The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) recently released new data that shows that Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) experienced double digital growth in 2008. According to comScore, Internet Yellow Pages searches grew 22% from 3.8 billion to 4.6 billion, in 2008.
“The growth in Internet Yellow Pages usage in 2008 emphasizes the increased trend toward local content on the Internet,” said Yellow Pages Association president Neg Norton. “Consumers are seeking highly specialized, localized business listings when and where they want it and they are increasingly finding it on our online platforms.”
Even with a tough economic climate for all advertising, overall usage of Yellow Pages products (print and Internet) totaled 16.9 billion references in 2008 compared to 17.2 billion in 2007 – a 2% overall decline. The print Yellow Pages references in 2008 were 12.3 billion compared to 13.4 billion in 2007.
Given the trends in all advertising media, the overall results have be viewed as somewhat positive. Of course the Yellow Pages are not immune to the advertiser cutbacks that have been ravaging other media such as newspapers, local TV, and even out of home. But clearly the impact on Yellow Pages has been smaller than many of the other advertising media. And an 8% drop in print usage is hardly a sign that the products are “dead” or will be dying next week as some would want you to believe. We still talking about people turned to those print directories more than 12 billion times last year at a point where they are in an active, ready-to-buy mode. Hence, the books still remain an important source for consumers during these tough economic times.
It comes as no surprise that the online local search products are the most vibrant, growing items now. But even that growth points towards the positive transformation publishers are going through in a the move from a one product media solution to becoming a true multi-channel consultative advertising solutions provider.
As we have commented to several financial entities — don’t confuse the debt issues at some of the publishers as an indication of the strength of the overal industry. It still is the best advertising ROI program a small business can get anywhere.
With worries about jobs and the economy most on their minds, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer behavior regarding going “green”. Consumers are willing to buy things like energy-efficient products and services, but only if they see immediate savings.
The Shelton Group has just released one of their four annual surveys which indicated 71% of consumers required saving money as a reason to buy energy-efficient products. In a notable change from pre-recession surveys conducted by Shelton (2006 and 2007) when consumers often cited “to protect the environment” as the primary reason, now far fewer chose that reason (55%) or “to protect the quality of life for future generations” (49%).
“Americans are concerned about their jobs, their homes, and their bank accounts. They’re now more focused on saving money than saving the Amazon,” said Suzanne Shelton, president of The Shelton Group, which conducted the study. “Yes, conserving energy is the greenest thing anybody can do, but consumers are not buying more efficient products because they want to save the world. They want products that can save them money in the long run.”
The survey also indicated that consumers indicate they are more likely to take a number of energy-efficient measures after learning they would save over the long term. For example 44% are likely to buy a programmable thermostat (32% already have).
As we’ve said many times, sure, the Internet can provide a wealth of information for a web-savy user. But it doesn’t totally replace all traditional meida, especially the print Yellow Pages.
From Vivek Naik in a post labeled “Yellow Pages Holds Its Own In The e-Age of Business Searches“, specific to office supplies:
“In March, businesses typically begin kicking back into gear and start thinking about their supply needs for the upcoming year,” said Scott Cullen, editorial director for OfficeSOLUTIONS magazine.The fact is illustrated by the example of people stocking up on supplies for office articles by checking out the Yellow Pages for suitable products, leads and references. According to the report, the most popular articles searches are for computers, computer parts and peripherals, tables, chairs, notebooks, pens, visiting cards and multi-purpose printers.According to the Yellow Pages, 91 percent of stores, warehouses or retail outlets where products are finally bought are mentioned in the related referenced Yellow Pages ad. In terms of the products, 65 percent are used for office use.Statistics also reveal that age groups are generally between 25 to 49 years old and include college graduates living in homes where the cumulative income of household members is at least $61,000 per annum.