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Since at least 1997, when we gave a presentation at the YPA annual conference titled “Six Trends that Will Change the Yellow Pages Industry,” we have been making forecasts and predictions about our market coverage areas. Tomorrow the program directors and senior analysts responsible for our three businesses will once again make predictions for how they see their markets evolving over the next year.

Charles Laughlin, Kelsey Group senior vice president and Kelsey Report program director, provides an honest assessment of how he did last year. The predictions our analysts provide are not the same as forecasts, which will follow in a month or two. For instance, Charles will not talk about revenues, usage, percentage of local businesses moving to online advertising products; rather he will be looking at the bigger picture that provides our clients with the background and foundation of how we see the coverage areas evolving. This is a macro view, compared with the micro view clients will get from our forecasts.

As an avid sports fan, I always find it curious that sports experts are not only willing to pick the winner of a game, but its score as well. We’re not about to go that far because the environment that is painted by our predictions is too important to the livelihood of the people who work in our industries. Print and online Yellow Pages, local search, verticals, classifieds and e-commerce are all going through rapid transformation that will be informed by the flow of M&A money, high-level deal making and the decisions of owners to take risks. We encourage our clients to take the time to review our predictions and give us your feedback. These subjects will be discussed in detail throughout the year in our written materials, conferences and discussions with our analyst team.

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