The jury is in, and it is not a pretty picture for Yellow Pages advertising dollars. Below is a recent poll conducted in Kansas City by Ink Magazine asking one simple question:
Do you still want a paper phone book?
Some of you have heard me in the past talk about how wasteful the Yellow Pages is in terms of consumption of resource. You’ve seen pictures we’ve taken of stacks of un-claimed Yellow Pages in building lobbies, books never picked up by building tenant. You’ve even heard us question the tactics of Yellow Pages Advertising Consultants who now, having seen the writing on the wall, claim themselves to be “web advertising experts.”
The reality is at hand. In this economic environment, where every advertising dollar has to be spent efficiently and carefully, we all need to spend so that each dollar spent can return even more on our investment than before. In this poll of consumers who are right in the “sweet spot” of many of our target demographics; less than one in ten people even want a paper phone book of any kind.
Not only are these consumers not paying attention to the ads your business is paying good money to place, but they don’t even want your ad in their home. Your ad is one of thousands that they consider “no longer necessary” or “handy for helping start the charcoal grill up.”
We don’t all share the same audience demographic. But for those of us who’s audience is increasingly mobile, internet focused and using PDAs, our advertising dollars can be put to better use elsewhere. There are all kinds of media that people actually want to consume. Those media purveyors actively work on ways to increase their appeal to their audience.