I had found out it is all pending, I am supporting a wild life company, created and started it for my customer, AWCFL.com, and he moved to Vero Beach, Florida, as where his market is for his service. As I was giving my opinion on his ads and how he can get the word out, he bring me to a idea I haven't though of at the time. I was unaware of Vero Beach in detail - there is a older population there and it is in fact they still use the phone book in searching out there needs, along with the web as far as there knowledge goes with it. I had found out my client also had changed his phone number to be a local area code because they did even deal with, feel right, or found scary to deal with someone that is not local, so he went through the change of his phone number also. So it depends on how you are marketing and what you are marketing, your product. This would be obsolete if you have a line of clothing that anybody around the world would buy. In local marketing like this I recommend EDDM mailings, I have had very much success doing this for the local market.
While online advertising is gaining foothold and increasing their share every year offline (traditional) advertising still has its place in bringing in customers for small businesses. People still love to read magazine / newspapers and clip coupons. They are still looking at billboards when driving on the road. I think you need to have a combination of online and offline advertising approach.
Advertising usually becomes a topic of discussion when talking with other business owners I know. Most are slowly switching to online marketing to increase there flow of business. Some have decreased their ads in the yellow pages and some have totally pulled themselves. I find that the more established a business is, the more likely they are to keep the online advertisements and remove the ads from the yellow pages. We have been in business for over 10 years and have severally decreased our advertisement in the yellow pages for the very same reason.
The answer depends on the target audience. Do they read the yellow pages? Or are the more into technology?
If you use yellow pages it is best to look at what others are doing and NOT do that. Yellow pages are a direct response marketing avenue. Boasting about your business is not the best way to go. WHen I look for an electrical contractor online or in the yellow pages I have a need now and want to know what the contractor can do for me! So the ads (online and offline) should be written to ONE customer explaining the benefits of what you have to offer. That is a larger topic for another post though...
More importantly if you choose to do Yellow pages, are you getting a return on your investment? Is there a way to track it? Do you know if you should continue. Tracking yellow page ads is easy, simply purchase a vanity call tracking number (local) with each ad so you know exactly who and how many calls that ad has produced. From there keep track of new sales and you can instantly determine if your investment was worth it. If you break even, what can be done better, if you profit, you probably want to continue . If you are displaying a URL in the ad, purchase a domain specifically for that ad, setup google analytics tracking or use URL tracking and redirect to your main site. This is more technology oriented and is not for the inexperienced but necessary for tracking.
After you run your ads, with tracking you audit your marketing investment (because marketing should not be considered an expense... nor should it be) and determine what to keep investing in and what to stop. Keep and improve what is working and get rid of what isnt.
Yellow pages still work if you are tracking and know how to leverage them, Classified ads ... the same, Direct mail also works. It is all about targeting the best you can and tracking!
Advertising is essential for any business. Technology has opened many new opportunities to make this area of business easier. When deciding to advertise, do you still use the yellow pages? If so, why? Will modern technology make the traditional advertising venue obsolete?