Yell Group announced its full-year 2011 results this week (its year ends March 31), with digital media revenues growing by 9.4 percent from last year. CEO Mike Pocock projected during the full-year earnings call that by 2015, 75 percent of Yell’s products will be digital, with the remaining 25 percent in print. However, Pocock emphasized that print is still “very, very important” to Yell.
For the full year, Yell’s print revenues declined by 17.1 percent in the U.S. and 23.5 percent in the U.K. Digital revenues accounted for 24.3 percent of total revenues in FY2011. Getting to 75 percent digital by 2015 will require aggressive growth in new products, even if print continues to decline at a brisk pace.
“We’re going to continue to invest in it,” Pocock said. In secondary markets, which include rural areas and smaller cities, print remains the primary source for local advertising and lead generation.
In addition, Yell plans to roll out new business initiatives in July, which focus on three areas of strategy: mobility, social and e-commerce. Another goal is to increase the quantity and quality of its product offerings. Pocock said the company wants to “sell more products at one time and frequently” as opposed to selling a series of products only once or twice a year.
This notion of moving from a canvass based to a continuous contact sales model is something we expect to see more and more as publishers add new products that are increasingly removed from the annual media sale paradigm.