Most of the World Isn’t Drinking the Koolaid

You know, you get steeped in the high-tech/cutting-edge/Web 2.0 world long enough, and you forget that roughly a third of North America doesn’t use the Internet. You forget that most of North America doesn’t book cars, hotels or flights online. You forget that most of the people in your life wouldn’t know MySpace from the Space Channel, and don’t care to know.

I got to thinking about this after reading (via the Business 2.0 blog) these survey results (PDF) about advertising by small and medium-sized business:

* More small businesses (two thirds) would rather have TV advertising than any other form of advertising (including newspapers, Yellow Pages, radio, and the Internet), but less than 15 percent have bought TV ads in the last year because they assume it is too expensive.

* Yet 60 percent of those who have bought TV ads, have increased their TV ad budgets over the past two years.

* The Yellow Pages are the most vulnerable to new forms of advertising. The Yellow Pages account for a quarter of the ad budget of typical small businesses, but it is also “one of the first advertising vehicles they decrease to try new mediums.” Only daily newspaper ads would suffer more from a shift in ad dollars.

* And 69 percent believe that there are customers they want that they cannot reach through the Internet.

The Yellow Pages? That just seems laughable to me, but I guess I’m at the thin edge of the wedge. And that 69% figure is shockingly high.

This survey was commissioned by Spot Runner, a company that aims to democratize TV advertising. The results are likely to be skewed in their favour.

Written by dbarefoot

Darren Barefoot is an author, speaker and digital strategist. He’s the co-founder of Capulet Communications, and co-author of “Friends With Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook”.

1 comment

  1. I actually think you are wrong, the first thing people pickup for services is the YellowPages, not a laptop with the internet. The nature of the internet to most users is world knowledge not local knowledge.

    Most merchants want customer faces, not internet clicks. They want foot traffic, and cash in hand.

    When your browser returns a Ballincollig restaurant in the side bar, that would be when the internet really arrives.

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