“For consumers, local search is a near-daily ritual – 4 in 10 individuals use local search once a day, while two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times per week.”

That’s one of the key findings from a recent YP study which revealed among many things “local search is not only pervasive and growing, but also changing in ways that are important for consumers, businesses and the search industry.”

The study, which was commissioned to immr, a marketing firm, queried 1,100 consumers to find out how they conducted their search; which devices they used the most.

And not surprisingly, the more devices a person has, the more local searches they do.

The study broke down consumers into three key segments which they label as (1) consumers with PCs and feature phones; (2) consumers with PCs and smartphones; and (3) consumers with PCs, smartphones and tablets.

As you can see, the more devices one has correlates to the more search one does.

  • On average, the first segment, with “PC’s only,” averages about five local searches a week.
  • With the addition of smartphones, the volume of local search nearly triples, to 13.5 local searches per week.
  • Consumers with all three devices – PCs, smartphones and tablets – do more than 21 local searches per week, or an average of three a day.

Perhaps those surveyed by Balihoo had already heard of the YP study for it would explain the results from the recent survey Balihoo conducted which showed that nearly half of big brands plan to spend more on local marketing in 2013 than they did in 2012.

It would also explain why, according to the Balihoo survey:

  • Over 67% of respondents rated digital marketing as being “very important” or “extremely important” in regards to their local marketing
  • Over 66% indicated that SEO as being one of the key digital marketing tactics they currently rely on
  • Mobile marketing is among the top 3 marketing mediums they want to add to their existing mix with over 35% planning to add it to their arsenal with local blogs and online customer reviews being the other among the top 3
  • More big brands also plan on including local search registration and localized websites

Back to the YP survey which in its conclusions had some very interesting summations. I think you’ll see a common theme.

  • A near-daily ritual for many consumers, an enormous volume of local search activity is being driven by the utility, accessibility and a growing body of searchable local content.
  • A significant portion of local search is being done on smartphones and tablets. By removing barriers and friction, always-on devices increase the incidence and frequency of local search, at home as well as on the go.
  • As the penetration of mobile devices increases, the overall volume of local search is likely to increase in parallel.

See the commonality?

One word: Mobile.

Clearly the newest frontier – no Captain Kirk, not the final frontier – is mobile marketing. All marketers know its value. They see its enormous potential. It’s one of the reasons not long I wrote Mobile Marketing Too Large For Brands To Ignore.

But alas far too many marketers sit in their conference rooms and choose to ignore the large gray pachyderm sitting in the corner.

Sources: YPMarketingCharts, Google Images

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions.