Mid America Directories, Inc.


Print Yellow Pages directories come in different sizes and shapes, but share one common purpose -- to provide quick access to business information. This is essential in the 24/7, fast-paced world we live in. For this reason, marketing consultants often encourage their clients to devote all of their advertising dollars toward the Internet claiming this is the only way most consumers are obtaining their information today.

However, based on our in-house research, we have found this is not always the case. While it is true that consumers in their 20’s to 40’s are frequent Internet users, many Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) and their elders are still relying on print Yellow Pages directories to make buying decisions. This stands to reason when you consider that because they did not grow up with the Internet, they are more familiar with this type of advertising medium. Many are also not as computer savvy as younger shoppers and prefer print directories and in-store retail environments when making purchases.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Baby Boomer and senior citizen populations total approx. 89.7 million in the U.S. today. These groups also control about 70% of all the disposable income in the country and spend the most across all product and service categories. In fact, over the next 20 years, spending by people 50+ is expected to increase by 58%, while spending by Americans aged 25-50 will grow by only 24%. Chief Economist, Wayne Best, for Visa has said that “The 50-plus and 60-plus population is clearly playing a large role in consumer spending and that older consumers are going to become more significant as these trends intensify”. Businesses should keep this in mind when developing their marketing programs. Rather than devoting all of their advertising dollars toward the Internet, they need to also consider advertising mediums that are effectively reaching the Baby Boomer and senior populations.

Recent data also confirms that Boomers and seniors are more likely to be interested in home improvement projects such as installing a new fence, upgrading a heating & air system, repairing a leaky roof, painting their house, or remodeling their kitchens or bathrooms. Businesses that provide these and other types of home services are conveniently grouped together in local Yellow Pages directories for easy access by consumers. Other types of products and services Boomers spend their discretionary income on include healthcare services, their pets, auto and lawn maintenance, insurance coverage, entertainment, and travel.

Another important point to consider with respect to "small town Yellow Pages directories" is that many of the local numbers in these communities do not always appear in large city telephone directories or on the Internet. If they do, they are often incorrect. This is one of the main reasons "consumers of all ages" in small towns refer to their local community Yellow Pages directories on a routine basis.

Of course, no one can say for certain what the future of print Yellow Pages directories are at this time. However, if a business’ target audience has an age demographic that is mixed or older, then this is an excellent medium to reach these shoppers.