YP wants hyperlocal marketers to know that the company formerly known as Yellow Pages still has a major foothold in the industry. Earlier this week, the 100+- year-old company released new research that found adults who use YP to search online are more engaged in several key ways compared to other searchers. The study, conducted by digital analytics firm comScore, found that 77% of searchers who use YP properties go on to contact a merchant, with 66% percent ultimately making a purchase.
Street Fight spoke with YP’s CMO Allison Checchi recently, who said that the company’s deep roots in local search help drive that behavior.
“We invented local search more than 100 years ago and are continuing to reinvent it,’ said Checchi. “According to the research, YP searchers show heavier usage across key categories, dining, travel, professional services and home improvements. These are areas where we have a long history and heritage.”
Checchi pointed out the study shows YP searchers to be more tech savvy than the other searchers, with averaging 20% more smartphone usage. She explained the impact this has on hyperlocal marketers.
“Advertisers need to be where consumers are, and we have a history of migrating to where the customer is, which today is across digital and mobile properties,” she said. “The key is to help consumers find local businesses no matter where they are. For marketers this means having a strong digital presence that is optimized across mobile devices”
She said the number of YP searchers on mobile devices gives the company a leg up towards helping marketers achieve that.
“Mobile is unique in that it has the ability to target consumers in the moment,” said Checchi. “What sets YP apart is that we leverage both proprietary and first party search data to connect with the more than 80 million users who use us monthly. This allows us to reach the right person at the right time in ways no one else can.”
That YP users are so tech savvy surprised even Checchi. She said it shows how successful YP has been transitioning from print to digital formats.
“(YP users) own and use more devices, which may be surprising for a brand with a strong legacy in print,’ she said. “This research shows that consumers find value in how easy we make it to find the local business they need when they need them, wherever they are.”
Unlike many venerable print institutions that disappeared in the digital landscape, YP has been able to keep track of and understand contemporary marketing trends. When Checchi talks, she sounds like the CMO at a flourishing marketing startup trying to stay ahead of the hyperlocal curve.
“Data is moving beyond simply hyperlocal to become personalized on behavioral dimensions,” she said. “Local marketing will evolve to reach consumers in even more relevant ways. YP will be leading the way with its first party data across search, mobile and display.”
According to Checchi, the study shows that YP plays a critical role in the consumer path to purchase. She said this is one fact she thinks is most important local marketers get from the story.
“Businesses need to make smart choices about how to use their advertising dollars, as consumers expand their local search activities across devices,” she said.”Any local marketing campaign must consider how that local business appears on YP and whether it is effectively taking advantage of everything YP has to offer.”
The bottom line is that the numbers show YP searchers to be more “commerce minded’ according to Checchi. She said consumers seek out YP properties with the intent of finding goods and services.
“YP searchers visit, online or in-person, and call a business more often, and then go on to make a purchase,” said Checchi. ‘Our audience traditionally has high purchase intent because people trust YP as a source of information when they are looking to take action.”
Mason Lerner is a contributor at Street Fight.