Web Popular as Promotion Medium

The World Wide Web has become a leading advertising and promotion medium for businesses involved in the local commerce market, trailing only the Yellow Pages and newspapers, according to a report.

According to “The Local Commerce Monitor” by The Kelsey Group and ConStat, Inc., the Web has passed direct mail as an advertising and promotion medium for business, and is closing in on newspaper usage. In tech-savvy markets, the report found the Web has passed newspapers and is now the second most popular medium.

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“The research truly demonstrates that the Internet has established itself as a local as well as a national medium,” said Bill Deaton, Managing Director of ConStat. “Many analysts automatically think ‘global’ when they think of the Internet, but local businesses are clearly beginning to recognize the value of the Web as a local communications tool.”

Across the US, the report found 17.2 percent of businesses involved in local commerce now use the Web for advertising and promotion, ahead of direct mail, which attracts 15.5 percent of businesses. Both categories trail the Yellow Pages, which is used by 37.2 percent of businesses, and newspaper advertising, which is used by 18.7 percent of firms.

“The Web is clearly beginning to fulfill its potential as a critical source of advertising and information for local businesses,” said Kelsey Group VP Neal Polachek. “At this point, the Web is supplementing traditional advertising, rather than cannibalizing it. But we expect to see ad and promotion dollars making a transition over to the Web from key categories starting later this year. The best way for Yellow Pages and newspapers to prevent the cannibalization of their combined annual revenues of $50 billion is to accelerate the development of their own Web businesses to serve the local business operator.”

The “Local Commerce Monitor” is a nationally scoped, quantitative research program for understanding and anticipating the attitudes and behaviors of small and medium-sized businesses in the US.

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