What’s in a Number?
The Kelsey Group has generated considerable attention (and some confusion) in the media and on the blogosphere from a statement that appeared in an Advisory issued by our Marketplaces program on Jan. 4 offering picks and predictions for 2008 (each TKG research practice issued a similar document).
The statement in question reads as follows (referring to newspapers and Yellow Pages):
“In 2008 we think there will be a dramatic falloff in print usage due to two factors: Online has gotten ‘good enough,’ and users have grown fluent with online search. The falloff in 2008 could even reach 10 percent, compared with the 2 percent to 3 percent we’ve seen in years past.”
Several points are needed to put this statement in perspective.
This and all the predictions issued in January by The Kelsey Group’s analysts were meant to be directional in nature. In hindsight, we should have anticipated that using specific numbers to illustrate a conceptual view could be misconstrued as a firm projection.
In truth, the numbers included in the predictions Advisory were meant only to illustrate our sense of things and should not be interpreted as a Kelsey Group forecast. In addition, the figures cited relate to Yellow Pages and newspapers combined, rather than to each individually, which has further clouded the waters.
The Kelsey Group is in the process of updating its annual revenue and usage forecast for global Yellow Pages and local search, which will project out five years. This document will be released to TKG clients in mid-first quarter, at which time our forecast figures will be subject to debate and scrutiny.