Phone Book Advertising

End of Phonebook Ads? Part 1

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

We live in a modern world, but not everyone in it moves with the times -- that's one of the reasons phone book advertising still has value.

Once upon a time, in the pre internet days that we all find so hard to imagine now, when we wanted to look up contact details for a business, product or services we turned to the Yellow Pages.

The company's advertising slogan (at least in the UK) was 'Let your fingers do the walking'. The TV ad featured a hand that was seen to walk on its 'finger feet' through a copy of the well known phone book. The little scene implied that with the Yellow Pages you had every contact you could ever need, right at your fingertips.

But that was then, and this is now. Fast forward to the age of technology and at most of our fingertips there's a keyboard, a PC and search engines like Google and Yahoo!

Very likely your own preference will highlight the fact that like most people, the search engine is the first port of call when you want information and your want it fast.

With localized SEO being something many businesses opt for your chances of finding a suitable service near you are high.

Many of us never go near a phone book these days. But that's not to discount what power phone book advertising can still have. It may not be considered the premier form of advertising, but it still has its place.

Rather like having your web details splashed across the side of your work vehicles or taking out ads in your local paper, phone book advertising can act a bricks and mortar support to your online campaigns.

It's a mistake to think that phone book advertising has no place at all; admittedly it may not be as powerful as it once was since being usurped by internet alternatives, but it can still add emphasis to your web campaigns.

It's really a question of choice, and to a degree your decisions might be made based on the demographic of your business's target audience.

Consider the following advantageous aspects of phone book advertising:

  • Phone book advertising is still popular with senior citizens, some of whom may not have moved with the times and got internet savvy.
  • Location - there are still areas where internet usage is relatively low. Your thoughts in this might be that if economics are behind this lack of technology then you aren't aiming at a rich market. That may be the case, but there are still those who simply choose not to use a computer but would till require and be able to afford your services.
  • Computer repair companies would do well to consider phone book advertising. However prone a prospective client is to search their needs online, with a non-functioning computer, they can't.
  • The cyberworld isn't the only one. It's easy to make the mistake of focusing all your promotions on the web. However, there is still a fully functioning bricks and mortar world out there and as a business you need to be part of that too.
  • Phone book advertising no longer commands the very high rates it once did, so often good coverage can be bought without it overstretching your budget.
  • Phone books are often present in public places so for those without iPhones or internet connected laptops, they are still referred to.
  • Someone who needs an emergency electrician because the power is down in their home can't power their computer to search fro services. The phone book doesn't need plugging in to a power supply.

When you are developing a marketing strategy for your business it's important to put your budget in the right direction. We're all conscious of the fast growth of the internet. This always raises questions regarding whether spending on internet marketing is capable of bringing you a better response rate from your marketing endeavors than the more traditional methods might. By traditional we mean adverts in phone directories, like the Yellow Pages, mentioned above as an example.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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