Sure, The Yellow Pages Are Dead

in On Local Business Marketing

Just got off the phone with a client in the midwest. His new yellow pages ad is pulling 7-to-1 (that’d be revenue to expenditure for you folks who don’t track your advertising) and his competitors are complaining to the ad rep that his ad is “unfair” because it’s stealing their business.

Tee-hee. I call that “success.”

The best part of yellow pages advertising is the extraordinary incompetence of most folks advertising there. wink

If you’ve got a local business, make no mistake about it: Done well, yellow pages advertising, while competitive and “tricky” … can be very, very profitable.

That said, I fully encourage as many people as possible to scream out that yellow pages advertising is dead. Too expensive. Being rendered extinct due to the Internet. And so on. After all, with every advertiser who drops out due to costs, or, more often, not really knowing how to use the medium properly, the profits and power of it increases for my clients.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Val February 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Its so dead, it’s become the undead zombie game of 2012.. It’s called yellow pages “the money you want to burn in the stock market quicker than a zombie could eat your brains”

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2 Yp_info July 24, 2010 at 3:55 am

I have been working in the yellow page industry for 8 years as a senior sales representative and have been waiting for the yellow pages to pull 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 so that we can focus on 100% online advertising. However, my faithful yellow page clients who know how to use the medium are experiencing an average of 5 to 1 and as high as 10 to 1. You are right on, people who are willing to spend money and choose to do business with local businesses use the yellow pages.

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3 brucemcclellan October 5, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Interesting post and point of view. I was searching for info to back my claim that the Yellow pages are dead (as I posted on my blog – http://www.fasterdigital.com/yellow-page-advert… ) and I found this.

I may have to rethink my point of view. One thing that I forget on a regular basis is that even though I have been totally sucked into the internet, there are still MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people in the US (and world) that have not fully switched over to the internet. They still use the Yellow Pages and many other offline mediums.

Thanks for jolting me back to reality.

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4 Tom St Louis March 30, 2009 at 12:28 am

i totally agree! i’ve been been a marketing consultant and a copywriter for years and i still believe that yellow pages will continue to be in the mainstream. In fact my blog is all about how productive yellow page advertising can be.

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5 Anonymous October 2, 2007 at 12:45 am

I think it depends on the type of customers you’re going after. You have to know your audience…but, the yellow pages should be dead. It’s only a matter of time, though.

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6 Anonymous October 2, 2007 at 5:45 am

I think it depends on the type of customers you’re going after. You have to know your audience…but, the yellow pages should be dead. It’s only a matter of time, though.

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7 Anonymous March 13, 2005 at 7:03 pm

It’s too easy and simple to say the Yellow Pages are dead. Sure, they’re not eating well, losing weight and might need a respirator soon. But I wouldn’t start shoveling dirt just yet.

Seriously though, any traditional publisher or media owner needs to watch the trends and ask why do people give my medium their time and attention? Is it because they’re stuck in traffic and they see my bus bench or billboard? Is it because they drive a lot and they like the content on my radio programs? Do they look for information in my local paper they cannot easily find elsewhere? Is my directory easier and faster for them to find what they’re looking for? Maybe they’re in a restaurant with nothing else to read so the paper I put in the lobby gets their attention.

More and more people have less and less time to sit at home and read a newspaper (and get ink all over their hands!). More folks find it faster and easier to lookup a business or phone number online rather than use a big, clumsy book. But other media continue to offer something that people want (like the little paper in the restaurant, for example).

For local media, ‘the times they are a-changin’ as my old pal Robert Zimmerman used to say. Keep your eyes open and hang on if you want to survive!
——-

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8 Anonymous March 14, 2005 at 12:03 am

It’s too easy and simple to say the Yellow Pages are dead. Sure, they’re not eating well, losing weight and might need a respirator soon. But I wouldn’t start shoveling dirt just yet.
Seriously though, any traditional publisher or media owner needs to watch the trends and ask why do people give my medium their time and attention? Is it because they’re stuck in traffic and they see my bus bench or billboard? Is it because they drive a lot and they like the content on my radio programs? Do they look for information in my local paper they cannot easily find elsewhere? Is my directory easier and faster for them to find what they’re looking for? Maybe they’re in a restaurant with nothing else to read so the paper I put in the lobby gets their attention.
More and more people have less and less time to sit at home and read a newspaper (and get ink all over their hands!). More folks find it faster and easier to lookup a business or phone number online rather than use a big, clumsy book. But other media continue to offer something that people want (like the little paper in the restaurant, for example).
For local media, ‘the times they are a-changin’ as my old pal Robert Zimmerman used to say. Keep your eyes open and hang on if you want to survive!——-

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9 Anonymous November 17, 2004 at 8:11 pm

re:It depends on your biz, but if yours is the type that targets blue collars …
It is my sense that certainly the elderly and blue collars with a cpu are turning to web-based directories. You only have to see how in Manhattan all those Yellow Page books pile up, get rained on and thrown out. Few want them.
In a B2B settings there will be shelf space of the yellow books, but finding a supplier in a hurry leads to to web. We, at http://www.salesvantage.com (the content-rich B2B directory for sales, marketing, pr execs and their suppliers) see demand growing each week.

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10 Anonymous November 18, 2004 at 1:11 am

re:It depends on your biz, but if yours is the type that targets blue collars …
It is my sense that certainly the elderly and blue collars with a cpu are turning to web-based directories. You only have to see how in Manhattan all those Yellow Page books pile up, get rained on and thrown out. Few want them.
In a B2B settings there will be shelf space of the yellow books, but finding a supplier in a hurry leads to to web. We, at http://www.salesvantage.com (the content-rich B2B directory for sales, marketing, pr execs and their suppliers) see demand growing each week.

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11 Anonymous October 11, 2004 at 4:10 pm

It depends on your biz, but if yours is the type that targets blue collars, elderly, or the like, the YP is the way to go.  Can’t wait to see the tips.  I’ve been whining about how the YP is dead too[http://snipurl.com/9ora], but a success story would be a welcome surprise.

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12 Anonymous October 11, 2004 at 9:10 pm

It depends on your biz, but if yours is the type that targets blue collars, elderly, or the like, the YP is the way to go.  Can’t wait to see the tips.  I’ve been whining about how the YP is dead too[http://snipurl.com/9ora], but a success story would be a welcome surprise.

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13 Anonymous October 3, 2004 at 2:10 pm

Looking forward to it. Thanks.

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14 Anonymous October 3, 2004 at 7:10 pm

Looking forward to it. Thanks.

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15 Anonymous October 1, 2004 at 9:10 pm

Ask and ye shall receive. Keep an eye on the blog next week and I’ll lay out a few tips.

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16 Anonymous October 1, 2004 at 9:10 pm

how about giving us some tips on how to write an ad for the yellow pages grin

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17 Anonymous October 2, 2004 at 2:10 am

how about giving us some tips on how to write an ad for the yellow pages

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18 Anonymous October 2, 2004 at 2:10 am

Ask and ye shall receive. Keep an eye on the blog next week and I’ll lay out a few tips.

Reply

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