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Thread: Looking for hard numbers on the decline of the yellow pages

  1. #1
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    Looking for hard numbers on the decline of the yellow pages

    Looking to show the sharp decline on the numbers with the yellow pages, especially if compared with online migration, but something just showing the decline would be good as well.

    Any help out there on that one? I've been on it for awhile now.

  2. #2
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    James:

    Most web marketers believe it s*cks. There are many reports. It appears that hard YP is diluting the data w/ reports that might well be contestable.

    One guy who reports on this all the time is Greg Sterling at Screenwerk I'd go to his site and do a search on yellow pages, yp, possibly IYP. You could go to his site and email him. He accesses all the data and has contacts with the research firms.

    Dave

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    This is totally anecdotal, but for me the proof came last year when I went from having a live rep visit my business in person, to having a rep somewhere in another state handling my business by phone.

    In general I think this is going to be hard to track, other than having some small case study and extrapolating that to the general population, because there's no cookie or javascript to track what I do once I grab a hardcopy of the YP. But if anyone would know, I'm pretty sure EP would.

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    James:

    Probably a most thorough review of all the research might be found at Screenwerk. I'd do a search on his site for yellow pages. There are endless reports.

    I bet you'll find conflicting data. Most of us suspect it is dying despite the conflicting research reports suggesting it is still strong. Those who offer opinions strongly suggest the research that is used to show continued strength of YP is strongly biased.

    I think it s*cks for my categories. I follow this stuff all the time. If I were a believer in it....the only places where it still might work are a rapidly diminishing subset of categories. The other places where it might see stronger usage are more rural areas rather than urban areas.

    I'm sure you can put together a variety of research that shows it is diminishing.

  5. #5
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    Yesterday, I stumbled on a random article saying that though people are moving to search advertising, it also said that the remaining YP advertisers noticed a 20% increase in sales, because there were less competitors.

    What do you think about it, Dave? Or are YP totally useless for you (i.e., without the ROI)?
    Yura

  6. #6
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    That and a hard economy making business owners trim their marketing budget and put it toward the "old reliable" advertising. Irony is that it isn't but it still has the perception in the B&M world.
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    Clue in soon!

  7. #7
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    See I've been asked by a potentially large client why they should put money into local search over the local yellow pages. To me, that's a no brainer, but as mentioned to many "old school" its the only way. Trying to find hard data to compare yellow pages to internet marketing really is exceedingly difficult as it just seems like no one would waste their time making such an apples to pears comparison. Most local sites that have an organic presence would also have a yellow pages presence. If it really came down to one or the other (and if yellow pages is charging what we are they need to run and run fast) then accessing 100x the amount of people who are actively researching you is the only way to go. I know I have a slightly unfair look on this but I havent used a yellow pages in a good 5-6 years... I showed them Google trends where there was a complete split, the fact that the yellow page owners are going bankrupt, Dexknows I think it was, was ripped off the New York Stock exchange for trading at 2 cents... Every major website I pulled for them including the WSJ and the times all pointed to money being put into SEM over anything else.

    I gave ten hours worth of data... They kept coming back to wanting to see a graph between yellow pages and internet marketing. How do you produce something that no one would ever produce because the comparison, especially for professionals, makes, really, no sense.

    Im still hoping to bring them on as a client because frankly it will be rather easy, time consuming as all get out, but rather easy to get them probably quadruple the traffic they are getting now... Something they would never see by keeping their current yellow pages budget.

  8. #8
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    James:

    I'm virtually sure that of the countless studies on YP at screenwerk, you could put together a cogent argument. You just gotta do the research there.

  9. #9
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    Bottom line: How many people do you know that keep the YP around any more? How many potential eyeballs will the YP get in front of versus a website? In terms of reach you are dealing with only people in a certain geographic range that actually keep and then actually use the YP versus everyone connected to the Internet.

    If you do the research and make the case though, I'd love to see it.
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  10. #10
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    Dave, from what I heard, they specifically need graphs, not just the data, of which a lot was presented

    James, maybe you need to create the graph yourself? In fact, from the data you have, you might be able to create several. Or just combine/create about 15-20 graphcs from all the research and present it to them? The image should be overwhelming, considering all of the graphs would point towards YP decline.

    I too think that if you create a well crafted post with research data layed out, it'll be awesome, too.
    Last edited by A.N.Onym; 04-11-2009 at 06:36 PM.
    Yura

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