The Kelsey Group met last week with Publicar, Colombia’s leading directory publisher, and was given a look at the results of recent user focus groups conducted in that country. The results were fascinating to us, because they were so similar to the results of similar focus groups conducted here in the United States.
What we discovered is the issues facing directory operators in Bogota are essentially the same ones faced in the United States, and to a large measure in Europe and other developed directory markets: How to keep the core directory relevant to a consuming public that is growing accustomed to finding information online.
Colombian consumers with Internet access interviewed in the focus groups expressed a similar tendency to use the Internet less than those without access, and are more likely to turn to search engines to find out information about local businesses.
While we must always note the limitations of focus groups, the consistency of the findings is striking to us. And the fact that these results are similar in what is perceived to be a developing market is all the more interesting.