Thursday, August 05, 2004

2004 Yellow Pages Metered Ad Study

The Yellow Pages industry has invested over $70 million in call tracking studies in the past 7 years, resulting in one of the largest databases of tracked customer-contacts of any medium.


Unique phone numbers placed in Yellow Pages ads allow advertisers to know exactly how many customer contacts they receive through their ads.


The industry has just completed its 2004 Metered Ad Study, which aggregates all studies conducted by major publishers across the U.S. The study is conducted each year by CRM Associates of Boulder, CO on behalf of YPIMA. The 2004 Metered Ad Study includes 67,127 tracked ads for the period between 1997 and 2003 (an increase from 54,937 in the 2003 study and 42,056 in the 2002 study).


The study includes local and national display and incolumn ads. Studies were available for 1,492 headings.


Perhaps the most significant observation from this year’s study is that average call volumes increased in 2003 compared with 2002 for both display and space ads, indicating that value to advertisers from Yellow Pages remains quite strong.


Key observations from the data include:


Calls to display ads in 2003 were almost 8% higher than in 2002; local space call volumes were almost 11% higher in 2003 than in 2002. As the economy picked up in 2003, so too did calls to advertisers. Two thirds of a sample of advertisers that had the same size ad in two successive years saw an increase in calls in the second year, with an average increase of 31%.


Seventy-five percent of the top 100 headings had higher call volumes for local display ads in 2003 than in 2002, with an average increase of 10%. Eleven percent of these headings had higher call volumes in 2003 than in any of the past 7 years. Over the past 5 years, 55% of top headings saw a positive growth in calls of over 5% per year.


The average local display ad in Yellow Pages generates 881 calls per year at a cost per call of $29 (at full rate). The average local display ad for the top 135 headings generates 1,055 calls at a cost per call of $24.75.


The average local space ad delivers 428 calls per year at a cost per of $10 per call.


National display and space ads draw more calls per similar size ad than local ads due to the fact that national ads feature more locations per ad than local ads.


One of the best values in Yellow Pages is trademark ads. Trademark ads generate almost as many calls as national display ads, but at one quarter the cost ($4.67 per call). Trademark ads show the strongest synergy with advertising in other media.




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