There are many ways to answer this question, and to be truthful – this IS a trick question. The short answer is you shouldn’t spend anything on yellow pages. They are dying out. The realistic answer is, you should gradually diminish the amount you spend on yellow pages while re-routing that budget to online marketing through your website.
We aren’t just blowing smoke about this. Consider some facts about the yellow pages, online search and the telecommunications industry in general.
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1) Customers are dropping their land-line service. Statistics show that the phone companies are losing customers at approximately 10% per year. They are losing these customers to mobile phone companies and to Voice Over IP services like Vonage and cable companies. Who do you get your phone book from?? That’s right, the phone company. What happens when none of us are affiliated with a phone company anymore? Who is going to look at that ad you’re spending $1000 per month on?
2) Consumer trends show that search is on the rise. Latest statistics show that a staggering 96% of consumers search online before they buy. This doesn’t mean they use search exclusively, however, we find that phone book / yellow page usage differs greatly from generation to generation. which leads us to…
3) As each generation takes control of the consumer market, yellow page usage declines steadily. Think about it. People in their 50s and 60s occasionally use yellow pages. 30s ad 40s grew up with them but are already largely transitioned to laptops and smartphones for their searches. 20s on down have no idea what yellow pages even are.
4) As a society, we are more and more ingrained to think of the environment first. Each new generation is more and more sensitive to wasteful and destructive practices that damage our natural resources. Phone books are probably one of the biggest single wasters of paper today. When you consider how many of them just sit in a drawer and are never opened, it’s hard to imagine how much money and resources are spent making them each year.
So as you can see – we’re not just jumping on the anti-yellow pages bandwagon as a way to push SEO and other web marketing techniques – the decline is happening whether people like it or not. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t get started very soon growing your inbound marketing strategies, you will find yourself bringing up the rear while your competitors are enjoying their spots in the front of the pack!
For more information on how you can boost your traffic and generate sales WITHOUT giving the yellow pages all your money, check out our whitepaper below:
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