Recently ran into a great article on advertising in the Yellow Pages. It's an excellent read and I suggest anyone who's currently using them as part of their marketing program to take a look.
One bit that caught my eye the most was his little survey on "Where people are looking to find services?". According to his sample, people first seek out referrals, then local businesses they have seen before but have never been too, and then media channels.
Simply, people find value in what other people trust and have to say when looking for services.
I totally agree with this!
As the article states "Your ad, no matter how big, doesn't buy you a lot of trust." and in my opinion, frankly that's what the Yellow Pages will never be able to solve.
Another great little take away from this article is when he poses the question, "Do you actually measure your response rates from the Yellow Pages?"
Check out what he has to say, you'll definitely find it interesting.
"I have yet to come across a small business that effectively measures this. Many people take it for granted that it 'just works'. Ad pricing is different depending on category, and I don't have the exact figures handy, but to get a quarter page sized advertisement with a bit of colour, you're probably looking at around $7500 - $10 000(AU).
If we assume a 35% gross profit margin in your business, your advertisement is going to need to bring in $21,428 - $28,571 in annual sales just to pay for itself.
If your ad in the Yellow Pages is a major part of your annual marketing budget, spend 3-4 weeks to test its effectiveness. Find out how they discovered you, and write down how much they spend. You might be surprised. "
On that note, if anyone out there decides to monitor their Yellow Page results and wants to share the results with us let me know, I'd be really interested in knowing your findings. We could even post them on the blog for all to see.