On How Many Sites Do SMBs Advertise?

The folks at Palore sent me a new data set they’re releasing tomorrow. You might remember, the company recently changed its business model to focus on all the granular data it was scraping from local search sites.

Since then it’s been on a steady pace of releasing various data mashups to whet the market’s appetite. The goal from there is to attract custom data jobs, where it applies its proprietary technology to scrape sites for any number of attributes for various market research purposes.

The latest release shows the number of businesses (in two different city and category combinations) that advertise in only one place versus two or more. Between restaurants in Boston and clubs in New York, the numbers match up pretty evenly, which somewhat affirms the data (or maybe it’s just an East Coast thing).

The numbers are interesting for a few reasons. First, it surprised me that a commanding majority only advertise on one site, given the many advertising pitches with which SMBs are bombarded.

That’s not to mention the fragmentation that has splintered users in many directions, in terms of their go-to local search hunting grounds (i.e., Yelp, Citysearch, Yellowbot, Yellowpages.com, Superpages, etc.). The fact that there are 30 “leading local search” sites scraped for this very data set is supportive of this notion. The point is that these data suggest advertisers — at least in these specific city/category combos — aren’t acting on this reality.

It also seems valuable to know this particular breakdown when calculating how many total SMBs advertise on a given set of sites. It’s sometimes hard to come up with a total by adding up the sum of its parts, because it’s difficult to know how to disambiguate the list. This particular data set gives me a general idea of how many overlaps to expect in such counts.

The last bit is probably not of interest to most people, but that’s the point. Palore hopes to appeal to different market research needs with an offer to scrape any site, and slice and dice data in any way it can. Lots of possibilities here, including custom research for ad sales teams that want to prioritize leads.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Stan Gauss

    I would make an educated guess that the majority of SMBs are being sold by their local print Yellow Pages provider and they are still under the impression that they don’t have to buy anything else.

    Local media is still trying to figure out the right approach to gain deeper penetration in those SMB categories and even if they do, I am afraid that the ‘Our product is the only product’ mentality could take over.

    This data reminds me of the charts that came out when auto dealers started buying the web. Some would buy Cars.com. Others would buy AutoTrader. The successful dealers were those buying multiple products and managing their leads.

    The same will be true for the SMB- Google, Yahoo, IYP and local media are all needed.

  2. Mike Boland

    Good point Stan. And this speaks to the value of the yellow pages sales channel. If these SMBs are buying just one, they’re likely not the most aggressive marketers. And if that’s true, it’s very likely that one they are buying is the one that was delivered to them (via YP rep). It’s the old saying: local advertising isn’t bought, it’s sold

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