Contrary to my common sense, a recent study by Knowledge Networks suggest that 85% of people used the printed yellow pages last year at least once. After they searched, 78% chose to contact at least one business – most through the telephone (see picture below).
What the study does not cover is what percentage of searches by these 85% were done using the printed yellow pages vs. online. Even if the majority of people use the print directory once a year, I wonder if that is enough to keep them afloat. With cable/DSL household penetration continuing to increase, why would people search through a yellow pages when they can get maps, sites, and feedback online? However, I could see where it would be easier to flip through the pages than to boot up the laptop and get connected. In that case, perhaps the YP would be advantageous.
The study was sponsored by the Association of Directory Publishers, a printed media association.