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Consumers Combine Internet, Mobile, Print in Searching for Business Information


Knowledge Networks study reveals use of emerging media platforms is supplementing, not replacing, traditional print resources

A new study from Knowledge Networks shows that consumers are now bringing their multiplatform media habits — from mobile media to GPS to Internet browsers — to the search for a dentist, lawyer, pizza parlor, or other business. The Y Advantage: Landscape 2008 provides the first scientific look across eight key platforms at how consumers are expanding beyond print forms such as Yellow Pages when researching a business’s products and services.

Nearly half (48%) of consumers report print Yellow Pages as the resource they turn to most often for information on a business or service, and more than three-quarters (77%) use the print Yellow Pages overall. Search engines (49%) are the second most-turned-to source, followed by Internet Yellow Pages (36%), and free or fee-based 411 (30%).

Source Usage – Total Respondents

To view the full release with tables and charts, go to

Conducted among 3,573 respondents ages 13+ nationwide, the study covers search engines, print Yellow Pages, Internet Yellow Pages, mobile search, GPS and similar services, vertical sites, 411, and social networks. The report shows that:

  • When looking for information on a business or service, those under 35 years old index higher than the general population (age 13+) in use of search engines (157), while those over 35 skew to print Yellow Pages (113)

The study further shows that, when searching for information or a phone number for a business or service:

  • 47% of consumers have used a search engine in the past 30 days, compared with 64% for print Yellow Pages
  • Teens are almost equally likely to have used a search engine (52%) or the print Yellow Pages (47%) in the past 30 days
  • Search engines were deemed the “most useful” of the eight key platforms tested
  • Users of mobile search — as compared with the other platforms — were most likely to see themselves as “opinion leaders” in their social groups (55%) and as early adopters of technologies (51%)

The study was conducted on KnowledgePanel, the only online consumer panel based on a scientifically valid sample of the U.S. population.

For more information, contact David Stanton (Vice President, Marketing Communications) at or (908) 497-8040.

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