Directories still deliver high-quality leads, especially on mobile devices, according to a study released Wednesday by the Local Search Association. The trend will only increase as more consumers turn to online sources for local business information. It requires marketers to become more consistent when updating information, not just for location, but products as well. The ability for these two types of media to reach different audiences plays a critical role.
The annual study "Local Media Tracking Study," conducted by Burke, measures the reach of various local media sources among U.S. adults in 2012, by surveying 8,009 U.S. adults age 18 or older in 2012. The panel consisted of about 80% online, and 20% and offline and telephone. This study it looks at print Yellow Page (PYP) vs. Internet Yellow Page (IYP) media.
Search engines are used more often than product directories, but IYP sites in the U.S. have experienced some decline. Word searches on IYP declined from 6.3 billion in 2011 to 5 billion in 2012. Some 52% used IYP in 2011 vs. 47% in 2012. And it's no surprise that older consumers more often use paper directories; whereas younger, online.
The study suggests Yellow Pages, offline or online, produce quality leads. Survey respondents said they turn to PYP and IYP when they were ready to contact a business and make a purchase. A majority of respondents who said they searched Yellow Pages offerings also quickly contacted a business or made a purchase following their search, usually within the same day. Three-quarters of Yellow Pages users conducted a purchase or intended to purchase as a result of their search.
Some 77% of survey participants said they contact a business by phone following a PYP search, 36% in person, and 16% via the store's Web site. About 62% of survey participates said they contact a business by phone following an IYP search, 31% in person, and 31% via the store's Web site.
Despite downward trends in use of paper, Yellow Pages use remains high. There were 10.5 billion references to PYP and IYP in 2012. Six out of ten said they referenced PYPs within the past year, while nearly half of respondents said they referenced Internet Yellow Pages within the past year.
The study also showed Yellow Pages reach consumers that other local online and
offline media do not. When PYP or IYP are combined with other local media, the monthly reach of each medium extends much further.
"Magnifying Glass" photo from Shutterstock.