I was a yellow page rep and sales manager for over 25 years. So I have expertise in yellow page advertising and have advised 1000’s of companies on how to put together the most effective yellow page ads and programs. So I know something about the yellow pages. So, what is my expert opinion about the old-fashioned paper yellow pages now?
When I first began selling in 1984 we never dreamed there would ever by anything else. Then along came the personal computer and the internet. But even then, I figured that the good old paper yellow page book was here to stay.
Here is what I told my clients when they asked about the internet:
It took longer to log into your computer and the internet then it took to find what you wanted in the printed book. Now most of us are logged in all the time at work, on our smart phone and at home.
You could also clip a coupon.
You now can print coupons from the internet. Even search for coupons offered for a specific need, business or company. Business can change their offer as often as they want. They seam to have disappeared from the print editions.
It had useful information like area maps coupons, things to do and local attractions.
These have also disappeared from most print directories but are easily found on the internet..
It was easy to use.
Now so is the web. Available at home, work, in the car and on the boat with the hand held equipment now offered.
Now I see the light.
The Internet has been around for decades and is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for researching products and services. It’s got search-able content using keywords. It’s not limited to regional information like the print editions. It can be used by anyone anywhere for any market. Ads can be updated as needed, so it’s never out of date. Printed directories are out of date the day they are delivered and only get more so over their 12 month life cycle.
You can use it on a cell phone, portable laptop, desktop computers and internet cafes.
So, what is the future of the print product? Look at what has happened to newspapers and magazines. The market will dictate whether the printed book becomes the next extinct species.
As for me, I am glad I am retired and not trying to scratch out a living from selling yellow page advertising. As for my former clients I hope they have determined like me that print directories, tho still used by some are no longer bringing the traffic to justify their cost. Not to mention all the trees that are sacrificed for their existence. A price reduction for print directories of 60%+ might bring them in line for now. At the rate their usage is dwindling I expect them to be free within 3 more years.