Why shouldn’t you advertise in a phone book? That’s obvious! Because almost no one uses them anymore. If the title to this article confused you and you ended up thinking along the lines of the first three sentences, then you are probably too young. A phone book is not just your phone’s contact list. It is also a catalog resource which contains contact information for individuals and businesses.
Years ago, before the internet, phonebooks were more like the manual search engines of the day. If you wanted to get found, it was crucial to have your contacts in a phone book. The phone book was the Google of the day and having your advertisements in phonebooks was your local SEO practice. Phone books still exist today and businesses still advertise in them. Here are the top three reasons you should not be one of those businesses advertising in this platform.
- It’s Old and Better Replacements Have Come
With the advent of the internet and its massive adoption, we now have internet marketing as a service. This covers a wide array of services such as social media marketing, website design, local SEO etc. If you want your business to be visible, the one place you need to be is online. Not only are online search engines more popular and versatile, hardly anyone uses phone books today. Your phone is also pretty much your personal phone book. Why would you then advertise on a platform whose death is quickly approaching?
- Competing for the Wrong Purpose
Some businesses buy advertising in phone books because they see their competitors’ advertising on the platform. You know the drill; a slick sales person presents their magazine that they want you to advertise on and the sales pitch they offer is that your competitor has signed up. The question you should be asking yourself is, “Who am I trying to reach? My competitor’s nerves or my potential customers?”. Unless your customers heavily rely on phone books, do not waste your money responding to your competitors’ decisions. Focus on your customers and reach out to them!
- Cost vs Return on Investment
Advertising on phone books can cost a few thousand dollars. However, the rate of conversion is extremely low and you may never recover the money you spent (probably because you were responding to your competitor). On the other hand, internet marketing allows you to track your advertising, reach people who are actively looking for your product or service and allows you to track your ROI.
So, there you have it. Three reasons why you should not advertise on phone books. The have become archaic and technology has pretty much rendered them obsolete. Advertising is meant to target your customers. Advertise on platforms where your customers are so that you can reach them. Advertising should be an investment more than a cost. You should get a good return on investment on your advertising and frankly, a phone book will not do that.