Calls Generated by Independent Yellow Pages Print Ads Have Increased 28% Since 2010, According to ADP Ad Effectiveness Study

Findings from the study, which examines the ROI of independent directory advertising, will be presented today at ADP’s 2014 Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show.

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ADP Association of Directory Publishers
In this study, the first to truly examine the ROI of independent directory advertising, the data clearly point to a healthy medium with strong usage.

Traverse City, MI (PRWEB) March 18, 2014

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) released findings today from the ADP Ad Effectiveness Study, conducted by research partner CRM Associates. The study is the first to examine the return on investment for print ads published in independent Yellow Pages directories.

Among the study’s findings, calls to businesses from print ads in ADP-member directories increased 28 percent between 2010 and 2013. The median number of calls per year from an advertiser’s print ad was 197, at a cost per call of $15.50.

“Independent publishers continue to maintain a primary focus on print advertising, whereas major publishers are putting more of an emphasis on digital solutions,” said Dennis Fromholzer, PhD, president, CRM Associates. “This is creating an opportunity for independent publishers, particularly in smaller markets, where print ad performance is strongest.”

Additional findings point to significant ROI for businesses that advertise in ADP-member directories. The study revealed the typical independent Yellow Pages advertiser experienced $81,700 in sales generated from a print ad investment of $3,280. That breaks down to $24.91 in sales for every dollar spent on their ad.

“Perceptions regarding the value of Yellow Pages advertising do not accurately reflect the reality, particularly for independent publishers and their advertisers,” said Cindi Aldrich, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers. “In this study, the first to truly examine the ROI of independent directory advertising, the data clearly point to a healthy medium with strong usage.”

In examining the drivers behind the ROI of independent print directory advertising, Dr. Fromholzer suggested one area that differentiates print performance from digital is conversion. He explained, “Calls to businesses from Yellow Pages ads have a 50 percent conversion rate, compared with three percent for online. In addition, print sales have a higher per-customer value. One reason for this is that 80 percent of the top print directory headings are service-related and high-value purchases, compared with online and mobile purchases, which tend to be more retail and entertainment-related.”

Dr. Fromholzer will present findings from the study today, at ADP’s 2014 Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Study Methodology

The ADP Ad Effectiveness Study was released by CRM Associates in March 2014. The results are based on tracking calls to individual businesses from 212,652 ads, under 1,100 headings, in 1,260 directories, published by 24 publisher-members of the Association of Directory Publishers.

Results are taken for each individual ad and aggregated for each publisher (publisher results are taken as the median result for each individual publisher’s set of ads). The industry results reported are the median of the 24 publishers.

The methodology for estimating ROI was reviewed and endorsed by the Advertising Research Foundation and is the standard methodology that has been used for 20 years.

Only calls that resulted in sales were included in total calls to businesses (i.e., this number did not include noise or nuisance calls or “interest” calls that did not result in sales). Conversion rates are based on consumer reports of the number of businesses they contacted prior to purchase. Consumer spending comes from a variety of sources, depending on the heading, including: industry trade associations or trade magazines; industry usage research studies; consumer behavior studies; and government statistics.

Call trend results are based on businesses for which data were available for the same sized ad for two consecutive years, in the same directory (different issues), under the same heading. The study size for trend was 24,000 (5 publishers) for 2010-11; 31,000 (10 publishers) for 2011-12; and 27,863 (7 publishers) for 2012-2013.

About ADP

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) is an international trade association serving the Yellow Pages industry since 1898. Today, ADP is at the forefront of nearly all important industry initiatives, including protecting publishers’ competitive rights and serving as a trusted source of relevant information and data essential for the effective operation and continuing prosperity of its members. Members include publishers, advertising agencies and suppliers to the print directory, mobile and online publishing industry. ADP provides members up-to-date industry communications, research, legal and legislative support, conventions and numerous programs and services. For more information, visit http://www.adp.org.


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