Within an article about the yellow pages industry on TheStreet.com is this shocking nugget about just how little action print yellow pages are receiving in 2009:
This year, 39% of customers looking for business phone numbers used the Yellow Pages, down from 46% in 2005, according to data from Wiese Research Associates.
As I read this, it sounds like the research group first qualified people by asking them if they look for business information. Then they asked those who said yes to say what resources they turned to for business information. And that was 39% yellow pages.
If I’m reading this right, that means that more than half of the yellow pages delivered are never used.
But wait. We receive not one but three books per year, so only one of those three is likely to be used by half of those looking for business information.
It sounds like there is only a 13% chance that any given book delivered in 2009 is used at all, assuming that all books are treated equally by consumers. Wow.
That would put the industry’s pure waste percentage at 87% minus the few successful non-deliveries to opt-out households they managed to achieve.
How much worse do things have to get before printing and distributing yellow pages directories – as it’s done today – is no longer a viable business model?