It's that time of the year again. Time for someone to drive through my neighborhood dropping off the new Yellow Pages. It seems like such a waste of paper, gas, time and money in general. I think I've used my copy of The Yellow Pages about 3 times in the past year. Honestly, the copy I put in the recycling bin looked like it had never been used!
Yeah, I know there are a lot of other people out there who don't trust online search results and still lean on this yellow relic, but how long will that last? The answer largely depends on how long doctors, attorneys, exterminators and other businesses will continue to waste their money on overvalued Yellow Pages ads.
If you're a dentist or chiropractor looking to draw in new patients, are you more interested in a Yellow Pages ad or a Google one? Yesterday's money was on the former, but tomorrow's money better be on the latter. I've tried to explain this to a couple of medical specialist friends over the past 12 months but no dice. They're way too committed to the Yellow Pages.
Here's a dentist that gets it. Dr. Helaine Smith recently launched a blog where she features podcasts about "successful smiles." (I found out about her thanks to David Meerman Scott's WebInkNow blog, btw.) I exchanged some e-mail with Dr. Smith last week and realized immediately that she's very progressive and understands the benefits of technology. In addition to the blog, her office also has one of the nicer dental websites I've seen.
Those sales reps for the various Yellow Pages across the country must be good at what they do. After all, they continue selling ad space that's worth less and less every year. It also seems like a very odd model to me. Their "customer base" always remains steady since everyone gets a copy of the Yellow Pages. Do any of these paying advertisers ever hold The Yellow Pages accountable for results though? Is there a Google Analytics equivalent in the Yellow Pages offline/print world? If so, it's got to be showing ugly, declining results.