One of the business decisions traditionally faced by small business owners approaching year’s end is the question of how much to spend on Yellow Pages advertising.
Leaving the Yellow Pages legacy behind
One of the business decisions traditionally faced by small business owners approaching year’s end is the question of how much to spend on Yellow Pages advertising. In the past, since copper-wire telephony and paper snail mail pieces were the only practical means of reaching a wide audience of prospective buyers, businesses were condemned to pay phone directory companies hefty fees with uncertain results. Worse, the static nature of printed paper phone books as an marketing medium meant that dynamic businesses waited at least six months between printings before they could update advertisements.
The “good old days” of waiting for new phone books to be printed
Nowadays, the historical Yellow Pages advertising slogan “Let your fingers do the walking” more likely means thumbing a keyboard instead of a book. Fast-moving entrepreneurs avoid most printed advertising media, and instead prefer online marketing for its flexibility and capacity for change in real time. Younger consumers have grown up without using the Yellow Pages, so advertisers are loathe to chase a dying demographic target in which an ever-smaller pool of oldster holdouts cling to their paper phone books filled with increasingly worthless listings and advertisements.
Do you personally know anyone who relies on the Yellow Pages?!?
Evolve to survive
For long-established businesses, it may seem difficult to leave the Yellow Pages legacy behind, but in recent years skimpy marketing budgets have forced a change in mindset. Although the printed-directory dinosaurs have migrated toward online services, it seems an impossible task for them to bend their ossified organizations well enough to fit online.
Who’s left to support the Yellow Pages?
For businesses that serve active customers with high expectations, the shift away from Yellow Pages advertising is a lifesaver. Since consumers tend to value a business message according to its delivery channel, the shift away from printed advertising means that successful businesses
now consider online marketing as the industry’s standard sales channel. In the near future, businesses that depend solely on print advertising to create sales leads are probably doomed to extinction. For advertisers who continue to rely on print media, the challenge will be to avoid being seen by customers as losers in the evolutionary game of marketing.
Nobody wants to be on a losing team
Luckily, most businesses will survive if they simply grasp the powerful marketing tools available through the magic of top-quality web site design and development. Although some old-school diehards still believe in the value of Yellow Pages advertising, smart business advertisers have advanced along with the new technologies now available for business success online, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media optimization (SMO) and social media marketing (SMM).
How you can tiptoe away from a dying advertising model
Change can be difficult, yet constant change is necessary for business success. Like breaking any old bad habit, weaning yourself off dependence on Yellow Pages advertising means suffering through a few anxious moments, but you’ll soon feel better. Of course, the more deeply you’ve relied on the big yellow book in the past, the more you’ll gain by putting it aside and focusing your marketing efforts into your own web site.
The good news is that there are skilled web professionals who can level the playing field for your small business, so you can compete effectively with larger companies, especially those which have mistakenly bet their futures on Yellow Pages advertising by paying exorbitant rates for ads with hard-to-verify results.
If your business is already online with multiple web sites seeking more traffic, or if you’re thinking about growing your existing bricks-and-mortar business online, Wildcat SEO can help. To learn more about online business success, contact us today.