It is that time of year again – a time of year where we are all faced with advertising in the Sensis owned Yellow Pages Online and Offline directories (Telstra).
I had a phone call today from Sensis and found the salesperson polite and very well drilled. However his biggest problem lies in the fact (my opinion again) that he does not have a product that is worth the investment. This is because more and more people direct their business searching online which relgegates the Yellow pages to a secondary force in advertising.
Yes I would say it is still of some value advertising in the current Yellow Pages Directory for real estate agents, but spending 10’s of thousands of dollars is simply chest thumping gone silly and it does not provide your agency with value for money – value that is increasingly found elsewhere!
Why is this? In my opinion (and you should ask family and friends) most people simply do not use the paper Yellow Pages Directory. You should conduct your own research but speaking with my family and friends I have found the directory rarely used, in fact we were all surprised at how they had not thought much about it, but nearly all of these people used Google or MSN to search.
Another problem faced by Yellow Pages is that every year their prices rise but readership goes down. This does not make sense, perhaps a drop in price is an admission of guilt! More and more people choose to go online to find what they are looking for with Google, Yahoo and MSN offering far better marketing solutions and an infinitely better bang for your buck.
The Sensis salesperson sensed he was fighting a losing battle trying to convince me to advertise in the Yellow Pages paper directory and in doing so turned to marketing the Yellow Pages Online directory.
He dutifully informed me that the Yellow Pages Online site receives over 3 million unique visitors per month, to which I replied, ‘yes, but you have over 1 million businesses advertising – which equates to an average of just 3 visitors per listing per month – yes that is only 36 per year’! You can argue all you like about semantics and how many page views each visitor gives the site – but I doubt it is very many – I also find the site terrible to use and I prefer white pages.
Think about this, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au receive over 4 million unique visitors per month and each of these visitors is either looking to rent, buy or sell – this is called targeted marketing – that is, advertising where your market is.
So yes, advertise on Yellow Pages Online (basic package) and advertise in the paper version, (whatever makes you feel good) but scale it back and spend your money where your market is – online!
Please tell me what you think!