In many respects, 2003 was a difficult year in the global
directory publishing industry. Growth was modest, and in some
cases the core printed directory product saw declines in many
key areas, notably revenue growth and new customer acquisition.
It was also a year that saw many of the key trends of the
past few years accelerate. One is the disengagement of directory
publishing from the telecommunications enterprise. Another
trend that gained traction in 2003 was the emergence of search
engines as a marketing vehicle for small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), and the beginnings of a reaction from
the major directory publishers to this trend. And the growth
of intra-media competition intensified last year. The Kelsey
Report® (TKR) believes 2004 will be another challenging year,
but with a generally more positive outcome, driven by an improving
economy. TKR has forecast global directory revenue growth
at 3.9 percent for 2004 and 3.4 percent in the United States.
This Advisory outlines how the changing industry has created
five key centers of power, influence and importance for the
coming year. These centers of influence are represented by
the Marketing Executive, the Advertiser, the User, the Search
Engine, and the Investor.