My Yellow Pages Booster Seat

For a long time, Yellow Pages have been an effective tool for local advertising.  From coupons to full page ads, businesses attempt to reach prospective customers.

We all have heard the popular slogan, “Let your fingers do the walking.” There were numerous successful commercials based on this slogan.

Over the years I remember the offices I’ve worked at would always get new Yellow Pages, but recently the amount Yellow Pages have been reduced.

I personally haven’t looked inside a Yellow Pages book in at least four years.  I think that has now become more the norm.  If  the Yellow Pages (both print and online)  market share has reduced, wouldn’t it make sense to invest your advertising dollars in more effective mediums?

In Scott Stratten’s book, UnMarketing, he has points out that marketing in Yellow Pages is aiming at the bottom of the barrel:

People who use the Yellow Pages on occassion will only go to them if they don’t already have a service provider, they don’t know of anybody who could perform the service, don’t know anyone who knows anyone, and has never even heard of  anyone in the field. So no relationships, no word of mouth, nothing. And even if someone got to that point, you would still have to get noticed.

Instead of promoting your business in your local Yellow Pages, consider the following options:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Google Places
  • Twitter
  • FourSquare
  • Search Engine Optimization (target local keywords)

How do you market locally using the web?  What are your uses for Yellow Pages?

  • Derek Bly

    Very good points, Michael. Dare I say the same starts to apply to traditional newspaper advertising, too? Look at readership numbers. Consider the cost of advertising. How many times is your ad going to run? How many people are going to see it before the paper is blue-boxed? What’s it’s life span? A day or two before it lines the canary cage? The alternatives you’ve posted could give more bang for the buck!

  • Windy May

    Some good points are brought up here indeed, however keep in mind that what marketing method you choose to use should be relevant and effective specifically for your target audience. Do the research and make an informed decision about how to spend your marketing dollars.

    We did some research for one local client and discovered that, while they’re online business leads were increasing every month, a large portion of their incoming leads still found them through traditional direct-mail flyers, newspaper advertising and phone books. As a result of these findings, we helped them to effectively redistribute their marketing dollars to explore more digital and online marketing methods while keeping an allocated fund for their ‘tried and true’ methods. Not only are they diving into the exciting world of online marketing – but they have peace of mind knowing that they are not leaving potential clients behind in the process.

    Do the research, plan ahead and budget accordingly.

  • Mike McCready

    You’re right Windy. Depending on your audience, market, etc. Traditional advertising still might be useful. For example if a large portion of your business comes from those less tech-savvy, you might want to consider traditional ads.

    I think the key point you mentioned is do the research. Don’t just throw your dollars at any medium without doing research.

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