I’ve been in business for 4 years and have never considered advertising in the Yellow Pages. In fact I can’t remember the last time I used the online version of the Yellow Pages (I think it was about 10 years ago) and if you want to know what I do with the print version … well see below.
Stop for a second and have a think. The last time you needed a service – did you do a Google search, or did you go to yellowpages.com.au? I would wager the vast majority of you went to Google. And I would wager that less than 1 percent of you went to your print version of the Yellow Pages. So it was with horror that I listened to the Small Business Big Marketing podcast where the guys interviewed a sales manager from Yellow Pages Victoria. Horror because I discovered out that many, many businesses, businesses who can scarce afford it, are spending thousands on Yellow Pages ads in a year. THOUSANDS! I must confess, I had no idea. I had never given it any thought as I had never advertised there myself. People – there is absolutely no two ways about it – no matter who you are or what your business is, your Yellow Pages spend can be distributed better. Apparently the average “yield” per customer for the Yellow Pages is $4195 (source). If this is the average yield, then many of you are paying a LOT more. I have heard figures closer to $8000-$10,000 for many small businesses. Say your current spend is $10,000. What if you halved this? Goodness me do you know what you could do with the remaining $5000?
The beautiful thing about the web and SEM? Your marketing efforts can be tracked precisely. Your return on investment can be measured. You can figure out the exact amount you are returning to the business for every dollar you are spending on Search Engine Marketing. Can the same be said for your Yellow Pages ad?