Yellow Pages Usage Increasing in Many Categories

Friday, May 11, 2012
Rebecca Frantz

When talking about Print Yellow Pages (PYP) usage, many are quick to quote the decreasing trend in overall PYP references. However, looking at an overall figure is not the end of the story. Print directories are extremely effective in many categories, and when looking at the 2011 DAC/Kantar data, we can see that various headings actually show year over year increases in consumer PYP usage.

While analyzing 2010-2011 trending results of the DAC/Kantar proprietary study, one can see that responses indicated an overall 10% decrease in utilization of PYP. However, looking closer at the category-specific data, the study found notable increases in PYP usage in 14 out of 29 Canadian categories including headings such as: Airlines, Banks, Insurance, Hotels and Motels, Pharmacies, and Tires. In fact, Canadian respondents rated PYP as their number one source when looking for business information for the heading categories of Auto Repair, Electrical Contractors, Pizza, and Plumbers.

According to a recent news article examining PYP usage in the modern age, a common reason for consumers’ continued use of print books in the era of quick internet searches and smartphones is simply that not every business is easily searchable online. While many small businesses make an effort to increase their online presence, there will always be some companies that are difficult to find on the Internet. In addition, inconsistency of companies’ online listings can make businesses difficult to contact. If consumers can’t find a business on the Internet, they will often turn to the reliability of print directories.

Despite the explosion of internet search, there is still room for growth in PYP usage. Consumers are increasingly searching using multiple media sources, and it is important to be present wherever consumers are looking. While PYP is not the top media choice for every consumer, it is a primary business information source for many shoppers and ignoring this consumer segment could be a costly misstep for small businesses across many categories.

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Rebecca Frantz, Marketing Research Assistant