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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Yellow Pages: From Must-Have to Nice-to-Have?
Charles Laughlin,Neal Polachek , 5/26/2004

SUMMARY: In mid-May, The Kelsey Group (TKG) and ConStat, Inc. conducted and videotaped a focus group in San Francisco with 10 local businesses, nearly all current Yellow Pages advertisers. The group spent two hours discussing their attitudes toward various local media. The session focused on print and online Yellow Pages and addressed attitudes about emerging local digital media opportunities. The general attitudes voiced during the session are consistent with TKG's concern that the economics of Yellow Pages advertising are increasingly challenging for small businesses. Perhaps more importantly, small-business decision makers are more and more aware of the Internet as an alternative advertising medium. Most troubling was the widely expressed view that Yellow Pages is no longer as essential an advertising vehicle as it once was. The panel did reveal some possible growth opportunities by suggesting that publishers consider value-based pricing options for headings that have declined, and that they do a better job of positioning the print and online Yellow Pages as complements to one another.

TKG will show excerpts of the focus group in the session, "The Advertiser Perspective: Rating the Yellow Pages Experience," at the Directory Driven Commerce conference, July 21-23, 2004, at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

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