Yellow Pages advertising has been a mainstay of marketing products for local businesses for many decades. Before the rise of the internet, the yellow pages was the one and only directory for local businesses, and the only place that people would look for a local provider. While this type of printed material continues to help some consumers looking for a particular service, the effectiveness of the media for the business owner has declined making it more expensive and less profitable over time. The decline in Yellow Page advertising effectiveness is directly related to how many people still use it. With the increase of internet ready devices and low cost of internet access, people can search for local businesses quicker and faster online then flipping through a large book.
Online advertising is almost a completely different industry, and requires a new kind of promotional strategy to be successful. Most local merchants and service providers turn to a professional marketing assistant who can optimize the best features of both.
Most Yellow Page directories are printed once per year, and therefore contain advertising that is not time-sensitive or promotional. Nor is there competition for advertising space or marketing tools implemented for maximum exposure, other than the obvious strategy of creating ads that are attractive and relevant. And Yellow Page directories are in almost every home and business, making a search for a local merchant or other establishment easy, because if a consumer is looking for a product or service that is in the immediate area, no online browsing is needed; the directory already contains the listings of nearby retailers, manufacturers, and other professionals. The costs of such advertising are usually minimal, and once the fee is paid, the advertisement placement is guaranteed.
Actually, Yellow Pages type advertising is available online as well. Many companies that list local merchants and other businesses offer the same advertising through an online search. However, most businesses attempting to create online campaigns must deal with the problems of demographics: i.e., getting the message to local area residents without wasting advertising dollars targeting an audience that is outside the marketing region. Also there is much competition for well-placed, high visibility advertisements. Marketing strategies for online advertising are quite complex, and most local businesses have no budget for the enormous amount of time required to maintain a successful online advertising campaign. This does not mean that a business cannot create and target good advertising to a suitable consumer base, but in the end it becomes almost a full time job in and of itself.
Any business wants to keep advertising costs as low as possible while at the same time having the option to update promotions, special prices or services, and establish good relations with new and repeat customers. Deciding exactly when, where and how to market a local business across the entire demographic spectrum is best accomplished by utilizing the services of a marketing professional that can find the proper advertising niche and supervise the campaign. Depending on the type of product or service being offered, printed advertising may be of more use, while in other situations, online marketing will yield the greatest results. A careful study of a retail operation or other business by a professional marketing strategist will reveal the best ways a competitive advertising campaign can be implemented, while staying within the desired budget.
Very few businesses can afford to research and put into motion a creative, eye-catching ad campaign on their own. In the long run, contracting the services of a marketing specialist will prove more beneficial and save a company valuable dollars.