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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

Positioning Yellow Pages
Carlotta Mast , 9/19/2002


0.0 Executive Summary

"Yellow Pages. It pays. We'll prove it." If you've been around the Yellow Pages industry, you know this is the tagline for the eight-year-old Marketing the Medium (MTM) program, an industry-wide initiative in the U.S. focused on using split-run tests and metered ads to prove the value of the medium to national advertisers.

The message behind this tagline and the entire MTM program gets to the heart of what The Kelsey Group (TKG) believes every Yellow Pages publisher should focus on today: proving the medium's return on investment (ROI) by using accurate and reliable research and by effectively communicating that value to advertisers large and small.

National advertisers have long demanded proof of value for their Yellow Pages advertising. But now many local advertisers are following suit. Along with receiving basic usage statistics, they want to know how much they can expect to get back for every dollar invested in the Yellow Pages.

On the print side, the U.S. directory industry has come a long way in its ability and willingness to prove the value of the medium. Most publishers now run metered ad tests and invest in proprietary and syndicated usage research. In addition, the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association (YPIMA) recently created the Yellow Pages Research Institute to commission, manage and publicize new and existing industry studies.

These are all steps in the right direction. But if publishers want to grow the Yellow Pages' share of the overall media pie - particularly in today's tight economy - they must do more to demonstrate how Yellow Pages and the ROI it delivers advertisers stack up compared to other media.

This paper offers TKG's direction for doing just that. In the following pages we:

  • discuss how Yellow Pages compares to other media at the local and national levels;
  • highlight the research tools and training techniques that help certified marketing representatives (CMRs) and publisher sales representatives effectively position Yellow Pages against newspapers, radio, TV and other media;
  • lay out our vision for how the industry can do more to demonstrate the value of the Yellow Pages using new technologies, new research methodologies and existing tools;
  • explore how research can be used in the Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) sales process to better articulate the true value of this form of advertising to sales channels and advertisers.

Copyright � 2005 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.
This published material is for internal client use only. It may not be duplicated or distributed in any manner not permitted by contract. Any unauthorized distribution could result in termination of the client relationship, fines and other civil or criminal penalties under Federal law. The Kelsey Group disclaims all warranties regarding the accuracy of the information herein and similarly disclaims any liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages that may result from the use or interpretation of this information.

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Copyright© 2006 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.