A staggering number of organizations are still wasting amazing amounts of money on Yellow Pages advertising. This advertising medium is disappearing from more marketing plans every year. One thing is for sure – there will be no more Yellow Pages advertising for me. Yellow Pages advertising was a long term staple of small advertising budgets for more than forty years. It has always been considered smart advertising. But the Internet has completely changed the playing field.
Change Is in the Air
The Yellow Pages book survived as long as it was unique. Now that every one of the hundred or so phone companies has their own version, no one knows which to use. Now companies are expected to pay to have their Yellow Pages advertising included in every version of the book. I have enough versions deposited outside my door that I just gather them up and throw them in the trash.
The fact that there has been no reduction in the number of pages in the books that I have been able to determine in a brief survey of a number of large and small cities, can only indicate a failure by these businesses to calculate the ROI of the expense. If you are still paying for Yellow Pages advertising, you need to crunch the numbers!
I talked to one business owner recently who said he had always relied on the Yellow Pages almost completely for new customers for more than 10 years. He watched the benefit of spending more than $36,000 a year continue to shrink. He said they dropped their Yellow Pages advertising when it stopped generating enough business to pay for itself. I know the same is true of many other companies that are still blindly throwing away their money.
Once upon a time, Yellow Pages advertising was a smart way of communicating the right information at the most opportune time – when someone was about to make the call. Things are different today. It just doesn’t matter what you put in the ad if nobody will ever see it.
In truth, it is much faster to use online directories and local search. The information is also more likely to be accurate. Just think how many times you have called the number in the yellow pages only to be given a new number you need to call?
Several recent studies have indicated that only about 18% of people are still willing to drag out a Yellow Pages advertising book. Smart phones and iPads have made search even faster.
It’s time to recognize that Yellow Pages advertising is a waste of valuable assets. I’m going to focus my marketing dollars on internet advertising. I’ll know who sees my ads and who responds. So let’s just pronounce the Yellow Pages book Dead on Arrival. Then, let’s show some respect for the environment and recycle all that wasted paper.
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