That is the question….
Take a look at this photo taken from the bottom of the stairs in the block of units where my friend lives. There are 12 units in this block and the pile has been there for just over a week now. I’ll come back to this in a moment…
For years, businesses have been paying thousands of dollars to be listed in the Yellow Pages – the printed version, that is. Did you know that you can get listed in the online version of the Yellow Pages for free? How much benefit does paying for a listing in the printed Yellow Pages really bring to businesses?
Over 1000 Australians were surveyed in May 2009 and one third of people under 29 years of age claimed that they never used the printed version of the Yellow Pages. In addition, 78% of those who took the survey stated that they want to be asked if they even want the Yellow Pages delivered and 58% of Australians said that they would stop having the printed Yellow Pages delivered if they had the choice. Not only have many people simply stopped using the book, but the majority of respondents believe that having the printed Yellow Pages delivered has a negative impact on the environment.
Craig Phillips, the head of market intelligence at CoreData, said the survey showed that two million Yellow Pages were thrown into the recycling bin each year.
Whether or not being listed in the printed Yellow Pages is still worth it depends on the benefit you’re actually seeing your business get from the printed listing. If a business is getting regular customers through the printed Yellow Pages, no survey is going to justify pulling the plug.
However, the new-found data shows that the printed version of the Yellow Pages is not being used by as many consumers as potentially previously thought. Whether you choose to keep investing in printed Yellow Pages ads or not, consider listing your business in the Yellow Pages online directory for free. Businesses and online marketers have been seeing a trend toward using the internet to find local businesses and an online Yellow Pages listing could only help to increase a business’s visibility to potential customers. The number of people using the internet in Australia each year is growing exponentially. In 2000, internet users accounted for 33.8% of the population. In 2009, this number was 79.6%.
So – let’s get back to the photo. There are 12 units in the block and I counted 11 packages of Yellow Pages sitting there… They have been there for over a week now. And the other thing I noticed is that the books are now HALF the size they were back in the early 90′s. In light of the statistics posted above, it really does make one wonder if sinking valuable marketing budget dollars into this form of advertising is really going to give a good return on investment?
It seems the trend of online marketing for local searches is fast taking over this more traditional form of advertising, which makes it even MORE important than ever to make sure you have claimed your Google Local listing and have properly optimised it so it appears on the front page of search results when people go online to search for your product or service.