Diversify marketing budget with print and online
For almost 100 years, phone books have been a mainstay of advertising for small businesses. With the rise of online search engines like Google, business owners should be asking themselves if traditional print phone book advertising is still valuable.
“Local phone books are still an important part of a balanced marketing strategy,” says Scott Brennan, CEO of Access Publishing, a Paso Robles-based advertising and marketing firm that produces the local business directory, North County Access, the San Luis Obispo County Visitors Guide, designs business websites, provides search engine optimization, and publishes the online Paso Robles Daily News and A-Town Daily News.
“Having a great online presence is critical for small businesses to succeed, but you don’t need to put all your eggs in one basket,” he says. “Most local businesses should budget their marketing as a mix of online, print, radio, direct mail and perhaps television.”
“Over the past five years we have recommended clients move more of their advertising budgets to online marketing, but print advertising is still a great way to reach local consumers,” he says. North County Access is delivered annually to over 40,000 homes and businesses in Paso Robles, Atascasdero, Templeton and surrounding areas.
Does any one still use a phone book?
Yes, they do. Brennan points to recent research: 84-percent of consumers use yellow pages every year to find businesses, according to Burke’s Local Media Tracking Survey. Phone books are more trusted than search. Forty-five percent of consumers say “The source I trust most for finding local business information” is print yellow pages, compared to 41-percent for search. Forty-five percent also say the print yellow pages is “The most accurate source for finding local business information,” compared to 39 percent for search.
Forbes magazine did an analysis on the question. They asked, “Should small businesses still book yellow page ads?” Their conclusion was that people, especially older demographics, do still reach for the printed Yellow Pages when they need a local business in a hurry. For instance, plumbers should think hard before they ditch their local phone books. Personal injury lawyers should also track their incoming leads closely before deciding to stop their ads. There are lots of examples of businesses that service folks with urgent needs who may benefit from staying in the books.”
Those who track their advertising know that yellow pages work, Brennan says. “Just ask Paso Robles pizza restaurant owner Randy Syracuse of Marv’s Pizza. They receive over 100 pizza coupons every month from the yellow pages,” he says. The owner of Country Florist agrees, “Access has helped me get my name out in the community through their great local phone book and the Internet… their entire staff are so helpful and great to work with!”
North County Access deadline is Sept. 9
- • Get your marketing message delivered to 40,000 homes & businesses
- • Target your local market in north San Luis Obispo County
- • Your business will be in print and online at www.northcountyaccess.com
- • Reach a mature demographic who have expendable income and need goods and services
- • Get quality leads – 75% of Yellow Pages searches result in a purchase or intent to purchase.
“While the number of advertising channels has grown, print and online directories are among the top media sources reaching consumers searching for local businesses,” Brennan says. Less than one percent of local residents have opted out of receiving a delivered copy of the phone book. To opt out of delivery, visit www.yellowpagesoptout.com/
Business listings in North County Access start at just $29 per month. For more information on advertising options, call Access Publishing at (805) 226-9890 or stop by their downtown office at 607 Creston Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446.