If you own a business, whenever you make an investment, it’s important to analyze your ROI: Return On Investment. That way, you can measure how effectively you’re spending your money. Successful businesses always have good ROI. With that in mind, when was the last time you analyzed your ROI on yellow pages advertising?
If you’re still spending money on yellow pages ads, it’s probably been quite a while since you considered the ROI. Because in today’s internet-dominated age, yellow pages advertising simply isn’t worth the money anymore.
Determining the “return”
Successful advertising can be tough to gauge - how do you know if the advertising is worth the cost? There are a few ways you can try to get a handle on it:
- Increased sales activity/customer visits: If your business is seeing increased sales or visits after the release of an ad, you can credit the ad for the increase.
- Size of the ad’s audience: It’s very difficult to determine how successful any given ad will be. So the best tactic is to get it in front of as many people as possible, to increase the chances of a potential customer seeing it.
- The type of audience: Not everyone who sees the ad will be a potential customer. If your product/service is aimed at a specific demographic, you want your audience to have a lot of that demographic’s members. For example, a children’s movie runs ads on The Disney Channel, because that’s their target audience.
The problem with the yellow pages is, they come up painfully short in the above three areas for one simple reason: their audience is inadequate, both in terms of size and demographics.
The audience for the yellow pages is shrinking every year, as more consumers turn to the internet for local business results. 97% of consumers now use the Internet when researching local products or services, and there will be a staggering 140 billion local internet searches conducted this year. Meanwhile, yellow page use is plummeting: from 2002-12 it dropped nearly 30 percent, and continues to fall at a fast rate.
The yellow pages audience is also a very niche group now. Most yellow page use comes from rural areas and the elderly – so unless either of those are your target audience, the yellow pages are not a smart source for your advertising dollars. You also won’t get access to those coveted 18-49 year-olds.
And because the yellow pages audience is so small and specialized now, you’re very unlikely to get increased customer visits or sales activity as a result of a yellow pages ad.
Don’t let your business waste money on ill-advised advertising. Stop putting up with a weak ROI from the yellow pages, and make better use of your funds elsewhere.