Monthly Archives: September 2012

More Customers are Expanding their Search to Find Local Businesses

Make sure your business is found when someone is looking for you

Having your business name and number listed in print, available online, an on mobile devices is important. However, it is more about getting your business exposure in the right places. Remember, the Yellow Pages is no longer just in book form.  The medium continues to deliver large volumes of high-quality, cost-effective business leads through multiple platforms.

There are many advertising options available to a business when it comes to advertising; however, there are only five (5) basic requirements for a successful advertising medium, often referred to as “CURER.”

Circulation – how is the advertising message received by the end user?
Usage – what is the usage, or visibilty of the medium?
Retention – when is the advertising available?
Economy – is it cost effective, generating a return on the investment?
Results – does the medium generate measurable results?
Many forms of advertising media are “creative” or “non-directional” — sellers are trying to create a desire, or need, for a particular product or service through media such as television, radio or direct mail.  Generally, it may not be when someone is ready to buy. This type of advertising encourages or recommends to a potential buyer where to go to make a purchase.
Yellow Pages is considered a “directional” form of advertising — it is always available when someone is ready to buy a product or use a service.  Consumers will use a directory when a need has been identified.  Yellow Pages directs the buyer to the “point of sale”, and is the ultimate “permission-based” medium.

Try to think of an advertising program like a circle.  If you were to draw a line through the middle of the circle, or cut it in half, the upper half would represent “non-directional” forms of advertising. This intention of this type of advertising is to create brand awareness, identify needs, and make impressions.

Alternatively, the lower half of the circle represents the “directional”form of advertising. This portion of an advertising program should support the creative aspects of a campaign, or make sure the buyer knows where to go when they have made a decision to make a purchase, or use a service.

Don’t miss out on customers looking to buy from you!
Always make it easy for customers to find your business by advertising with a complete Yellow Pages program.

Did you know there are two types of Yellow Pages users?

Those who are familiar with your business are:
  • Recommended by your existing customers
  • Influenced by other forms of your advertising
  • Contacted by your salesperson
  • Passing-by your storefront
  • Are your former customers and shoppers
*48% of buyers making a purchasing decision have one “1” name in mind…
Those who do not know your business are:
  • Newcomers to the community
  • In need of an emergency service, or product
  • Dissatisfied with your competition
  • Infrequent shoppers
  • Comparison shoppers
*18% of buyers have two “2” or more names in mind, and 35% have no name in mind
*So…53% of purchasers have a decision to make at time of search

Now that you have decided advertising is a good decision for your business

Contact your local independent Yellow Pages company, and ask who can help you design a complete program, discuss pricing and placement, as well deadlines.

Next . . . think about some questions you may want to ask yourself, and your local sales representative:

  • What is the coverage area of the directory? (sometimes a directory will cover a wide area, but books are only delivered to certain parts of the area)
  • When and how is the directory distributed? (door-to-door, mail, pick-up)
  • How many copies of the directory are distributed to the market area (s)?
  • Is there more than one directory that I need to consider?
  • What products and services are offered by the directory publisher that allow me to reach my prospect? (e.g., print, electronic, mobile)
  • What are my competitors doing in the way of advertising?
  • Do my competitors advertise in other places – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
  • Does the advertising program recommended satisfy my business needs?
  • Do I have a complete advertising program – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
  • What can I expect in terms of my return on investment (ROI)?
  • Does the publisher have usage data to support my buying decision?
  • Is there a way to track my results? (call measurement)
  • How will I be billed?


They Just Might Be Catching On!

Don’t get too excited yet, but it appears that some commentators are starting to embrace what we’ve known for some time.

And that is: the sweet spot demographic for the Yellow Pages is also the sweet spot demographic for many advertisers!
I recently read with great interest an article by Jonathan Alcorn of Bloomberg News in which he addresses the derision aimed at the CBS television network because of its “older viewer base”.  As it turns out, that’s good news for CBS.
Here’s part of what Mr. Alcorn wrote:
“The last of the U.S. Baby Boomers turn 48 this year, moving into the sweet spot for luxury cars, financial services and pharmaceuticals, three of CBS’s largest ad categories.
The shift is forcing marketers to reconsider how they target the $12.7 billion that researcher Kantar Media says they spent on prime-time network TV ads last year. As Boomers — people born between 1946 and 1964 — leave the 18-to-49-year-old group that has long dominated TV advertising, companies are focusing more on older consumers.
‘While we enjoy winning in all the categories, 18-to-49 is not the end-all it’s made out to be,’ Nina Tassler, CBS’s head of entertainment.  ….
Marketers have long viewed younger consumers as more open to new products and less likely to have established loyalties. Time and economics are changing that. Most Americans don’t set up households until after college, according to Pat McDonough, senior VP of insights, analysis and policy at Nielsen, which reports the audience ratings used to set advertising rates. And more people in their 50s are willing to try new products, she said.
‘Realistically, most 18-year-olds aren’t determining what laundry detergent they’ll use,’ Ms. McDonough said.  ….
The perception that 50 is “ancient” is changing, according to Peter Gardiner, national media buyer at Deutsch, a unit of New York-based Interpublic Group of Cos. that lists Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson & Johnson as clients. Most have grown children, are in their peak earnings years and are still a decade or more from retirement, he said.
‘It’s not that the younger demographic is less important,’ said Mr. Gardiner, who notes half his clients have begun to target 25-to-54-year-olds in recent years. ‘It’s that the older audience is becoming more important.’
The buying power of older viewers has also grown, said David Poltrack, CBS’s chief research officer, while 18-to-24- year-olds have been hit hard by the slow recovery.
The 45-to-64-year-old age group was least affected by the recession, according to Census data. The group’s 2010 median annual income of $60,700 was 2.1% less than before the recession. Those under age 25 suffered a 9.7% decline, to $24,140.  ….
CBS says four of its top five advertising categories by revenue target viewers ages 25 to 54, including luxury cars, pharmaceuticals and financial services like banks, credit card companies and insurers.
‘This demo, when you look at 25 to 54, is the cornerstone of what luxury marketers are looking for today,’ said Loren Angelo, general manager of Audi Brand Marketing.
Investors see a difference too. CBS Corp., controlled by 89-year-old billionaire Sumner Redstone, has a 59% higher price-earnings ratio than Viacom, Redstone’s other major media holding, which targets younger viewers with networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV.  ….
CBS still sells a “substantial” number of commercials targeted at younger viewers, said Jo Ann Ross, who oversees ad sales. The network airs 11 of the most-watched programs in the 18-49 demographic, more than any other broadcast network, according to Nielsen data.
Nonetheless, ‘we always end up with more being spent on adults 25 to 54 in prime time,’ Ms. Ross said.”
Many of the positive points Mr, Alcorn makes in his article provide a direct corollary to the Yellow Pages value story.  We’ve long known what CBS is just now recognizing, the “older audience” is our sweet spot, and that sweet spot is expanding.
The fact is that the people with the most money, those who are least impacted by the slow economy, those still experiencing significant life events, are precisely the people who use the Yellow Pages the most.  Advertisers must understand this reality.
Make sure your salespeople see this.  The media are different, but the truth is the same.
By Larry Angove

It’s always the right time to advertise in the Yellow Pages

It’s always the right time to advertise in the Yellow Pages

By Ken Clark, YP Talks

The nice folks at American Express sent me an article about when the best times are to tweet and post on Facebook, times when you can get the maximum exposure.  These emerging social media are examples of  new platforms that some marketers are frothing over to use their advertising dollars on, I assume to help grow their businesses.

Any guesses??  Early morning?  Late at night?  For the record, beyond the website, I use both Twitter and Facebook to share business information with the greater industry, but have always been a bit doubtful that these platforms could ever really attract and retain customers anywhere near as well as Yellow Pages.

The source of this analysis was, the URL shortening service which recently analyzed retweets and clickthroughs that tweets get when they’re posted at certain times of the week and times of day. also analyzed Facebook links.

And the results were….

Time to Tweet:

For Twitter, peak traffic time for Twitter in general is around the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST window, Monday through Thursday.  As an marketer, your best chance at getting the most clickthroughs is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.  Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided and even noted in a blog post:“….Specifically, don’t bother posting after 3 p.m. on a Friday, since as far as being a gateway to drive traffic to your content, it appears that Twitter doesn’t work on weekends.”  Wow.   That doesn’t sound like a very effective advertising platform.

More depressing news is that the half-life of a link on Twitter is something like 2.8 hours.

Getting More Likes:

For Facebook, traffic starts to pick up about 9 a.m., but suggests waiting to post until 11 a.m. Facebook traffic begins to fade after 4 p.m.   The absolute highest number of clickthroughs comes at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. picking up the highest average clickthroughs.  Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. perform terribly.  As with Twitter, weekends are less than ideal.  But if you miss Wednesday at 3 p.m. there is always next week.

The analysis conflicts a little with a study from last month by Buddy Media, showing that Thursday and Friday were better for engagement on Facebook. One possible reason for the difference was methodology as Buddy analyzed 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and Likes spurred by those posts, whereas focused just on the sharing of links.

As a disclaimer of sorts, adds that it is important to keep in mind that these times are meant only as “a guide”, and may not apply to breaking news. In addition, the ideal post times may vary by a  particular business, customer, or type of content.

Yellow Pages:

So let’s take this theme a little further.  When is the best time for someone to use a print, online, or mobile Yellow Pages?  Answer:  24/7/365.  Results are not limited to 1 to 4 pm EDT on alternate Thursdays.

So why should a savvy SMB advertise in the Yellow Pages?  Answer:  to be available to those buying customers  24/7/365.  Three examples of why that’s important:

  1. Do you know when a strong wind is going to blow down your fence (as mine just did several weeks ago)?
  2. Can you predict when the garage door opener is going to jam and not work (as in the door will not open so I can’t get the car out of the garage) like it did on a recent holiday for me?
  3. Why is it  that the dog always seems to get sick and need professional veterinarian care on a Saturday evening?

I’m sure you can think of dozens of other similar life events that occur when you least expect them, or even those purchases you know you need to make for something you are not an expert in.   Where would you turn?  Facebook?

It may not be very sexy, but the Yellow Pages work, every day, weekend, holiday, at any time the need arises for a local product or service.



Print is Alive and Well!

Print is Alive and Well!

 Amy Rybczynski 

 When I joined DAC Group’s research department six years ago, one of the tasks that landed on my desk was to track monthly the number of Yellow Pages directories in print in both the U.S. and Canada.  I never gave the task much thought, but the figures recently have been hard to ignore.  The U.S. is now at its lowest directory count in over seven years.  North of the border, in the wake of Yellow Pages Group’s acquisition of their top competitor, CanPages, Canada’s directory count is nearly a hundred directories less than when we first began tracking in 2003, and more than 150 directories less than its peak over three years ago.

While this may sound like bad news for the industry, it’s not.  The directory explosion that occurred during the second half of 2008 made Yellow Pages a bigger business than ever, but it also led to a lot of confusion for the folks who came home to half a dozen directories on their front step.  Who could blame them for tossing the extras out or getting frustrated when the one they happened to grab didn’t have what they were looking for?

However, we know that people are still flocking to the Yellow Pages in droves.  According to the most recentLSA Local Media Tracking Study, the top print heading, restaurants, still receives over one billion references annually.  Sixteen other headings draw over 100 million references each.  That’s a lot of shoppers who are ready to buy and actively searching for their product of choice. For many categories, particularly those involving home maintenance and improvement (i.e., pest control, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, appliance repair), DAC Group’s Search Landscape Study, in cooperation with Kantar Media, showed that print Yellow Pages ranked either first or second as the media that consumers reference first when shopping for a product or service. [1]

DAC Group’s Search Landscape Study also found that 53% of shoppers use search engines first when searching for business information to make a purchase.  In fact, four of the top five sources are all online-based. [1]  But the one that isn’t—ranked second overall—is none other than print Yellow Pages.  How can this “archaic” method still rank high?  Simple—it works.

Over the years, survival of the fittest has taken root, and a once-bloated industry has come back down to size.  Many small publishers have either sold off their business or closed up shop altogether.  In addition, the recession has weeded out weaker businesses and eliminated advertising budgets for others.  The good news for advertisers is that there’s less fragmentation and the directories that remain are more useful than ever.  All the top competitors are in one place and shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for.  There’s less of a need to spend little bits of money in small directories just to maintain a presence.  Instead, that money can be pooled for higher-impact ads in the strongest books in the market and even extended to online offerings.

In the face of negative media reports about the industry’s health, as well as legislation restricting automatic home delivery, it may be tempting to drop print Yellow Pages in favor of other media.  However, it only takes a look back to one of the worst economic times in history to see why that could be a catastrophic mistake.  During the Great Depression, many advertisers pulled back on their advertising, including cereal maker C.W. Post.  At the same time, competitor Kellogg’s doubled their advertising budget.  When everyone else was absent from the advertising landscape, Kellogg’s was there and consumers took notice.  Kellogg’s profits increased by nearly 30% in the midst of the depression and set the foundation for dominance in their industry for decades to come.

The best news of all for DAC Group’s clients is that no matter which directional media you choose to promote your business, we have the tools to make your advertising successful.  We can craft an integrated media plan that fits your needs and ensures that you will be where consumers are shopping.  Maybe print Yellow Pages aren’t the right fit for your category, but if they are, rest assured that rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated and we’ll be happy to prove it.

-Amy Rybczynski, Marketing Research Analyst