Yellow Pages, Yellow Books, and more hurt your business because they take valuable resources away from other advertising venues that provide higher Returns on Investments.
There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal today entitled The Internet Allows Consumers to Trim Wasteful Purchases. What really strikes home is a caveat to businesses large and small.
Among the items covered by Willaim M. Bulkeley are the decaying business models of Kodak’s film processing business and the dire straits of the record companies in the internet age. Mr. Bulkeley contends that new technologies such as digital images and songs have sparked a revolution in consumerism. As masses of people use technology to filter content into specific niches of exactly what they want.
Yellow pages and similar telephone book ads just do not provide you with the level of granularity a website does. A phone book can’t tell you what a user was looking for, only that they called. The best ad in a telephone book cannot position you as an absolute expert in your field the way a website can and it cannot effectively extol the benefits of your products they way a website does. The phone book provides no metrics and no customer feedback. And the phone book can only be edited once per year instead of weekly, daily, hourly, or instantly the way a website can. A phone book can not be coded to show a certain advertisement to a prospect with a specific question in mind but a website can.
Telephone books are also useless to your many customers who have cell phones instead of home phones. Telephone books and their pitiful websites are useless to your potential customers that want specific answers now. If you are a looking for exact, specific data, would you rather get a list of vendors or a website with information about your problem and ways you can help fixing it?