Seven Ways to Waste Your Money on Yellow Pages Advertising

Each year there is a Yellow Pages arms race where competitors in each category are encouraged to out spend each other. There is only one winner in this arms race, and it is not you! Too many advertisers waste their money on Yellow Pages advertising without first considering their marketing strategy. Here are seven ways you can waste your money.

1. Attempting to outspend your competitor

As soon as Yellow Pages has convinced you to increase the prominence of your ad, they get your competitors to match or outbid you. This becomes an annual auction, with some categories containing pages of half and full page ads. A buyer can be overwhelmed with choice and may make their decision before they even get to your ad. Priority in listing is given to those who have advertised the longest in a category for a given ad size. You can only get closer to the front by upsizing your ad or if someone else closer to the front ceases advertising.

2. Putting all your eggs in the Yellow Pages basket

An advertising decision is something you should only make after you have developed a marketing strategy. Many businesses rush into advertising in the Yellow Pages, just because that's what everyone else does. You don't become a leader by following the herd. You need to consider your payback for your investment in this marketing channel. Ask your Yellow Pages consultant how many leads a particular size ad generates in your category. Then ask yourself how many of these leads will you convert into sales, and then decide whether this is a good investment.

3. Engaging in destructive Head to Head Competition

When you advertise in the Yellow Pages, not only can potential customers see your ad and your offer, so can your competitors. This can result in price competition that can turn your product or service into a commodity. Yellow Pages make comparison shopping easy for buyers and market research easy for competitors.

4. Spending too much on prominence

When spending on a Yellow Pages ad, you can invest in size and colour. Size is important, but what you put in the ad, your copy, is far more important. It is better to go down a size and spend the money you save on a copywriter. Good copy can generate up to 20 times the response as poor copy. Colour is also important, but not as important as size, so go up a size rather than go to colour, which is expensive for its return. If your category is cluttered with large ads, investing in your copy is essential.

5. Relying on Yellow Pages free design service

Ad design is important. Yellow Pages do offer a free design service, but its worth what you pay. The typical design is done in 15 minutes. As they are designing tens of thousands of ads you can't really expect any special attention- especially as there is no charge for the service! When they design your ad, they will appeal to your vanity rather than to your customers. So they will put "Joe's Plumbing" in the headline. But buyers don't care who Joe is, and are far more interested in why they should use Joe. This requires some marketing analysis of your points of difference and ultimate service benefits, which won't happen in 15 minutes!

6. Putting your ad in the wrong category

If you are a plumber, the decision of where to place your ad is easy. But if your business is in a fairly specialised market such as oil refinery plumbing, there probably isn't a good category for you. In fact, for many B2B businesses Yellow Pages is a poor marketing tool. Ask yourself the question, where would a buyer look to find out about your business- it might not even be in the Yellow Pages.

7. Depending on old technology advertising

Every year internet advertising increases, with less being spent on print advertising. Yellow Pages is now available online and for certain businesses this is a better option, particularly with a link to their website. When being sold paper Yellow Pages ads, you may be offered complimentary online advertising. However, unless your ad is near the front, you will be invisible to buyers who rarely will browse further than three pages. It is also worth paying for a link to your website.

The Yellow Pages consultants are on commission to sell you advertising. They only interested in getting you to spend as much as possible, not on providing the best marketing solution for your business. Advertising is not the same as marketing! Good marketing advice on whether and how you should advertise is money well spent. Not only can this increase sales, but it can save you thousands of dollars in advertising.

Before making a decision on Yellow Pages advertising, you should consider all your marketing channels, and make decisions on how much you invest in each dependent on their ability to attract leads. Having determined how much you will invest in Yellow Pages, do some market analysis and invest in your ad copy. This is particularly important for larger ad sizes. Yellow Pages advertising can be rewarding, but should only be considered as just one part of your overall marketing strategy.

Copyright 2005 Empower Business Solutions

Dr Greg Chapman assists small to medium sized businesses with business planning, business systems and marketing strategy. To find out how you can Multiply Your Profits & Make Your Business Run without You, and to find out How Good Your Business Really Is with a Free Online Business Medical, go to Empower Business Solutions website at: http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

The State Of Advertising Has Never Been Worse
Forbes
Advertisers push steady budget cuts, challenge fees, and force account reviews to drive down the rising cost of marketing due to the expansion of touchpoints, and the price inflation of media, content, data, and technologies. This puts pressure on ...


Capital Press

Foreign guestworker advertising rule may change
Capital Press
Currently, employers seeking DOL certification to hire H-2A or H-2B workers must publish two print advertisements for domestic workers in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. Lack of response can be cited as need for ...


Forbes

The 30 Under 30 Rewriting The Rules Of Marketing And Advertising 2019
Forbes
But it taught serial entrepreneur Nadia Masri how to run a business, key prep for launching Perksy, a company that's exploded onto the marketing and advertising scene and boasts lucrative engagements with some of the world's most innovative brands ...


Fast Company

Why the advertising legend of Trumpy Bear will never die
Fast Company
Oh, Trumpy Bear. For some, an inspiring, patriotic call to flag-draped stuffed arms. For others, a this-can't-be-real pileup of direct advertising cliches of Onion-like proportions that perfectly encapsulates the absurdity of Trump, all wrapped up in a ...
YouTube HTML5 Video PlayerYouTube
November 12, 2018 - TwitterTwitter
Is 'Trumpy Bear' a Real Product?Snopes.com
AdAge.com
all 160 news articles »

Wall Street Journal

Brands Now Spend Nearly Two Thirds of Digital Advertising on Mobile, IAB Says
Wall Street Journal
Marketers are spending more than ever on digital advertising, spurred by the growth of mobile device usage, online shopping, video viewership and expanding audiences for music and podcasts. Spending on digital advertising in the U.S. during the first ...
IAB: Mobile's share of digital advertising nears 50% in EuropeMobile Marketer

all 29 news articles »

Patient social media influencers are new frontier in pharma advertising
Becker's Hospital Review
Social media influencers are people, in this case patients, who have a following on social media apps and receive payment to promote specific material, a new frontier for the drug industry and drug advertising. Wego Health is one such company that acts ...


Hollywood Reporter

Justice Department Demands Major TV Broadcasters Stop Sharing Advertising Data
Hollywood Reporter
A complaint filed contemporaneously by the DOJ's antitrust division claimed the companies have been sharing "competitively sensitive information" about advertising costs. "Broadcast television 'spot' advertising, which typically comprises the majority ...

and more »

AppleInsider

US senators ask FTC to tackle rampant advertising in kids' apps for iPhone & other platforms
AppleInsider
"The FTC has a statutory obligation to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive advertising practices. That responsibility is all the more urgent when the potential victims of such practices are children," the letter says, authored by Senators Ed ...
Dem senators pressure FTC to investigate deceptive internet marketing to childrenThe Hill
Letter - Senator Ed MarkeySenator Ed Markey

all 11 news articles »

Business Insider

What you need to know in advertising today
Business Insider
The report also outlined the company's dip in Comscore traffic and challenges growing its advertising business, which relies on selling advertisers sponsored content that mimics editorial articles. In short, living up to its eye-popping $5.7 billion ...

and more »

AdAge.com

Tuesday Wake-Up Call: The return of Trumpy Bear. Plus, why Big Pharma advertisers love 'The Big Bang Theory'
AdAge.com
Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. Note: Ad Age Next, our conference on the future of marketing and tech, starts today at noon in New York and continues Wednesday. Hope to see you ...

Google News

How to Save Money by Making Your Own Sign

In the sign industry we commonly refer to the material... Read More

Ten Ways To Sell Advertising Space Fast

1. Give your customers a discount when they spend over... Read More

The Future of Voiceovers: Hold Your Tongue...Possibly Forever

"Do we need to cast a voice-over talent for this... Read More

The Internet and Beyond - 12 Tips on Writing Better Brochures

Every year thousands of online businesses fail. None of them... Read More

Bad Seduction - Advertising Techniques That Dont Work

I just read some advertising suggestions on an Internet marketing... Read More

Imprinted Promotional Items ? Their Many Marketing Applications

There are many uses for promotional items. This means that... Read More

How to Make Your Claims Believable

When you hear claims like??Best Lawnmower in the country?Absolute Lowest... Read More

Persistant Advertising Will Do No Harm!

From my experience, I've been on many discussion groups and... Read More

Electronic Display Signs

Electronic display signs are used nowadays in great extent to... Read More

Measure the Response of Your Advertising Campaigns by Using Promotional Products

For most companies, gone are the days of spending money... Read More

Pros and Cons of Establishing an In-House Ad Agency

There have been several ads promoting books and reports on... Read More

Advertising - Does it Matter?

When advertising, you need to sell your opportunity, your products... Read More

Why Hire an Advertising/Marketing Consultant?

As a business owner, you have the option of taking... Read More

Creativity and Getting Outside of the Box

Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper? Wondering... Read More

The Forgotten Advertising Tip

I'm sure while you have seen many tips on advertising,... Read More

Vinyl Banners for the Right Occasion

The sinage marketplace is competitive! Consequently, some companies are going... Read More

The Key To Marketing New Ideas!

Imagine tossing a pebble into a crystal clear pond on... Read More

Media Savvy - How To Lead, Persuade And Influence

The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills... Read More

The Importance of Your Business Card

What are you trying to say with you business card?We... Read More

Nine Power Words To Punch Up Your Ads

As every professional politician and public relations man knows words... Read More

The SKINNY on Newspaper Advertising

The SKINNY on NewspapersUsing the paper is considered gospel by... Read More

LED Score Boards

LED scoreboards can be utilized in most of the sporting... Read More

5 Newspaper Advertising Myths Revealed

What I'm about to reveal are myths that most people... Read More

Humor in Advertising

Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to... Read More

Dont Be a Secret Agent

This tactic of the game was hard for me to... Read More