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Yelp Survey on Relevance of Yellow Pages Books



Automotive Yellow Pages Advertising

Today I received an email from that disclosed a summary of a recent poll they conducted on the Relevance of Yellow Pages books.  For those of you who grew up with that huge yellow doorstop delivered to your home twice a year, you can wax nostalgically.

It wasn't long ago that my friend told me that he was paying $250,000 a year to have his ad on the back cover the the county edition of the yellow pages.  All I could think about was how much advertising using Google Adwords that would buy.

Does your automotive advertising strategy still include the printed Yellow Pages?

Yelp Survey Results

Here is what was contained in the email (in italics) and I thought I would share their findings with this community:


Last week, we presented a survey to gauge how business owners feel about yellow page phone books in the digital age. Only 24% of our 3,500+ respondents said "Yes" to the question, “Are yellow page phone books still relevant?

That's quite a find. Here are some others:

1) Most business owners don't think yellow page phone books are useful to them:

“Yellow page phone books are useful to me as a business owner.”

Agree - 11%
Somewhat Agree - 17%
Somewhat Disagree - 19%
Disagree - 52%

2) Only about 10% of business owners use yellow page phone books more than once per month; 3 out of 4 don't use it at all:

How many times per month do you rely on a yellow page phone book to find a local business?

“Zero” - 75%
“Once” - 14%
“Between two and four times” - 8%
“Five or more times” - 3%

3) Very few business owners believe customers find them using a yellow page phone book.

Estimated percentage of customers who find me using a yellow page phone book.

“0%” - 43%
“1-25%” - 47%
“26-50%” - 5%
“51-75%” - 3%
“76-99%” - 1%
“100%” - 0.1%

The conclusion (according to Yelp): Business owners have clearly observed the shrinking relevance of yellow page phone books. As we continue to move away from printed phone books, online and mobile directories will continue to grow as the customer's choice for local business information.

My Thoughts

You may be laughing at those who still pay large sums of money to be in the printed Yellow Pages. Before you point the finger, consider what current advertising investments you are making that are in place because they are on auto-pilot?

Are there any advertising channels that are just being used because they worked in the past?  Are you in TV, radio, and paper because you are continually testing those channels or is it because there would be a General Manager rebellion if you reduced those budgets. 

Could reducing budgets in traditional media be better spent elsewhere?  Retargeting?  Facebook Advertising?  Google Boost?   Have you tested these three channels?

There are no simple answers to finding the perfect mix.  Getting to the right balance requires a more thorough testing strategy that most dealers are not patient enough to see to the end.   That's where I see a great opportunity for my company; helping dealers find that balance.

Innovative dealers are testing new strategies and if the three opportunities I listed above have never been tested at your dealership, your delay may be as silly as a full page ad in the Yellow Pages! 


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