It's that time of year again. The renewal calls for Yellow Pages ads have begun. I've taken those calls for some of our clients, and I'll admit, the sales people are well trained and persistent. They provide statistics and even "guarantees" to try to convince you that the Yellow Pages are still relevant. Despite those persuasive pitches, I don't bite. It never ceases to amaze me how Yellow Pages salespeople are able to talk rational people into believing they should be spending hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of dollars per month advertising in a book that is more often recycled, thrown away, or used in other creative ways than it is used to search for products and services.
PLEASE disregard everything the sales rep tells you, and just ask yourself one simple question before you write that check. When is the last time YOU used the Yellow Pages for any purchases? My answer is zero, and it's the same answer most of our clients give us when we pose that question to them.
The Phone Book has gone down the same road as the pay phone before it. People simply do not have a need for them anymore when they have nearly unlimited information accessible at their fingertips by use of the Internet. While the prediction of the end of the yellow pages was premature even 5 years ago, the significant growth in the use of mobile devices (particularly smart phones) is truly the final straw.
The Yellow Pages used to be a very easy way to find local products and services, but there is no denying that now there are much more efficient ways of finding information. When computers first started being commonly found in every home, the Yellow Pages were not yet threatened. Even when laptops made it possible to carry computers easily from place to place, the Yellow Pages were still a viable resource. As of April 2014, over 2/3 of Americans carry smart phones. That was the major game changer. It is significantly easier for a smart phone user to simply Google a product, service, or ANYTHING they are looking for than searching the house for a phone book and looking up the limited information provided about a business or service listed in the Yellow Pages. I think we can all agree that 2/3 of Americans are not carrying phone books around with them for easy access.
New Marketing Strategy
As we become a nation of mobile device users, it's time to change our marketing strategy to one better suited for modern consumers. SEO, social media, and other inbound marketing activities are the services businesses need to be looking at today. Having a good digital marketing strategy will help keep you in front of potential consumers as they search for goods and services. Your website, unlike your Yellow Pages ad, is an advertising mechanism that, when properly managed, can be regularly updated to reflect the most relevant, up-to-date information about your business.
If you were spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on the Yellow Pages, it's time to seriously consider implementing a digital marketing strategy this year before you write that check. For the cost of any Yellow Pages ad you are currently paying for, Blue Frog can help put together a digital marketing plan for you. It's time to do something for the future of your business, and stop wasting money on an advertising platform that simply isn't viable for businesses anymore.