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Simmons Market Research Bureau called me at home on Saturday morning as part of a broad canvassing of Yellow Pages consumers in San Diego County.

After some preliminary questions, the surveyor asked me to walk over to where I keep my Yellow Pages (downstairs, in an old gun closet). I lugged my six Yellow Pages out, put on my glasses, and read the tiny numbers off the spine to surveyor, who confessed that 20 percent of people hung up at that point. Not very many.

Next, I was asked the last time I used each directory, and for what reason (in my case, restaurant coupons a few weeks ago). Then I was asked about my usage of some Internet directories, some of which are mainstream, including all the online versions of the big YPs, Google and Yahoo. Some, however, were just barely alive or inactive in my area, leaving me to scratch my head why they were included.

Interestingly, the survey didn’t ask me about sites where I also get listings from: Yelp, Angie’s List, MojoPages, Insider Pages, Citysearch, ServiceMagic — the kinds of places where someone like me sometimes finds listings. It also didn’t include local independent directories for my area that I enjoy using.

The best question: “Dividing 11 points between Internet Yellow Pages and Print Yellow Pages, what is your preference?”

How would YOU answer that? 5-6? 6-5? 7-4? 8-3? 9-2? 10-1? 11-0? Let us know!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. “5.5 – 5.5”

    I’m guessing they used 11 points so that you would have to rate one higher than the other, encouraging some separation in the final tally. I’m not a statistician, but that seems a bit fishy.

  2. To me, the real issue here appears to be the survey techniques of Simmons Market Research Bureau. Why even bother canvassing for opinion if you a) do not know the competitive landscape and b) upon hearing you have previously unidentified competition – do not include them in the survey? It’s like being asked to vote for your favorite dessert, told you can only choose between chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and the surveyor ignores the fact that you are lactose intolerant and eat other things. The competitive landscape in the online world is changing so rapidly, you cannot afford to ignore your rivals.

  3. I’m going with 11-0 in favor of the Internet Yellow Pages (and their partnerships) just because I haven’t used a print book since probably 2003 or 2004. Not trying to make a point, I just don’t need the print book.

  4. I’d go with 10-1 because I never use the print Yellow pages anymore and I throw it out as soon as it comes in the mail (takes up too much room in my apartment). However, I did use print YellowPages at a restaurant the other day to look up a phone number for the movie theater.

  5. Dan McCarthy also weighs in:

    That’s a mind twister of a question. So, the game of business is to 11 — never knew. I’d score it 6 to 5 for print, because the advertising climate is richer. Combine the searchable digital database with the evolving community of reviews and social networks onime and the score goes heavily to online. Of course, that’s a value-destroying revenue path with current business models, but that’s where the world’s going.

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