At one time, advertising in the “Yellow Pages” was among the key ways in which a small business would seek consumers. Today, even with many small- and medium-size businesses advertising online, as well as through social and mobile advertising, at least 29.8 percent of all small- and medium-, or mid-sized, businesses continue to purchase print directory advertising, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor (LCM).

LCM data reveals that advertisers with larger budgets tend to continue advertising in printed directories. This is not surprising considering that print Yellow Pages are typically superior performers for businesses that are able, and that seek to, invest in a larger advertising budget.

Small- or mid-size businesses that purchased print directory advertising had an average annual advertising budget of $52,675, according to BIA/Kelsey, while, by contrast, non-print directory advertisers had an average annual advertising budget of only $29,220. Nearly half—46 percent—of the small and mid-sized businesses that advertise utilizing print directories indicated that they would also increase their overall advertising spending over the next year.

BIA/Kelsey also noted that the small- and mid-sized businesses that do use print Yellow Pages take a particularly all-encompassing advertising approach.

When considering advertising spend distribution of those small- and mid-size businesses that utilized print directory advertising, advertising dollars are divided in a 60-to-40 ratio between traditional and digital media advertising. Because digital advertising is generally not as costly, in what BIA/Kelsey indicated as so-called “absolute terms”, when compared to traditional media, that spending allows small and mid-size businesses to have a more complete approach to advertising.

Spending on digital and online spending for these small and mid-size businesses is expected to increase about 11.1 percent in the next year and will likely be seen in digital spend for the development of a mobile website. In fact, a total of 27.2 percent of small and mid-size businesses that advertise with print directories will likely include a mobile website over the next year.

Other online properties that are part of what these small- and mid-size businesses seek, included having a local page on Yahoo, having an enhanced listing or profile in a mobile app or a directory, having a Pinterest account, and having a LinkedIn page for their businesses, according to BIA/Kelsey.


Weingartner, Rebecca. “Print Directories Still Considered Necessary for Holistic Reach of Local Consumers”; BIA Kelsey. June 3, 2014.