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The Kelsey Report® White Paper

NTC Recap: Opportunities and Challenges for Directory Publishers
Charles Laughlin , 3/1/2000


TKG's Seventh Annual New Technologies for Directory Publishers conference, which took place March 1-3 in San Antonio, was an eye-opener on many levels. The surge in attendance - in particular the large contingent of both international publishers and dot-com businesses - was a pleasant surprise, as well as a key indicator that printed directory is not withering on the vine as so many believe.

The concept of a Yellow Pages directory remains a powerful organizing principal on the Internet, especially as business models are increasingly localized and transactional. In opening remarks to the conference, TKG President John Kelsey gave long shrift to the enduring power of the big yellow book - in its physical form and its increasingly critical role as the prevailing metaphor for local networking.

"Today, looking at the real world, cyberspace and mobile space, we see a number of directory-based businesses emerging, not just Yellow Pages and White Pages. Listings get augmented and packaged in a variety of different forms. On the Internet, they are embedded in search engines and portals. For mobile companies, enhanced listings are provided through directory assistance services. All of these make things easier for shoppers, but make the business of directory publishing far more complex than it used to be."

In addition, as TKG found, in conjunction with our research partner ConStat Inc., publishers may not be the beneficiaries of the Internet community's love affair with the Yellow Pages metaphor. LCM Wave II results portray local businesses taking a holistic view of the Internet. They see the Net as more than a mere marketing and promotions vehicle. They are ready to make it the foundation of their business infrastructure.

Threats and opportunities are on all sides. Search engines (not IYPs) dominate online lookups. Wireless DA is likely to overtake print Yellow Pages in query volume by 2006. This means that publishers may have to do some radical rethinking of how they organize the sales force to capture the online spending of their key customers.

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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