Life Events Drive Yellow Pages Usage Part II
Submitted by Kat Philips on Thu, 2012-08-23 13:32
No one uses the Yellow Pages because they love them.
Unlike the Internet and other media, the Yellow Pages did not gain its usage base as a source of entertainment, socialization, or news.
People come to the Yellow Pages with a single mindset: to find information that will help them make their “ready-to-buy” shopping decisions.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and no one understands the reality of the above statements more fully than Dr. Dennis Fromholzer, whose research data will be liberally sprinkled throughout what you are about to read.
In a recent commentary, I opined that every Yellow Pages salesperson would be wise to incorporate into their advertiser presentations the fact that the people with the most money to spend are the people who use the Yellow Pages the most. Those 50 year-old and older consumers are the sweet spot for both the Yellow Pages and those businesses that are strongly represented in their pages.
Let me go another step further to support Dr. Fromholzer’s conclusion that it is the events of life, including those created by dramatic changes in personal circumstances, that create significant marketing opportunities for businesses. It is a message that every advertiser must also understand and embrace.
Simmons’ National Consumer Survey collects data on events in people’s lives. Their recent study shows both Yellow Pages usage and online activity for people who experienced major events in the past year OR who anticipate such an event in the coming year compared to those who experienced or anticipated no major events.
In 36 distinct life event categories, ranging from “Graduate College”, “Get Married” or “First Child Born” all the way to or “Grandchildren Born”, “Make Last Mortgage Payment”, or “Buy a Retirement Home”, Simmons’ found that, in every instance, those experiencing life events used the Yellow Pages and online sources more than those who did not experience such events. This was true in all life event categories, illustrating that Dr. Fromholzer’s theory holds true for all age demographics.
The Simmons’ data also reveals that print Yellow Pages usage ranged from 1.6 to 3.53 times more among those experiencing life events then the no-events control group. Comparatively, online usage ranged from 1.08 to 2.6 times more than the control group. In 30 of the 36 categories, print usage was greater than its online counterpart.
The data also shows clearly that major life events lead to print usage levels on average 2.3 times higher than those who experienced or anticipated no events. Similarly, those experiencing or anticipating major life events are 89% more likely to use Internet Yellow Pages than those with no events. Overall, 85-90% of Yellow Pages usage is by people who experience or anticipate out-of-the-ordinary events and changes.
Importantly, those who use the Yellow Pages the most are shown to be far more likely than the rest of the population to experience life events. For example, these “heavy” users are 102% more likely to have made or plan to make their “last mortgage payment” than the general population.
The connection between “life events” and the Yellow Pages usage “sweet spot” becomes more and more obvious.
Dr. Fromholzer explains why the implications of life events are so valuable.
Life events are “moments of truth” when consumers are uniquely open to messages pertaining to the event at hand. There are few advertising occasions that can capture such a high level of consumer interest as at the point of time of life event-driven shopping;
Life changes invoke an entirely new consideration set of impending purchases, often the first time a consumer comes in contact with a new set of brands. These are brands that advertisers can wrap their messages around to provide helpful advice to win the hearts and wallets of consumers.
It is at this time of brand-introduction when loyalties may and will be formed.
Because of life events, the majority (53%) of Yellow Pages usage in the top 210 headings is by new customers.
Finally, an advertiser’s Yellow Pages ad is a rare opportunity to sell its brand and overall value to a set of individuals that are ready-to-buy, are uncommitted to a single brand or company, and are simply asking for businesses to “sell” to them.
I now opine that life events, too, should be a core element of every Yellow Pages sales presentation. After all, the Yellow Pages offer businesses the ultimate in target marketing.
By Larry Angove, August 23, 2012