This report contains data from our most recent Local Commerce Monitor survey, Wave 15 (Q4 2011), and is specifically tailored to clients of The Kelsey Report advisory service. Among the key findings:
· Overall, Wave 15 suggests further erosion in traditional media, but we did pick up signs of stabilization in spend on print Yellow Pages. SMBs that plan to decrease spending on print YP in the next 12 months registered 9 percent (net of increasers), a much better reading than the Wave 14 finding of 25 percent net decreasers.
· We also found some unexpected strength in independent print Yellow Pages, which registered large increases in SMB usage and overall spending. (Some of the spending that left incumbent print YP may have gone into independent books, both established and new.)
· Although the signals are somewhat mixed, we continue to see a lack of excitement in Internet YP. Fewer SMBs are using IYP, and their spending level is relatively low in relation to their total ad spend budget. However, compared with all other media, their share of spend actually increased slightly, possibly due to decreases in other media.
· One of the more intriguing findings was the large jump in SMBs reporting use of call tracking, which doubled over the Wave 14 finding to 11 percent.
· Finally, we again observed great interest in self-serve for the purchase of online advertising (including SEM), along with the self-assessment that most such purchases are now being done by the SMB principals themselves, without going through a sales channel.