Study: 40% of Consumers Using 10 Media Channels in Local Path-to-Purchase

Local Media Tracking Study Reveals Fragmented Media Landscape

TROY, Mich., May 11, 2016 Consumers are using an increasing number of media sources to find local information. Illustrating the complexity and fragmentation in the market, the Local Search Associations (LSA’s) Local Media Tracking Study (LMTS) found that 40% of US consumers used at least 10 sources in the past month to find local business information.

The LMTS, conducted by Burke, tracks daily consumer usage of 13 media types. These channels include search engines, review sites, retail circulars and email, social media, video, newspapers, deal sites, word of mouth referrals, print and online yellow pages, white pages and mobile apps.

Over the course of 2015, the channels with the greatest audience reach were search engines (85%), followed by company websites (70%) and word of mouth recommendations (69%). Search engines were also found to be the most accurate and trusted source overall.

Social media saw higher “local search” growth vs. other categories. Roughly 45 percent of consumers said they used a social network to find local business information at least once in the past week.

Print yellow pages had much lower reach than digital channels, yet emerged as the source most likely to lead to a contact or purchase. It also yielded the highest phone contact rate.

As might be expected, media usage and perceptions were different by age category. For example, millennials were more likely to use and trust a range of online sources (search engines, social networks, online videos, mobile apps). Adults 55 and older were more likely to use and trust traditional media sources (print yellow pages, newspapers, magazines).

The LMTS findings and data are derived from a daily tracking survey of more than 8,000 U.S. consumers. The sample population is designed to match the adult population in the U.S. The study tracked media usage throughout 2015.

Beyond these general findings, LSA has more specific information on 140 vertical business segments, providing a more detailed understanding of consumer purchase behavior in each particular category.

The LMTS and associated heading reports feature the following data and insights:

  • Total annual lookups/references, data for the past 7 days, actions taken, number of ads viewed, and contact/purchase timing.
  • Data by lifestyle categories, business verticals, geographic regions and additional categories.
  • Path-to-purchase mapping (order of media source used 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.).
  • Media types regarded as most trusted, accurate and helpful by consumers.
  • Device usage, voice search and mobile wallet adoption.
  • Number of consumers who have purchased specific products and services in the past year, average number of businesses they considered and average purchase amount.
  • Data usage compared with previous surveys.

LSA members have free or discounted access to these reports depending upon membership level. Non-members may purchase individuals reports. Email if interested in accessing the reports or learning more about them.

For a high-level look at the data, view the fact sheet by clicking here.

About the Local Media Tracking Study

The Local Media Tracking Study is a consumer media survey conducted by Burke, which tracks and analyzes local search behaviors and contains data collected throughout 2015. Data collection was conducted via an online panel. A balanced-screening method was used to match the national population, as closely as possible using online-only data. This screening method was used to achieve a general population sample to assure the survey sample is screened in proportion to how it exists in the actual population. Surveys were spread across all days of the week to fairly represent weekly usage.

About LSA

The Local Search Association (LSA) is a not-for-profit industry association of media companies, agencies and technology providers who help businesses market to local consumers. LSA has 300 members in 20 countries and the Association helps these members realize the power of local marketing and commerce through conferences, consulting, insights, advocacy and more.

Press Contact

Greg Sterling
VP of Strategy and Insights
Local Search Association