Why You Can’t Rely on Yellow Pages Anymore

I was at a cookout over the Fourth of July weekend when I met the a man who had been in the insurance industry for almost 30 years. We got to talking about the changing marketing landscape from then to today.

“What do you think of Yellow Pages?” he asked me.

Oh, the Yellow Pages–one of those things that the kids born today may never use like flip phones and mix-tapes.

Truth be told, Yellow Pages is obsolete. Anything the Yellow Pages was known for, Google has taken over and made better.

It’s a bold statement especially when we can remember the gravy train it once was, like betting on a winning horse. I’ve read story after story of those who had once paid thousands a month on multi-page marketing campaigns that easily returned double or triple the initial investment.

But then the internet happened. Google began compiling and curating services, information, and phone numbers for all companies within it’s search engine and soon enough visitors can find maps, reviews, and competition all on one page–things that customers want but Yellow Pages didn’t have the capability to provide.

Even today, with YP.com having updated their site to showcase reviews, website links, and even some hours of operation, it’s still one extra step to type in YP.com when most search bars default to Google. Most information can be accessed directly on a Google or Bing search page.

We agreed, the gentleman and I, that gone are the days of casting a wide net across a populace of possible customers. Instead, marketing is moving into a far more loyal arena in which you work to better the lives of those who you work with by providing them specialized information that they’re looking for, answers to their questions.

We’ve trading our fishing nets of the small and vast for a deep-sea reel. We’re trading in a bunch of mediocre leads into loyal customers who will be happy to market our brand for us.

Now, it’s your turn. Did you ever use Yellow Pages as a part of your marketing plan? How did it work out for you? What is your favorite new marketing strategy that you’re excited to be using today?

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