Wool over who’s eyes…

yellow-pages-logoI just picked this off a blog I was reading… I cant believe it. Who is pulling the wool over who’s eyes here:

According to Neg Norton, president of YPA (Yellow Pages Association), “The Yellow Pages medium is still a go-to resource for ready-to-buy consumers. Overall Yellow Pages usage increased in 2007 as internet use continues to grow and print usage stabilizes. Combined with a 27:1 average sales ROI* for national display advertisers, the Yellow Pages in all formats is a ‘must-buy’ medium for advertisers of all sizes.” Source: CRM Associates.

The usage report data suggests that while online Yellow Pages searches are becoming increasingly popular (reported 15% increase in 2007), this isn’t yet cannibalising printed directories, with 84 percent of the U.S. having used the print Yellow Pages in 2007.

I’ll give you my take; for the last 10 years the printed directory providers have played a little with the online world but with the huge print cash cow and the accompanying usage, why apply similar resource to the un-proven online world and potentially risk the real profit earner – the printed directory? An old colleague of mine in the directory industry would repeatedly apply his smug look and say ‘they said the internet would take over from printed directories for the last x years and it has not happened yet, it won’t happen for the next 20 either…’. Oh how I think he will be eating his words shortly. My prediction is that it won’t be a gradual trend it will be a sudden switch, much the same way that Encyclopedia Britannica was in our homes and then Wikipedia was suddenly the encyclopedia to use.

Here is a link to a graph showing how usage can follow peer production and user interaction / user generated content, to a level that the centrally controlled model of the traditional Yellow Pages production model could never compete (source: searchengineland by Chris Silver Smith)