The Kelsey Group's Directional Media Strategies '09 Conference Preview

In less than 6 weeks, many decision makers from the Yellow Pages industry and other directional media companies will be attending the next Kelsey Group conference called Directional Media Strategies ’09.  Two of [praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] analysts (Charles Laughlin and Matt Booth) organized a preview web conference yesterday to explain the “meta-themes” of the conference. They are:

  1. Embracing accountability (for example, with print pay-for-perfomance ads)
  2. Transforming the sales channel (becoming multi-product, digital and explicitly performance-based, sales training needs with those changes)
  3. Reinventing the business model ( every aspects of the Yellow Pages business model is under scrutiny, 12-month cycles, etc.)

The session became very interactive when Charles asked the attendees (more than 100) to vote on three different statements.

The first one, “In 5 years, what percentage of total directory revenue will be generated by performance-based advertising programs?”, produced some interesting results. 35% think that between 25% and 50% of total directory revenues (print and online) will be performance-based. That’s what I think as well. It will be a combo of preserving current advertisers with some advertiser gain as well.


The second question, “in 5 years, what percentage of directory advertisers will be handled entirely by an automated/self-service sales channel?”, also produced some interesting results. 37% think that it will be “between 10% and 25%”. I’m not a big believer in self-service in the short/medium term. I think it will be “less than 10%”.


The third question, “In 5 years, what percentage of large metro print directories will be produced in a size similar to that of a mini or companion?”, did not produce a clear winner. For my readers not in the industry, mini or companion directories (also called neighborhood directories in Canada) are smaller, more geo-focused print directories. Based on my personal experience, I always feel my neighborhood directory is always more relevant than the big Montreal-East book and when I use a print directory, I usually use the neighborhood edition. I think publishers will have no choice but to embrace this new format/model. I voted for “between 50% and 75%”.


The conference is being held at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”79b0fad769b11f4b8998b682a0374edd7f” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] in Orlando. You can register here.

I will be attending the conference. If you want to meet, make sure we connect by e-mail (sprovencher AT beforehand to schedule some quality time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s