TMP Directional Marketing Study Reveals Local Search Changing with Interactive Media, Indicates Consumer Search Behavior and Media Usage Trends

TMP Directional Marketing Study Reveals Local Search Changing with Interactive Media, Indicates Consumer Search Behavior and Media Usage Trends

Major Findings Show Mobile Search Continues to Grow, Demand Driven by
Younger Consumers

TMP
Directional Marketing (TMPDM), the largest local search marketing
agency, released its annual local search study, commissioned by
comScore, that examines the year-over-year growth of local search and
the shifts in consumer behavior and media usage. This study revealed a
major movement toward interactive search channels such as Internet
search engines, mobile platforms and social media.

According to TMPDM’s study, the search industry overall is expanding
rapidly, with the total number of U.S. searches having grown by 31
percent across all media platforms between June 2008 and June 2009 (21.9
billion total searches in June 2009). Internet search engines continue
to be a primary source for local business information, although the data
remains little changed from 31 percent in 2008. Among the search
engines, local search sites increased in usage, from 11 percent in 2008
to 12 percent in 2009. Also, IYP sites gained ground as primary sources
of local business information, from 19 percent usage last year to 21
percent this year.

“Each media type plays an important role in the consumer purchase
process. Buyers use numerous channels at different times and for
different reasons,” said Gregg Stewart, president of TMPDM’s
full-service interactive division 15miles.
“But the growing demand for local business information across
interactive search platforms, especially online and mobile, is creating
additional opportunities for national advertisers to reach consumers
with more relevance. In order to reach target audiences, marketers must
think locally and focus their messages on local marketplaces where
consumers shop.”

Online and Offline Search Used for Different Reasons

Holding true to last year’s results, online search is used earlier in
the purchase process than offline search. The primary reason survey
respondents search online first is to research the best brands to buy
and to identify businesses that offer those brands. In fact, four out of
10 consumers, or approximately 39 percent, engage in online research to
aid in purchase selection. Only 17 percent of consumers go offline to
research.

As in 2008, offline search is performed in the later stages of the
consumer purchase process. Forty percent of consumers engage in offline
search to get specific business details (for example, hours of
operation, addresses and phone numbers) about the places they have
selected for follow-up activities and/or making purchases.

In terms of post-search activity, TMPDM’s study found that 83 percent of
local search users contacted businesses offline (a six point increase
over 2008 results), with 46 percent of consumers making contacts over
the phone and 37 percent visiting the businesses in person. Although
TMPDM found that in-store purchases decreased across the board since
2007, most likely due to economic factors, half of all local business
searchers made purchases.

These findings reveal that online search is a vital channel for
marketers seeking to generate local leads and sales, yet offline media
still holds practical applications, relevance and value in the consumer
purchase process. Based on the ever-fragmenting media landscape,
marketers are beginning to see value in adopting a diversified-media
approach for their business information to be found by searching
consumers.

More Consumers Engaging in Mobile Search

TMPDM found that consumers continue to fuel emerging trends in local
search. With 22 million consumers using the mobile Internet through June
2009, the preferred mode to access local business information remains
the mobile browser. In fact, 127 percent more users accessed local
content via downloaded applications on mobile devices, compared to June
2008.

With millions of applications accessible to mobile users, consumers can
easily search for local business information wherever they go. TMPDM
classified the specific business information that consumers seek on
their mobile devices, and placed each search into a category to measure
the most popular content. Among the various local content categories
searched on mobile platforms, more consumers accessed online directories
(42 percent), followed by maps (41 percent), restaurant information (37
percent) and movies (30 percent).

Additional Mobile Search Findings

The Value of Print Yellow Pages

While a majority of consumer search behavior has shifted toward the use
of interactive resources, print Yellow Pages and other offline
directories are still referenced in the consumer purchase process,
proving that offline media still has reach and possesses lead-generation
benefits. And the high demand for online Yellow Pages information
reveals that consumers still use the Yellow Pages, just in different
ways. When coupled with IYP, the Yellow Pages are an effective
cross-channel source of local business information. In fact, 30 percent
of consumers who first use IYP still turn to print directories as
additional resources in their searches.

Other Key Study Findings

The closer, the better: Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of
respondents in 2009 stated that they expect their search results to
reveal businesses within 15 miles of their homes or places of work. This
statistic is significantly higher compared to 2008 (59 percent) and 2007
(52 percent), proving that consumers expect more relevance in their
business searches.

TMPDM’s local search usage study includes data from 4,000 online survey
responses, as well as observed online behavior of one million consumers
who agreed to have their online searches monitored anonymously.

About TMP Directional Marketing | 15miles

Coupled with its interactive division 15miles,
TMP Directional Marketing is the largest local search marketing agency,
offering offline, online and mobile solutions to top national brands.
Combining its years of success in Yellow Pages advertising with its
interactive search expertise gained as a former unit of Monster
Worldwide, TMPDM serves clients in all industries, including more than
100 companies on the Fortune 500 list. Privately held by the
Audax Group and senior management, TMPDM is headquartered in New York
and has 500 employees and 15 offices in the U.S. and Canada.

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