February 27, 2006

New research sponsored by The Kelsey Group indicates that consumer local media references are in transition, influenced by demographic factors, including age, income and education.

One of the pieces of research to be presented at Drilling Down on Local is from an omnibus study conducted in February. A random sample of 500 teens and 1,000 adults in the U.S. were asked to indicate where they would “turn to first” when looking for a business in their area. Print Yellow Pages was, not surprisingly, the No. 1 choice among all consumers surveyed. The one exception was teens, who indicated they would first turn to search engines when looking for local business information.

The top-level findings reflect the continued strength of print directories in the local market. However, a more complex picture emerges once the data are segmented. The younger and more educated and affluent consumers are, the more they tend to utilize online resources at the expense of traditional media:

- All consumers surveyed – print Yellow Pages, 61%; search engines, 12%; directory assistance, 12%; online Yellow Pages, 7%

- Annual income over $75,000 – print Yellow Pages, 51%; search engines, 27%; online Yellow Pages, 14%; directory assistance, 6%

- Teens – search engines, 47%; print Yellow Pages, 28%; directory assistance, 13%; online Yellow Pages, 9%

“This research, the U.S. portion of a global omnibus study, reinforces that this is a complicated and evolving marketplace,” said Neal Polachek, senior vice president, research and consulting, The Kelsey Group. “Consumers have a strong preference for print Yellow Pages. However, for local advertisers targeting certain demographic segments, online media should factor strongly in the promotional mix.”

For more information at http://www.kelseygroup.com

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