A Guide to Competitive Media

RAB's new Competitive Media section gives you complete access to the latest information profiling 10 competitive media. Each profile contains a complete whitepaper as well as the advantages, disadvantages and plus Radio for each medium.

This section also gives you the option to build custom media profiles reflecting specific talking points in a colorful, street-ready one sheet.

Yellow Pages

  • One out of five individuals in an active shopping mode use the Yellow Pages (print or online) for information. (CRM Associates, 2011)

    Almost all users of the Yellow Pages (89%) will eventually make a purchase (79% for Internet Yellow Pages users). (CRM Associates, 2011)

    58% of Yellow Pages users have not already chosen a business when consulting a directory. Even those with a single name in mind get curious and look at other ads -- 55% of these users view other ads, and they look at 4 on average. (CRM Associates, 2011)

    According to an annual report by Simba Information, spending for the entire Yellow Pages industry is projected to decline 5.5% in 2011. (Simba Information, 2011)

    Overall, 70% of Yellow Pages users utilize the information in Yellow Pages ads to help in making shopping decisions. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    63% of Yellow Pages users are women and 37% are men. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    Yellow Pages users, by age group: 18-24, 6%; 25-34, 13%; 35-49, 32%; 50-64, 32%; 65+, 17%. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    Yellow Pages users, by income bracket: Under $10,000, 4%; $10,000-$24,999, 14%; $25,000-$39,999, 19%; $40,000-$59,999, 19%; $60,000-$99,999, 26%; $100,000+, 18%. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    According to a year-long 2010 survey of over 50,000 consumers in 125 major markets, conducted by M/A/R/C Research, 69% said they had used the AT&T Real Yellow Pages in the past year, while 29% had accessed the online search directory (M/A/R/C Research, 2011)

    Based on 2010 research by CRM Associates, the average top heading local display ad in a Yellow Pages book delivers over 200 calls per year at a cost per call of $22. The average Internet Yellow Pages ad delivers over 100 calls per year at a cost per call of $15. (CRM Associates, 2010)

    Yellow Pages users (both print and online) spend 25% more than average customers for most of the top directory headings. (CRM Associates, 2011)

    Paper Yellow Pages categories generating the most usage: 1. Restaurants; 2. Physicians/surgeons; 3. Auto repair/service; 4. Auto parts new & used; 5. Pizza; 6. Plumbing contractors; 7. Beauty salons; 8. Dentists; 9. Attorneys/lawyers; 10. Auto dealers new/used. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    Internet Yellow Pages categories accounting for the most usage: 1. Restaurants; 2. Government offices (city); 3. Food products; 4. (tie) Beauty salons and physicians/surgeons; 6. Government offices (state); 7. Pizza; 8. Auto parts new/used; 9. Auto repair/service; 10. Computers (dealers). (Local Search Association, 2011)

    The typical local display ad delivers $15 of sales and $4 of profit for every $1 spent on Yellow Pages. (CRM Associates, 2011)

    53% of shoppers who patronize businesses as a result of Yellow Pages searches are new customers. (CRM Associates, 2011)

    There are hundreds of Yellow Pages books available throughout the country, in addition to numerous online Yellow Pages websites such as,, and (USA Today, 2011)

    A 2010 survey by Ron Sachs Communications revealed that nearly one-quarter of Americans immediately discard the phone books that are delivered to their doors. (Ron Sachs Communications, 2010)

    Yellow Pages users tend to have major events occurring in their lives that prompt the need for new types of purchases. (CRM Associates, 2011)

  • Widespread: Ninety-nine percent of U.S. adults are familiar with the Yellow Pages. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    Emergency Reference: Consumers often rely on the Yellow Pages during emergency situations.

    Targets Consumers: Ads primarily target consumers already interested in purchasing a product or service.

    Traditional Acceptance: Having a listing in the Yellow Pages has historically been a "must" for retailers.

  • Encroaching Competition from the Internet: Yellow Pages-like services on the Web are replacing printed books. These directories offer ease of use, mobile accessibility, more logical organization of data, and the capability to update information more often.

    Limited Exposure: Less than half of U.S. adults (46%) refer to the printed Yellow Pages directory during an average week. The other 54% will not see your ad. (Local Search Association, 2011)

    Ad Clutter: Your ad is lumped in with all the others for the same product, where shoppers can compare.

    Inconvenient: Phone books tend to be bulky, hard to store, and not readily available to consumers outside of the home or office. Their availability is limited to the locations where most purchases are made. How many pay phones have you seen that have a complete book? (Indeed, with the ever-increasing use of mobile phones, how many pay phones have you seen?)

    Inflexible: Most directories are published once a year, and advertising must be purchased well in advance of the publication date. You can’t make corrections or changes resulting from dynamic business conditions or opportunities.

    Too Many Books: In many communities, there are several different directories all competing for listings. Who reads them all?

    Minimal Consumer Awareness: Since the Yellow Pages typically are consulted after the decision to buy has been made, top-of-mind awareness must be built in other ways. As products continue to proliferate and the retail business becomes saturated, you must create demand for your products before the buying decision has been made.

  • Limited Exposure: The combination of Radio and Yellow Pages (hard copy or online) can work more effectively to reach, motivate and inform your customers. Radio can create demand and influence shoppers before they decide to buy, and the Yellow Pages can reinforce where they should buy once they have made the decision.

    Top-of-Mind Awareness: While your competition is content with advertising only in the Yellow Pages, you can increase your top-of-mind awareness through Radio – and greatly increase your market share. Radio can help you communicate the unique selling proposition of your business and help draw attention to your Yellow Pages ad instead of those of your competitors.

    Flexible: Radio’s great flexibility lets you make copy revisions at your discretion to accommodate changes in your business. You’re not stuck with the same ad for more than a year, you increase your creative options, and you can generate maximum impact when you combine Yellow Pages with Radio.

Other Competitive Media Resources

In this section, you'll find links to information profiling media OTHER than radio. Below are links to Weekly Sales Meetings, Whitepapers, special reports and other articles that you can use to help your advertisers understand the important role of Radio in supporting ANY marketing effort.

Please make your selection from the lists below and don't forget, you can always call RAB's Member Response Helpline at 1-800-232-3131 for more information.