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How Are The Yellow Pages Working For You?

Today I received an email from Yelp.com that disclosed a summary of a recent poll they conducted on the Relevance of Yellow Pages books.

For those of you who grew up with that huge yellow doorstop delivered to your home twice a year, you can wax nostalgically.

It wasn't long ago that my friend told me that he was paying $250,000 a year to have his ad on the back cover the the Monmouth County NJ edition of the Yellow Pages book.

 

All I could think about was how much advertising using Google Adwords that would buy.

Does your automotive advertising strategy still include the printed Yellow Pages? Are you subscribed to the online Yellow Pages?  If you answered "yes" to either question, it's time to read on. 

 

Share you experience with the ROI of YP marketing.

Yelp Survey Data


Here is what was contained in the email (in italics) and I thought I would share their findings with this community:

Last week, we presented a survey to gauge how business owners feel about yellow page phone books in the digital age. Only 24% of our 3,500+ respondents said "Yes" to the question, “Are yellow page phone books still relevant?

That's quite a find. Here are some others:

1) Most business owners don't think yellow page phone books are useful to them:

“Yellow page phone books are useful to me as a business owner.”
  • Agree - 11%
  • Somewhat Agree - 17%
  • Somewhat Disagree - 19%
  • Disagree - 52%

 

2) Only about 10% of business owners use yellow page phone books more than once per month; 3 out of 4 don't use it at all:

How many times per month do you rely on a yellow page phone book to find a local business?

  • “Zero” - 75%
  • “Between two and four times” - 8%
  • “Once” - 14%
  • “Five or more times” - 3%

 

3) Very few business owners believe customers find them using a yellow page phone book.

Estimated percentage of customers who find me using a yellow page phone book.

  • “0%” - 43%
  • “1-25%” - 47%
  • “26-50%” - 5% 
  • “51-75%” - 3%
  • “76-99%” - 1%
  • “100%” - 0.1%

 

The conclusion (according to Yelp): Business owners have clearly observed the shrinking relevance of yellow page phone books. As we continue to move away from printed phone books, online and mobile directories will continue to grow as the customer's choice for local business information.

Before You Point Two Fingers




You may be laughing at those who still pay large sums of money to be in the printed Yellow Pages. Before you point the finger, consider what current advertising investments you are making that are in place because they are on auto-pilot?

Are there any advertising channels that are just being used because they worked in the past? Are you in TV, radio, and paper because you are continually testing those channels or is it because there would be a General Manager rebellion if you reduced those budgets.

 

Could reducing budgets in traditional media open you up for testing?

  • Retargeting?
  • Facebook Advertising?
  • Google Boost?
  • Pandora Radio?
Have you tested these newer marketing channels?

There are no simple answers to finding the perfect mix. Getting to the right balance requires a more thorough testing strategy that most dealers are not patient enough to see to the end. That's where I see a great opportunity for my company; helping dealers find that balance.

Innovative dealers are testing new strategies and if the four opportunities I listed above have never been tested at your dealership, your delay may be your competitors gain!

Views: 742

Tags: automotive advertising, automotive yellow pages, yellow pages

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Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on May 11, 2011 at 9:40am

To Andrea's point...

She is saying, when the right conditions exist even she finds the Yellow Pages useful...Might these be the very conditions that exist for at least some older folks?...lets not forget a good share of older folks are not as technology driven as most on here....we tend to surrond ourselves with people of like mind and not always consider or understand the dynamics of the entire population. It is all good fun and easy to make light of, but someone is still deciding it is profitable to cut down a lot of trees and paint them yellow.

 

"Can't say that I use the hard copy very often and it certainly does take up quite a bit of space,  however, when I'm home and the computer isn't up and running, and I can't use my phone to find what I am looking for (soon to be 'ex' is still paying for my phone - no internet), Yellow pages does come in handy.  Clearly on-line searches targeting keywords is much better and the end results are found much quicker!

Comment by Melanie Ferrato on May 11, 2011 at 9:02am
Interesting blog I just found http://blog.whitepages.com/2011/01/20/when-was-your-last-time/.  It's more specific to the white pages but there are some great statistics in it about the environmental impact and tax costs of creating a product that more than half of all Americans do not use. 
Comment by Andrea Pitzalis on May 11, 2011 at 8:58am

Can't say that I use the hard copy very often and it certainly does take up quite a bit of space,  however, when I'm home and the computer isn't up and running, and I can't use my phone to find what I am looking for (soon to be 'ex' is still paying for my phone - no internet), Yellow pages does come in handy.  Clearly on-line searches targeting keywords is much better and the end results are found much quicker!

Comment by Andrew J Schmitt on May 11, 2011 at 8:52am
Wait.... what is a yellow pages?
Comment by Christine Rochelle on May 11, 2011 at 8:37am

Funny enough, a whole stack of yellow pages were delivered door to door in my condo development just last night. Yes, that Ad does get you door to door but I can tell you that nearly EVERY ONE of those books were still sitting outside this morning and then I saw maintenance tossing them in the trash.

 

Have you asked your customers how they found you? Was it online? Through the yellow pages? How about the newspaper? You don't know until you ask.

Comment by Brian Pasch on May 11, 2011 at 8:22am
James..very funny
Comment by John Feeley on May 11, 2011 at 8:22am
I feel like Yellow Pages lost its luster not only because of the Internet but because of cell phones. The White Pages were once as useful as Yellow Pages but now who really needs a home phone? Our generation will most likely move away from landlines..yes, they'll still be around but I'd say there will be a majority of people who don't ever possess a landline.
Comment by Matthew O'Such on May 11, 2011 at 7:30am
Thats Hilarious James!!! LOL!
Comment by James M. Franznick on May 11, 2011 at 7:22am

TOP TEN USES of the Yellow Pages by James Franznick

10. Camping - endless supply of paper to help start fires

9. Football games - put your feet on top of yellow pages while in stands helps your feet stay warmer as opposed to having them on cold concrete

8. Strong Man contests - it is fun watching those guys rip them in half

7. Intruder defense - ever get hit by Yellow Pages?  Ouch

6. Paper Mache -if you're into that sort of thing

5. Booster seat - Because little people hate using the children's version

4. meat tenderizer - making boneless chicken breasts thinner and easier to cook in my family since 1974

3. Anti environmentalist - because you hate trees

2. Confetti - for when your team wins it all and they're driving down Broadway...again

1. Prism bias - because you REALLY like the color Yellow

Comment by Joey B on May 11, 2011 at 7:15am
I love the yellow pages!  I use them all the time.....after I jump into my DeLorean and travel back to 1986.

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