44% of Consumers Go to URL, 55% Make a Call

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There is a new report from Telemetrics about the percentage of consumers who read a Yellow Page ad and then either call the store or visit the url listed in the ad.

They did it by putting tracking phone numbers and unique urls in the Yellow Page ads so they could measure all the leads generated.

Surprsingly 44% of the leads came from consumers going to the web site listed and 55% called the phone number listed. I say surprisingly because I would think people who pick up the phone book would naturally prefer using the phone by a much greater percentage.  Since Telemetrics didn’t offer any rationale as to why so many go online I’ll try and make a guess.

Could it be that local search isn’t up to speed yet so it is forcing people to go to the Yellow Pages on their way to reading more online about a product or a retailer before calling or going into the store?

Google is really good at feeding an Adword based on where the consumer is geographically (whether or not they enter a local qualifier) but not so good at showing local results unless the consumer enters a geographic term like city or zip.

No matter the reason, the lesson for a brand marketer is that while you’ve been concerned about how your retailers answer the phone you should also be as concerned about how their site looks.  Why pay for a percentage of a Yellow Page ad from your co-op funds only to have the consumer land on a local site that may not even mention your product or if mentioned present it in a bad light?

This is just another reason why brand managers should be involved in what is on their local retailers’ sites.

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