.
J. Walker Smith, the president of Yankelovich noted in the company’s press release that “…while consumers are highly aware of environmental issues due to the glut of media attention… ‘going green’ in their everyday life is simply not a big concern or a high priority.”
Mr. Smith also indicated that consumers are far more knowledgeable about green than they’re generally given credit for. According to the Survey:
- Only 7% of consumers believe Al Gore’s “10 Myths” in his heralded “An Inconvenient Truth.” and that it’s already too late to do something about climate change
- Only 8% agree that the warming that scientists are recording is just the effect of cities trapping heat rather than anything to do with greenhouse gases
Applying these results to print Yellow Pages, the true inconvenient truth is that the advertising placed in these products results in nearly $500 billion in commerce each year. That’s business which is critical to the existence of many small businesses, generates jobs, and is truly a local boost in communities of all sizes.
I know we are in the age of the “I” generation – iPhones, iPods, I-have-a-blog. Many of the negative comments I respond to on blogs to people who say they never use a print phone book, is simply why? I have long argued that it is far quicker to grab a print Yellow Pages to find what you are looking for than to be clicking and surfing away thru myriads of websites. When you use a book you also get a quick visual indication (subjective as it is) about the viability of the business you are looking at – those print ads aren’t free and if that company has bought a half page ad this is probably not some fly-by-night, Johnny come lately company.
Sure, those online products can be good sources, especially if you are in a more mobile situation and may be away from where the books are. But they are still not to a point where they provide the same kinds of information that the books do.
I noticed this quote in a Calgary Herald online article. While the article had nothing to do with assessing the value of print vs. online, I thought the comment was very telling :
“… This is 2008, and there’s a whole generation of people who will spend two minutes looking up a phone number on their computer before they’ll take five seconds to find it in a phone book…”
Which leads me to the question – are the Gen X/Y folks who seem to be rejecting the print product more so than their parent’s generation missing a real opportunity with their totally inflexible view that if it isn’t online/digital we won’t use it????
How could that be? if the paper atheists who are now perpetuating the myth that no one wants or uses print Yellow Pages anymore, why do people seem to get so upset when a listing is occasionally wrong in the book? We’ve ask that question several times at the askmeaboutyp blog. Here is a recent example (link).
Here is another example which just came out: Cox Communications in Kansas is all upset because their address was listed in a recently published phone book despite their request to keep that information private (link).
Guess they are afraid that someone must be looking in those printed directories and that if they do, someone might actually find them….