Traditional Media By The Numbers: Yellow Pages

by Ruud Hein April 15th, 2008 

yellow pages

I have Yellow Pages on Google alert and with the Yellow Pages annual conference titled YP Industry Pledges Counteroffensive. last week in Las Vegas, its no wonder my inbox was overflowing with stats, figures and opinions on its future.

According to the latest Industry Usage Study from the Yellow Pages Association, they are certainly aiming to overcome some of the mis-perceptions we have about who uses print Yellow Pages, how often and why. The most surprising news was that residents and businesses in many of the top U.S. Designated Market Areas (DMA's) rely heavily on the Yellow Pages.

The numbers show that more people in "tech-savvy" cities such as Portland, Ore., Seattle, Washington, Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, N.C. reference the Yellow Pages per week than the national average. The findings were gathered from the 2008 Yellow Pages Association Industry Usage Study conducted by Knowledge Networks. The usage study results also show that the Yellow Pages reach consumers who are ready and able to make purchases. Nationally, 86 percent of those surveyed made a purchase or were likely to do so after making a print Yellow Pages reference.

Despite consumer fragmentation in business information search, the research shows that the Yellow Pages print user is still very important to businesses, with two-thirds of the adult U.S. population that shopped online in a given month also referenced Print Yellow Pages in the same period.

Another interesting stat is that the demographics of this group are desirable to advertisers, with 48 percent between the ages of 18 and 44; 53 percent having incomes above $60,000; and 72 percent having at least some college education.

IYP People Count – March 07 – March 08

Compilation of the key Yellow Pages findings from last week:

– 87 percent of those surveyed have used the Yellow Pages at least once in the past year.

– The overall demographic profile of Yellow Pages users shows:

– 51 percent are younger than age 50
– 63 percent have some level of college education
– 44 percent earn $60,000 or more annually
– 57 percent live in counties with a population of 150,000 or more
– 66 percent are married
– 82 percent own a home

– Among those making a purchase after referencing the print Yellow Pages, 39 percent were new customers to the business they chose.

– Internet Yellow Pages usage shows that 51 percent of purchasers were new customers to the business.

– Total annual print Yellow Pages references amounted to 13.4 billion, or approximately 60 times per year per adult, which is consistent with last year's results.

Print Yellow Pages (PYP) brings value to online businesses:

– Among past-month PYP users, 49 percent also shopped on the Internet in that same period. (I'm aware of several unique URL tracking studies that show tremendous referrals from PYP advertising to websites)

– Past-month PYP users are 7 percent more likely to have used the Internet to shop in the past 30 days than the average adult.

Results of the 2007 Metered Ad Study, an advertising call-tracking report.

CRM Associates conducted the study on behalf of YPA. The study was conducted by placing unique telephone numbers in Yellow Pages advertisements that allow advertisers to determine how many customer contacts they receive through their advertisements.

– Sixty percent of the advertisers participating in the study said they experienced an increase in call volumes as a result of their Yellow Pages advertisements.

– National advertisers gained $27 in revenue for each dollar spent on Yellow Pages advertising, and local display advertisers earned about $13, according to the study.

– Medium sized/priced Yellow Pages local display ad delivers 444 calls per year at a cost per call of $29. The midprice national display advertisement delivers 979 calls per year at a cost per call of $15.

Comparison to see whether users are searching for specific IYP brand names:.

yellwo pages google trend report


The numbers continue to show that consumers are embracing a wide range of sources, including Print Yellow Pages, in their broad search behaviors.

– Among mobile owners who went online and searched in the past month, 20 percent looked up the phone number and/or location of a business.

– About one-third of the adult population used both Internet and Print Yellow Pages in the past month to search for information on a store, business, or service – at home, at work, or elsewhere

– 60 percent of users of Print Yellow Pages also leverage a variety of other media to find business listings, including Yellow Pages-based sources on the Internet, mobile devices, and 411.

comScore monthly internet rankings for March 2008.

– Yellow Book Network got the top-gaining position for the month of March 2008, with a 54 percent gain to 13.5 million visitors. This was due (at least in part) to a new partnership with addresses.com.

– Yahoo lost more than 5 percent of the IYP search market

yellow book network comscore

Its interesting to note that the major search engines haven't yet overtaken this market and that the search results generated by Google and Yahoo come from an assortment of properties, rather than just the search engines' own sites.

Because the Yellow Pages are a trusted resource, with a seasoned local sales force, the industry has been able to transition from a print only business to a multi-platform, value-driven approach, utilizing the Internet, vertical and social networks (yellowpages.ca 's facebook integration) video, voice and mobile devices. The numbers certainly point to the fact the "patient" is alive and well and, as an industry, theyve been more successful then their newspaper and magazine cousins in managing the transition.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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2 Responses to “Traditional Media By The Numbers: Yellow Pages”

  1. [...] Traditional Media By The Numbers: Yellow Pages By Tom Tsinas I have Yellow Pages on Google alert and with the Yellow Pages annual conference titled "YP Industry Pledges Counteroffensive." last week in Las Vegas, it's no wonder my inbox was overflowing with stats, figures and opinions on its … Search Engine People Blog – http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog [...]

  2. Identity says:

    I think Yellow pages in paper should be discontinued because of so much paper being wasted year after year and instead they should move to electronic media as CD/DVD, Internet. Last time I used Yellow pages 9 years ago.