"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
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.
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
- 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