Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yellow Pages Death Watch?

Most agency owners I talk to tell me they are either dropping their yellow pages ads or cutting them way back. When I owned agencies the yellow pages were at best break even on the monthly cost versus the monthly sales generated through them.

Personally, for the past several years, I have just been mad when I come home and another set of phone books is lying in the puddle of rain water at the head of my driveway. To me it is littering. They go straight in the recycling.

The folks over at SearchEngineLand have a great post on the state of the Yellow Pages. You can read it here...

http://searchengineland.com/what-can-save-yellow-pages-industry-15808

Are you still using the Yellow Pages? Do you think any of these ideas can save them? More importantly, do you think your business faces some of these same issues?

1 comment:

Chris Silver Smith said...

Duke, I've heard many anecdotal stories similar to what you stated - that agencies and small businesses were reducing purchasing YP ads, and they hadn't seen a lot of ROI on the ads.

However, I've also seen other businesses which clearly profited from their YP advertising substantially.

I'm certain that the value/effectiveness of YP ads is dependent upon: the distribution of the directory, the demographics of the market distributed to, the type of business, and the position and design of the ad. So, advertising in YP is more or less effective for some businesses. With the usage of print falling off by some degree, the worth of print ads has to be declining in sync with it.

Anecdotal stories such as yours led me to question the YP industry's major statistics -- and I found that they were neglecting to include mobile-only households in their surveying. This almost certainly has caused them to fail to see the continued decline in YP usage from 2006 through 2008, but small businesses and savvy agencies kept their fingers on the pulse of their consumers, and decreased YP ad spending when they sensed usage dropping.

Anyway, thank you for commenting on the article.