Local Study: Search Engines Edge Out Print Phone Books
This represents a change from last year's study, which ranked print Yellow Pages first (33%), followed by search engines (30%).
About 30% of local business searchers spend the vast majority of their time searching for local businesses online instead of offline, up from 26% in 2007. And 90% of those surveyed find Yellow Pages directories a valuable source for business information--however, Yellow Pages usage experienced a 3% decline from 2007 to 2008.
One of 5 shoppers with a standard cell phone have conducted a local search via the mobile Web, while two-thirds of respondents with Wi-Fi-enabled devices have conducted a search.
"As consumer local search grows with online and offline resources, national advertisers must develop strategic plans for integrating the various mediums into their national programs," said Gregg Stewart, senior vice president of interactive, TMPDM, in a statement. "Our 2008 study again confirms that consumers do a majority of research online, but continue to make purchases offline with a phone call or in-store visit. In addition, marketers need to pay close attention to mobile search and sites that offer consumer user reviews, as they are growing in popularity."--Tanya Irwin