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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: 387

Tags: automotive advertising, automotive yellow pages, yellow pages

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Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on June 14, 2011 at 4:10am

In my mailbox this morning:


Search Engines Haven’t Beat Yellow Pages – Yet

The popular conception seems to be that yellow pages serve their primary purpose by keeping uneven table legs more stable, elevating TV sets for slightly better reception, or otherwise serving a less-than-informational purpose. A recent survey from the Burke-sponsored Local Search Association contradicts this, however, showing that not only are yellow page still in use – they’re more popular than web searching.

The study surveyed 8,000 adults in the United States, and the findings go against a lot of pre-conceptions, including the idea that search engines had “killed” yellow pages. While “print directories,” a category that includes both yellow and white pages, surpassed search engines in annual use (78% of users having used a print copy of the yellow or white pages within the last year, compared to 76% for search engines), search engines still surpass print directories for monthly use (67% for search engines compared to 55% for print directories).

Yellow pages really make their showing when you combine online and offline versions of yellow pages. When looking at these two mediums combined, 84% of surveyed users say they used yellow pages at least once per year and 62% said they used yellow pages in the last month. That puts the yellow pages marginally above search engines when keeping in mind both the annual and monthly use, but frequent use isn’t the only factor evaluated by the study.

More users said yellow pages or print directories are their most trusted source for information, with 51% and 45% respectively compared to 41% for search engines. Notably, social networks (another option on the list) only had a 1% “top trust” rating, contradicting much of the pop wisdom (especially that pushed by Bing) that says most users are turning to their social network to make decisions on local businesses. Yellow pages and print directories also outranked search engines for being viewed as the most accurate source of local business information, the best source to use first, and the most convenient resource for local business data.

The demographic data for the study hasn’t been applied to the data, so it’s difficult to say if these figures should be blamed on the “older generations.” Still, it’s clear that businesses shouldn’t ignore yellow pages, and the search engines still have a big gap to fill to be the most trusted source for local business information.

[via Search Engine Land]

Comment by Brian Pasch on May 31, 2011 at 8:18am
In my shore condo there are, no joke, 200 yellow page books that were delivered last week.  Most of the stacks were polybag sealed 10-up, I think 5-10 were taken.  It's just amazing how much waste is there.  I guess in a few weeks the maintenance staff will throw them away to avoid the eye clutter.
Comment by Andrew J Talcott on May 31, 2011 at 8:16am

This is what phonebooks are for.

 

Comment by Devin Jones on May 31, 2011 at 6:12am

Not only are the yellow pages being phased out by the internet and mobile revolution, they are detrimental to the environment - and San Fransisco thinks they are wasteful enough to legally limit their distribution. 

Mayor signs Yellow Pages law restricting distribution

Comment by Matthew O'Such on May 17, 2011 at 9:08am

Just read a great article on Search Engine Land that is about the yellow pages and how some people do still actually use them. Check it out:

http://searchengineland.com/confessions-of-a-yellow-pages-user-76937/

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on May 11, 2011 at 11:42am

Way too funny Keith...now my side hurts and I think I may have to go change my Depends.

Thanks.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 11, 2011 at 11:07am

Thanks Thomas!  We need a new TV show, "The Internet Hillbillies".  Theme song:

 

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed
a poor marketeer, never had the Internet
Then one day as he was buyin' Yellow Pages
two guys leased his land to put up 4G places

 

'Speed, that is'
'Wireless Gold'
'Hi-Tech Tea'


The first thing you know ol' Jed bought his own site,
Kinfolk said "Your search results ain't right!"
Said "Page One is the place you ought to go"
So he blogs online just to raise his SEO

 

'Internet'en, that is.'
'Search results.'
'YouTube stars.'

...The Internet Hillbillies!

 

(and the exit stanza after the show)

 

Well now it's time to leave Jed's site to search the Internet
And he would like to thank you folks fer kindly stoppin' in
You'll be back for sure again from his re-marketing
To have another helpin' of his site's trackin' cookies

Internet'en that is. Read a spell, take out your credit card

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

                  -parody of "The Beverly Hillbillies", Copyright Flat and Scruggs, writer Hennings
                  "The Internet Hillbillies" Copyright 2011 Keith Shetterly

Comment by Ric McCoy on May 11, 2011 at 10:27am

Sweet Top 10 List James... Allot of truth on that list!

 

 

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on May 11, 2011 at 10:22am

@Keith...

 

 

If you don't do much "Internet'en", then you won't see your neighbor (really or metaphorically).

Funny as hell, not much carin who ya r.....lol

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 11, 2011 at 10:06am

As the horses and buggies were replaced by automobiles they still shared the same road.  People still went to the same stores and bought groceries, staples, etc.  And saw each other and knew who had a car and who had a buggy.

 

NOT true about the Digital Divide.  If you don't do much "Internet'en", then you won't see your neighbor (really or metaphorically).  And of course everyone here and elsewhere online doesn't use the YP.  Those on the other side of the DD still need service, etc.

 

Food for thought on a part of the market that is still there, even though it is dying.  We online folks just don't see it.

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