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June 21st, 2011
Posted By: Mel Campbell, Jr.
There was a time in a world long, long ago when yellow telephone directories may have had reason to exist. That day is way gone.
Back then, if you were a local retailer, all your advertising dollars were in the Yellow Pages except for some local media advertising that directed consumers to your Yellow Pages ads…and, well, that may have worked 40-plus years ago. It won’t work in today’s world.
Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: The phone directories are directories and nothing more. Period. No matter what sweet talk the sales rep fed you, they have never been an advertising vehicle. They are, first and foremost, a book people go to for phone numbers. People do not do their “shopping” in the phonebook as their reps would like you to believe. It is a book that lays there until someone picks it up to look up a phone number and then calls it. And that habit has totally changed.
The medium of choice now is on-line phone number searching on Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Yellow page advertising is not in the equation anymore. There is an abundance of research information on-line showing the rapid decline of phone directories and yellow page advertising.
But rather than get bogged down in a lot of research data, charts and graphs, tables and logarithms, let’s just look at some simple truths that should make any sound business person abandon their yellow page advertising.
Yes, they no longer even talk about themselves as a phone directory company any more. They are now web-developing, SEO, SEM experts. Even Yellow Books’ national TV ads have been touting themselves as your internet company. They don’t even mention the word directory in their advertising. Go on-line and you will see all their messaging is about “internet,” “get leads new website PPC,” “Yellowbook Mobile App.”
Even the yellow page companies have given up on their yellow page advertising!
Somehow, overnight, BAM! they became “internet communications experts” and they are now ready to advise and handle all your strategic internet needs! Whoa! Can you believe that? From a Frog to a Prince instantly. Like going from a baker to a nuclear power plant operator over a weekend.
If you believe that, I have a telephone directory company I would like to sell you.