Think Twice Before Dropping Directory Ads

Even in these recessionary times, advertisers who maintained their directory ad programs experienced an increase in calls, profit and return on investment. A recent Patek analytics study looked at directory ads published between 2008-2011, comprised of 1572 ad programs, spanning 86 headings. This study provides more evidence that directory ads continue to provide outstanding value for advertisers. The increases cited varied by market and by category. Smaller markets (population of 500,000 or lower) averaged 20% growth and larger markets with populations over 500,000 experienced slightly less than 20% growth. (click on images to enlarge)

The tables below demonstrate this consistent growth. Even if these directory headings have fewer ads, the remaining advertisers have the opportunity to increase their reach over competitors not in the directory.

Although results varied by category, you will see from the charts below that the median trend growth in calls are significant both in large and small markets. These statistics should make you think twice about dropping directory ads—especially if you are in the home service or emergency repair categories.

There has been much said about the health of the directory business. There has been a proliferation of media choices with smartphones now being used by 50% of the population. Online search engines continue to dominate consumers’ research patterns, which has undoubtedly made an impact on print book usage. The recession has also had an impact. No one could have predicted the severe recession that left U.S. consumers scared and afraid to spend. This had a major impact on businesses. Still as the economy turns around, even though digital media continues to be strong, there is no doubt that there remains a strong core of directory users who continue to search for local businesses using this medium and as consumer confidence increases, directories will continue to be strong in relevant categories. Think twice about dropping your directory ads. You may be missing out on a segment of valuable consumers.

Sandy Scopa, Research Director

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