Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
I just got a call from a prospective client today, and she asked me if she should sign another year contract with her Yellow Pages sales guy.
My answer was a resounding NOOOOO!
I am just curious how many of you actually pay for a Yellow Book ad, and how many customers called and said they found you in the phone book.
If you are in the phone book, I would recommend you talk to a local online marketing consultant about how you can get a larger ROI.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check this out. Pay attention to how many of these guys are still in their original plastic bag.
This is a huge source of debate at our physical therapy clinic, which is owned partially by my parents and partially by my wife and I. You can imagine the decision making process! My personal opinion is that Yellow Pages ads are fairly worthless. We kept stats on our number of referrals over the last 10 months, and it was below a break-even point. Even so, my parents believe that the ad is still valuable for the older generations, and contended that the stats don't represent the true value of the ad, as patients may return to our clinic without telling us (which is very difficult to track vs. a brand new patient). Even if we were to make some money on our Yellow Pages ad, I still think the same amount of money can be better invested in other marketing, networking, and advertising areas. The debate continues!
I would agree that seniors are more likely to use the phone book than the internet. My argument would be this. Do you want to reach 10 new clients a year with the phone book, or would you like to get in front of thousands of people and spend 1/3 of the money.
For example, these keywords: physical therapist spokane,spokane physical therapy,physical therapy in spokane,physical therapy spokane,
Get a combined total of 7,000 searches a month. Thats 7,000 people every month that are looking for a physical therapist in Spokane, and thats just 4 keywords people use.
Now imagine if you were able to get in front of those people every time they were searching?
You may want to show those numbers to the parents, and see if they want to go down a new road.
I hope that helps.
By the way, I more than happy to sit down with you all to see if I can help save you some cash.
Also, I am doing a Google Places Workshop next Thursday at 6:30 pm. Its only $10 bucks, and I will be showing you how you can get more customers using a free Google Site.
Here are the details Luke. Google Places Workshop
I hope that was helpful.
I often ask our clients about their phone book ad and online advertising habits. My consensus is that the YP has lost most of its appeal, but still works decent for some service industries like plumbing or roofing. It is most definitely generation anymore. I'm 36 and haven't cracked a phone book in over 10 years. It's no different than newspaper advertising...if your clients aren't predominately over 50 then you probably shouldn't be doing it. YP (and I include all the phone book companies when I say YP) were very late to the game with the online integration and when they did do it they sucked at it and burned most of their customers. So even though it's actually half way decent now, most are soured on it and the reputation is bad.
I would say it really depends on your clients average age, type of industry and profit from a new customer. How many do you need to break even on a YP ad and are you likely to get that many from it?
I also used to sell for a Yellow Pages company and I found that for some businesses it made sense to be listed. Especially if your business model targets consumers that aren't typically as computer savvy as the younger generation. I would argue that it is important to really track how successful the ad is and you can set up different phone numbers for different ads to really find out where your marketing dollars are going.
Other businesses that could benefit are plumbers and emergency companies because if your house is flooding...are you going to take the time to log in? Computer repair companies may be another niche that makes sense because if your computer is broken you really can't go online.
In addition, with 3 competing yellow page companies in the Spokane market, we found that once the new book is delivered that many people throw out the older books and only keep the new one so for many businesses it makes sense to decrease their ad size and use the same dollars to have ads in all three local books.
With that being said, Yellow Page companies typically raise the rates yearly so it is also prudent to negotiate your rate by making sure that your prices don't go up.
Yellow Page usage is definitely decreasing but is the decrease enough to stop using them? I would argue if that ad makes an overall profit than don't stop (If I made a dollar on every type of advertising..I'd do a million types) but make sure that your listed in other places like Google Places, LaunchPad Directory, Spokane City Guide Business Directory, Yahoo and Bing local so your name and brand can be found online where most people are beginning to search.
I would argue that the Yellow Pages is the worst use of marketing dollars possible. I had a meeting with a company that spent $8.700 on a yellow page ad, and saw a 0% ROI. The average ROI for online marketing is 500%, the highest ROI of any other form of marketing.
There is a very small demographic of people out there still use the yellow pages, but even my 87 year old grandma uses the computer to look for companies, so I would say yes, I think the Yellow Pages have decreased enough to stop using them. Not to mention the amount of natural resources that get wasted every year printing them.
In regards to the house flooding scenario. If my house were flooding I would use my cell phone to look up a plumber on google maps. Considering most phones have internet access nowadays, I certainly would not want to be hanging out in my house skimming through a phone book and risking electrical shock.
I just think people should do their research, if they are spending $5000 a year on a phone book ad, and they are at least doubling that money, then sure, try it out, but I would be putting my money into a campaign that intercepts the 97% of consumers that are looking online, and not the 3% that are still using the Yellow Book.
I was thinking the same thing! I wonder how many people do read the yellow pages.
I started a website (www.ourtownzip.com) to give businesses not only a free listing but a marketing platform as well with pictures, social media integration, email etc.
When I look at a business I always want to know more about it... seems like Yellow Pages is becoming outdated? But what about small businesses that don't have web presence yet? Yellow Pages would be the only place to find them.