According to a new report from Borrell Associates, printed classified ads will be virtually dead within the next 5 years. And in fact, YellowPages advertising will begin turning to online versions at a rate of 38%. So although it will lose dramatically on the traditional end, YellowPages sales representatives will sell online ads at about the same rate to offset the revenue loss.
This apparently amounts to a loss of $5 billion over the next 5 years and accounts for 39% of its annual revenue size.
The change is due to the fact that online mediums are becoming the most popular with marketers and business owners. Online ads, video, and paid search offer more bang for the buck and allow changes even after the ad is bought. Add in campaign tracking and interactive capabilities, and you can see how online has a tremendous advantage.
Although traditional advertising is learning to switch to online, like the above example with the Yellow Pages, the question is: has the buyer? Yellow Pages online is not used nearly as extensively as Google or Yahoo, even with local search. Most people use online directories ONLY after not being able to find it using a major search engine. And with more and more advertisers understanding the value of being found in a search engine, they tend to ensure they are in Google so where does that leave the directories like Yellow Pages?