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The new phone book is here — where’s yours?

January 17th, 2013 · 9 Comments · Marketing, Media

photoNormally at MMG, we caution clients to be careful of the “I don’t listen/watch/do therefore neither does my target audience” trap.

We usually do not represent our target audience and even if we are like them — there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.  And sometimes the exception is you!

But in this case I will say — how you (and I) use our trusty, dusty phone book is probably pretty similar to how the rest of the world responds to them as well.

Mine?  It went from bag on the lawn to recycling bin in one fluid motion.

If you are still spending money on phone book ads — unless you know that your target audience still uses them (pretty much the 65+ crowd), there are better places for your money.

P.S.  And don’t let the “how did you hear about us” question fool you.  TV and the phone book are the usual answer when they respondent either doesn’t remember or doesn’t want to say.

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Ken Clark

    If print YP is of no use, can you explain why call tracking ads showed an average increase of 17% YOY last year??? People are still using the books, and they are 35+ year olds that actually have money to spend.

  • Shelly Turner

    I don’t think people even bother to lie about looking in the phone book anymore. Even the 65+ are a little embarrassed about using them.

  • Maciej Fita

    I’m sure there are still people out there that use them I just think the numbers are def. on the decline. In another 10 years they will not exist.

  • Becky - Rubber Tracked Carriers

    I honestly can’t tell you the last time we had a phone book in the house or at our office. Everything is online. Just like encyclopedias not being printed anymore. This waste of paper can just stop.

  • Stan @ Document Shredding Chicago

    Paper advertising will be gone in 20 years. Its totally outdated already. YP has already shifted most of its business plan to online avenues.

  • Alex Katzen

    I bet the 50s mad men would have never seen this coming. I’ve got to say though that phone books make great door stoppers!

  • Nancy @ Film Release Liners

    Complete waste of paper, money, and man power. Yes people look at the phone book in extreme cases, like a power outage and their phone can’t access the internet fast enough to look up a phone number for the power company. But how many people shove the Yellow Pages in a drawer and never pull it out.

  • Melody O.

    This is a hilarious article because it is so very true. My phone book immediately goes into the recycle too, and I don’t know anyone who uses one. It’s amazing how thin the phone book is too.

    On top of it all, I think the typical consumer is sophisticated enough to think twice about just random a name in the phone book. If I need a plumber, I’ll ask friends for a recommendation before just picking someone at random out of the phone book.
    Melody O. recently posted..1912 Pike Place Starbucks – Where it all began…My Profile

  • Alana H.

    Hi there,
    I think you were half right to throw out your phone book. However, I have to agree with the first poster; there are still people who use the phone book and most marketers are choosing to ignore this at their peril. Depending on the product you’re selling, a phone book ad might really help you get a chunk of leads, especially for people who are looking for home services such as roofing and plumbing.
    Alana

  • Dave @ Air Con London

    Yes even a lot of the over 65′s now also use the internet you know ;)

  • I GUT

    Im 35, I still use the phone book. I mostly look for services on there. I just want to make sure i hire a local business thats real and not a fly by night internet company thats going to scam me or charge me high corporation pricing. I beleive the 30 and over still use it, Maybe just not the younger generation.

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