Should I Advertise In The Yellow Pages?

Posted on by admin

If this was 1999 I would say absolutely YES, but it’s 2011 and the Titanic I mean Yellow Pages has missed the boat and hit the iceberg (so to speak).

I started selling yellow page advertising in 1996; at the time I thought it was the best kept secret in sales. Small business owners had really nowhere else to turn. They either paid the exorbitant amount for positioning, color, and ultimately phone calls or they waited until next year and took their chances.

Used to be a roofer, plumber or attorney with no real business sense could almost fall into a successful business just by having an outstanding yellow pages rep. who “sold” them the dream of more phone calls and more customers just by investing in this half page, or even more clients or customers with this FULL page.

Back then most yellow page publishers were tied to the phone company and had deep pockets for flashy marketing pieces and customer sales aids. Sales people were very well trained in marketing and advertising a small business. The small business owner relied upon his rep. year after year to coach them through whatever the new company product was, all geared to generate revenue for the YP publisher or phone company. I can remember when we added the white background to ads, almost doubled the price, but you were going to get so many more phone calls if you did it, and if you don’t – your competition certainly will (some reps would say). The next year you were able to add a photo in your ad, of course for a small increase. Then came TABS and double trucks, next was the dreaded triple truck, three full pages right in a row.

As the Yellow Page companies started breaking away from Ma’ Bell because of declining phone company profits and going it alone, here came the internet. The publishers treated the net as they did their print products, making clients pay for positioning instead of relevant search or what the “end user” actually wanted. They made the biggest mistake in advertising history by underestimating companies like Google & Yahoo.

The untouchable executives of the yellow pages… had been touched.
This blog post will be #1 in a 5 part series – please check back in a couple days for part 2

And if you’re a small business owner, I hope this helps.

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