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August 16, 2004

‘Hometowner’ SMEs Rapidly Embracing Web Sites as Marketing Tool

Forty-eight percent of SMEs whose customers and suppliers are within 50 miles of their location now have Web sites, according to The Kelsey Group and ConStat.

Princeton, NJ (August 16, 2004) – Forty-eight percent of “Hometowner” businesses – small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose customers and suppliers are primarily within 50 miles of their physical location – now have Web sites, according to data from Wave VII of the Local Commerce Monitor, an ongoing study conducted jointly by The Kelsey Group and ConStat, Inc.

The research indicates that Hometowners are rapidly adding Web sites to their mix of advertising and marketing media, having increased their use of Web sites by over 100 percent since Wave III of this tracking study was conducted in the Spring of 2000.

“In the earlier waves of the Local Commerce Monitor, Web sites were being used by businesses whose customers were primarily outside of where their business was located,” said Kelsey Group Senior Vice President Neal Polachek. “The new finding is important, because it shows that this market segment of small businesses, which represents nearly 40 percent of all small business advertisers, is increasingly turning to the Internet.”

The current research indicates a significant shift in the attitudes of Howetowners in just the past two years. In 2002, only 35 percent agreed with the statement, “The Internet will enable my business to be more successful in my local market.” In 2004, more than half the Hometowner businesses surveyed agreed with this statement.

The marketing mix of Hometowners and other local advertisers will be a focus of The Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media 2004 conference (ILM:04), taking place November 3-5, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson in Jersey City, New Jersey.  On the agenda, sessions entitled,  “Driving Deeper into the SME Market” and “In the Trenches: The Challenge of Getting SMEs Online” will give conference attendees an overview of the current and future state of adoption of local media strategies and tactics.

About ILM:04
Interactive Local Media 2004 (ILM:04) is The Kelsey Group’s annual conference devoted to digital media with a local focus. This event provides a 360 degree view of the local marketplace, covering a range of important topics, including Local Search, Internet Yellow Pages, Vertical Directories, Online Classifieds, Social Networks and Mobile Search. For more information, contact The Kelsey Group by phone at (609) 921-7200 Ext. 10, by e-mail at [email protected], or visit www.kelseygroup.com/ilm2004/.

About ConStat, Inc.
ConStat, Inc. is a research firm that specializes in the Yellow Pages and information technology industries with offices in San Francisco and Denver. ConStat has served clients in the telecommunications, media, advertising, wireless and high-technology communities for more than 10 years. For additional information, ConStat can be reached at (510) 267-3100.

About The Kelsey Group
The Kelsey Group is the leading provider of strategic research and analysis, data and competitive metrics on Yellow Pages, electronic directories, small-business advertising and local search. Beginning in 1986, the company has built a reputation as the leading analyst firm covering the directory publishing community, providing advisory (The Kelsey Report® and Interactive Local Media), publishing (Global Yellow Pages™ and Local Media Journal™), consulting (more than 300 individual assignments) and conference services (60 events).

For more information contact:

Eileen Pacheco
(781) 556-1026
[email protected]

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