As a small business owner of almost 10 years now, I’ve made some really, really dumb mistakes marketing. Having tried just about every medium and having blown hundreds of thousands of dollars on inefficient campaigns, I can now say the days of our company throwing dollar bills on the campfire are over. Wasteful advertising is now a bygone. And with it, may I clearly say that it brings me great joy to see The Yellow Pages having practically gone the way dof the dinosaur.
You see, for years the Yellow Pages were like the Death Star of the advertising world. They essentially had a monopoly because they were the only show in town and they were the place consumers went to find information and products.
The Yellow Pages Debate
As a swimming pool company, this was especially true for my business. Every year, my partners and I would sit down and agonize over having just the right Yellow Page advertisement. How big should it be? Color or not? Lots of information and just beautiful pictures? How big is the other guys’ ad? Blah, blah, blah…..And then once we had decided on the ad we wanted, we’d receive the news of how ‘rates had gone up again’. I’d always just sit there and listen to the sales rep, wanting to vomit while thinking to myself, “The day I never have to be in this stupid book again will be the happiest day of my life.”
Sadly, for years that day never came. The rates kept going up and up. And because our service area was in multiple cities, that meant we had to be in multiple phone books. Eventually, we got to a point where we were spending about $3,000 on Yellow Page advertising alone each month. This might sound like chicken feed for some companies, but monetarily speaking, this was an absolute killer, especially for a small business like ours.