Survey: Print YP Most Used, ‘Most Effective’ for Local Targeting

Quova just released results of a survey conducted among US 255 marketing professionals. Just over 50% of the respondents were from organizations that had fewer than 100 employees. There was no indication of what sorts of clients or companies they served.

What might be surprising to some is the degree to which marketers/advertisers still rely on print yellow pages and direct mail to reach consumers in local markets — as well as how effective they’re perceived to be.

Source: Quova, n=255

When asked about future plans the responses were more balanced, with Deals and Mobile gaining significantly (as well as the more generic “geolocation across PC and mobile”):

Source: Quova, n=255

In terms of ranking efficacy, the following were perceived as the most effective local marketing methods by the survey respondents:

  1. Yellow pages and direct mail — 15%
  2. Deals/flash sales — 14%
  3. Search/social media — 11%
  4. Geolocating on mobile web or PC/mobile app — 9%
  5. Billboards — 7%

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17 Responses to “Survey: Print YP Most Used, ‘Most Effective’ for Local Targeting”

  1. Zachary says at

    “There was no indication of what sorts of clients or companies they served.” – That is a pretty important concern and should be answered. If it was a survey of plumbers, or a survey of car dealers – the data would tell me or surprise me in very different ways 🙂

  2. chris says at

    in which category does IYP belong in the survey? Is the response for yellow pages for both internet AND print?

  3. Greg says at


    Agree that there’s ambiguity in the question/category. I suspect people interpret “yellow pages” to mean print. But we can’t know for sure. 

  4. Greg says at


    Agree more visibility on clients would have been nice. 

  5. Mike says at

    Reading Quova’s blog post, it looks like they were trying to contrast different ‘zipcode’/geo based marketing methods: things you get to your house (direct mail, YP), things you drive by (billboard), and online/mobile geotargeting user by IP.  So other than highlighting what they do, its a wacky survey to omit Radio and Newspaper for local spend, to bundle print YP and Direct Mail together, and to give billboards their own category. 

    I think Quova actually considers print DM and YP the same .. “It’s hard to reach people at their doorstep, and until now, direct mail was one of the only ways. This is wasteful and, expensive.”, and given they have IYP clients, the IYP numbers are probably bundled in mobile apps or websites that do geolocation, not with the print YP number.

  6. Greg says at


    The IYP in the general PC number is probably right. But we don’t know how the respondents interpreted the questions. But as I said, “yellow pages” is probably most closely associated with print. 

  7. Mike says at

    It’s interesting how w/o the context we might potentially both be correct. I agree YP is strongest print for a ‘local’ business. But if I’m a national consumer brand trying to zipcode target my message/promotions to hit key/desirable ‘local’ demographics, I’m probably thinking direct mail, not YP, (for print). And thinking of it, I think you’ve hit this theme before where traditional lines defining local vs national advertising start to blur because of the ability to locally target national advertising. In any case, I wasn’t knocking Quova (their stuff works, at a prior company we partnered with them for what they do), I think I was trying to say they might be using the term ‘local’ in a non YP-centric way.

  8. Greg Sterling says at

    I’m not trying to promote one medium vs. another. Just trying to explain the survey. Agree that nationals will probably think direct mail for local and not YP. It was silly for Quova to lump them together.

  9. Michael Kariv says at

    I wonder why would Yellow Pages publishers offer all-in-one for businesses, print, IYP version, a site builder, may be another one optimized for mobile, all with geolocation.  YP for years developed their relationship with the businesses, why don’t they reuse it to capture more of those categories in the survey. Any insight?

  10. Michael Kariv says at

    correction, I obviously meant, why wouldn’t YP publishers….

  11. Greg says at


    Most of the publishers do offer bundles that combine products as you describe. Their stated goal now is both “consultation” and simplification of SMB advertising/marketing. 

  12. Michael Kariv says at

    Is there a list of those products somewhere? I am curious how competitive they are with the other web site/mobile site builders. I wonder if there is somebody who offers all-in-one for print, web, mobile, may be even TV (like Yahoo Connected TV) 

  13. Greg says at

    I don’t know of a single place where you can see all the offerings together. You can go to each of the sites: YP, RL, Yodle (others) and see how they’re positioned.

  14. Michael Kariv says at

    From your experience are they any good? if you were a small biz, would you use them to create your web site?

  15. Greg says at

    I would probably go with someone independent for a site.

  16. David B. says at

    IYP SUCKS!!!!!!!!! 
    I’m wasting my money advertising with them for the last 10 months. Never receive a call for a free quote, estimate, proposal, etc. All my customers are calling from my own company website.
    Is there any survey for how effective is IYP? I don’t think so.

  17. Greg Sterling says at


    There are surveys that do say it’s effective, though your experience is obviously different.

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