• http://www.soydanbay.com soydanbay

    Yellow Pages Canada recently changed its logo and business strategy. I reviewed their new brand. If you are interested you can click the link below.

    http://soydanbay.com/2010/03/29/the-new-logo-of-yellow-pages/

  • bwgsmn

    While referencing the Burke research, I find it interesting that you didn’t mention any of their other findings:

    Nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers surveyed say they referenced print or Internet Yellow Pages when looking for local business information in the previous month. Search engines were the second-most popular resource among consumers seeking local business information (58%), followed by flyers/coupons (38%), newspapers (33%), and magazines (14%), the study found.

    More than two-thirds of consumers (67%) say print or Internet Yellow Pages are the sources they trust most for finding local business information, compared with 33% who cite search engines.

    Regarding accuracy of local business information, print and Internet Yellow Pages again fared better (68%) than search engines (32%).

    On a separate note, with the growth of IYP’s, why would people search for the term “yellow pages?” Someone searching for local info may already know where they are going…yp.com, dexknows.com, etc. Familiarity with online local search sites continues to grow as well. That’s why you may be noticing a downward trend of that search term. With that in mind, it’s easy to see that it doesn’t have anything to do with irrelevance of the product.

  • http://www.planetc1.com/ chiropractic

    Nice to see this all put together in an organized fashion. Calls from YP reps hit a hi in our office mid 2007 and have dropped off to nearly zero in 2010. That’s been replaced by sales calls from yelp and others providing online directory services.

    There are many brands still using “yellow” and/or “pages” in their domains and I imagine the value on these properties will continue to slide.

  • bwgsmn

    Using this method to determine significance of any given product or service is illogical. Just because the amount of people searching for the word, “yellow pages,” is declining, doesn’t mean that the yellow pages are losing steam. It’s an unreasonable argument because of these two reasons:

    1. The reason the search term, “yellow pages,” is declining is because of the rise in popularity of IYP’s. If more people directly access dexknows.com and yp.com, then less people will go to a search engine and type in the search term “yellow pages.”
    2. If you enter the search term, “search engines,” into Google Trends, you discover the same phenomenon. I would never argue the significance of Yahoo, Bing, or even Google based on this information.

    For an unbiased view of yellow page usage, I encourage you to review the rest of the information included in Burke’s new study. You will find that nearly two thirds of consumers reference print of internet yellow pages when looking for a local business. In addition, 67% say print and IYP are the sources they trust the most and are the most accurate. This information will make business owners sit up and think about how much they will invest in SEM and SEO.

  • http://www.bluefountainmedia.com rmatzner

    Yellow Pages don’t really offer any advantages over online directories like Yelp or niche industry sites. I surmise the only people who need/use YP are those who have limited access to computers and the internet (due to lack of equipment, money, training, experience).

    SEMPO and Econsultancy have a study coming out soon that reveals how advertisers are pulling lots of money out of YP and moving it to SEO. Here’s a post on that aspect of the study: http://www.bluefountainmedia.com/blog/seo-killing-print-advertising/

  • http://www.sweetspotmarketing.com kevinpike

    I’ve been thinking Yellow Pages is dead for some time now. Happy to see someone tppl the time to spell it out Chris. Up until last year I kept a YellowPages book around, but after never using it combined with the flood of just getting to many, I just now throw them all away.

    On the marketing side, several of my clients have made me privy to some of YP’s sales tactics recently. I was somewhat surprised to see that YellowPages isn’t even trying to sell “Yellowpages” anymore. They lead with online ads & PPC.

    I think YP screwed up ~2 years ago when they “got smart” and started to put in tracking numbers to monitor ROI. The problem was they put tracking on something that cost a lot of money and didn’t yield as good as PPC.

    When most of my clients saw their YP report compared to PPC they shit a brick because they knew what the return could of been had they invested in PPC or some other form of search engine marketing.

    From the change in their business model, I think it’s safe to say YP got the message. Your right to think they should abandon the brand because the association for many companies is now negative. I personally don’t see how they could gain the trust to win this audience back.

    I see YP as similar to newspapers ads now. They both used to do a good job selling print, but they were slow to change. Unless they went out an hired some experts they didn’t really be come experts. No one can be a traditional media buyer one day, and flip a switch to online. It takes months if not years of experiance be good at it.

  • http://www.sweetspotmarketing.com kevinpike

    I’ve been thinking Yellow Pages is dead for some time now. Happy to see someone tppl the time to spell it out Chris. Up until last year I kept a YellowPages book around, but after never using it combined with the flood of just getting to many, I just now throw them all away.

    On the marketing side, several of my clients have made me privy to some of YP’s sales tactics recently. I was somewhat surprised to see that YellowPages isn’t even trying to sell “Yellowpages” anymore. They lead with online ads & PPC.

    I think YP screwed up ~2 years ago when they “got smart” and started to put in tracking numbers to monitor ROI. The problem was they put tracking on something that cost a lot of money and didn’t yield as good as PPC.

    When most of my clients saw their YP report compared to PPC they shit a brick because they knew what the return could of been had they invested in PPC or some other form of search engine marketing.

    From the change in their business model, I think it’s safe to say YP got the message. Your right to think they should abandon the brand because the association for many companies is now negative. I personally don’t see how they could gain the trust to win this audience back.

    I see YP as similar to newspapers ads now. They both used to do a good job selling print, but they were slow to change. Unless they went out an hired some experts they didn’t really be come experts. No one can be a traditional media buyer one day, and flip a switch to online. It takes months if not years of experience be good at it.

    To me the verdict is still out on Yelp. They got into the game after the pendulum had already swung to online advertising, so they could better position themselves.

    I still start a search engine first. If Yelp or YP ranks great, but I don’t actively seek them out.

  • bwgsmn

    I encourage you to trend the keyword, “search engines,” as well. Based on your rationale, it appears that they are becoming obsolete too.

    ….or maybe people already have a specific site they go to directly…i.e. Dexknows.com, YP.com, etc. Wouldn’t that also decrease the number of keyword searches for, “yellow pages?”

  • http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    bwgsmn, my intent wasn’t to mention every single item in the Burke study – it was to examine which metrics most likely speak to a trend in the “yellow pages” brand name’s recognition.

    You’re welcome to offer a competing theory on the dichotomy between consumers considering YP/IYP more authoritative while usage of print YP degrades. For my part, the telling piece of data shows that the 18-34 demographic is going to Search Engines and Social Media to discover businesses more than to YP/IYP. On the face of it, that illustrates the problem I was identifying in this article.

    Unless something massive is done to reverse that trend indication, the “yellow pages” concept will disappear pretty rapidly.

    I had indeed considered the point you raise — that people might not search for “yellow pages” if they already have a high level of brand recognition with particular IYPs and might be going directly to them instead of searching for them. However, there are strong indications that the rate of dedicated, brand-loyal consumers are not increasing at a sufficient rate to balance out the decreasing rate of visitors arriving from search engine referrals. Hitwise has reported that search engines represent at least 25% of upstream sources for IYPs’ traffic, and we know that even for highly known brands with easy-to-find websites, users often resort to typing the brandnames into the search engines to navigate to those sites. Yet, we do not see growth in those areas, nor do we see all that stable of trendlines either:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=superpages%2Cdexknows%2Cdex+knows%2Cyellow+book%2Cyellowbook&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

    Since there is a direct correllation between brandname recognition and searches for the brandname, use of that as one of the supportive pieces of information in this article isn’t at all illogical.

    I really wish that consumers prioritized trustworthiness of data above other considerations, but there’s a lot of indication that they may actually prefer convenience and ease of accessing data above data quality. Consumers are less able to assess relative quality of directory sites in many cases, and appear to be too forgiving of errors — so trustworthiness isn’t their primary consideration. Usability experts have pointed out that users are often irritated by advertising, and this is one area where Google Maps has exercised unfair advantage — Google Maps does not have to be profitable, while IYPs do, so they have to keep experiementing with ads-versus-relevancy balancing while Google Maps continues to focus obsessively on making for a nice user-experience.

    Finally, you suggest my rationale was based solely upon the Google Trends graph, and you suggest comparing searches for “search engines” with “yellow pages”. First, you can see that searches for “search engines” appears to be levelling off, while searches for “yellow pages” shows a sharp degradation that doesn’t look like it’s stopping. So, one would not arrive at the same supposition comparing those trend lines.

    But, searches for “search engines” actually would more closely fit your theory of specific company’s products having such high degrees of brand recognition and loyalty that the searches for the generic term could arguably have fallen off as consumers go directly to their sites instead of searching to find them. Google is the example that leaps to mind — for quite a number of years their market share has grown, and has only seen some levelling off in recent history.

    You can’t say that about the IYPs collectively, though.

    This article doesn’t come from a bias on my part, but an effort to neutrally interpret business/consumer trends and relay those observations back. I happen to like IYPs, and would like for them to see what I think is happening in the marketplace so that they can adapt and be successful.

    Like I said above, it’s currently not a very fair playing field. Google has control of a large amount of marketshare, and Google’s decisions are impacting the YP companies’ ability to continue to compete. Google Maps doesn’t have to be profitable, since it’s underwritten by Google’s primary ad revenue elsewhere. But, IYPs and other directories have to compete with GMaps, trying to place ads and other products on pages — ads which often disaffect consumers to some degree.

    I’d ask you not to attack the messenger, but serious consider not just the Google Trends data I cited, but also the other telling indicators. Financial statements from major YP companies are stating that decreasing usage of print is an ongoing risk, and YP company execs are stating that they are foreseeing insufficient usage to continue publishing print directories in some markets. Those sources are not biased against the industry!

  • http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    Followup: A week after this article published, AT&T’s Yellowpages.com rebranded itself as YP.com – distancing itself from the traditional brand name. I think this was a very positive move on their part. For my more detailed analysis, read:

    http://www.nodalbits.com/bits/att-yellowpages-rebranding-to-yp/

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnson.moving Johnson Moving

    The quality of service in YellowPages.canada – is going down. They don’t listen to their customers. I and Downsizing my ads with them. The party id Over Yellow Pages ! Au revoir !