Well, we can’t say we didn’t see this one coming a mile away. After years of consumers and the general public gradually migrating their phone directory searches to online sources, and seeking out businesses using popular search engines such as google, the phone book companies are finally starting to roll back their services. Phonebooks are not what they used to be, and are going extinct much like us digital folks said they would years ago.
Yellow Media, the company behind Yellow Pages and other smaller phone books, have thrown in the towel for Canpages, the company they bought only recently for 5 million. Not only has Yellow media closed up shop with Canpages, but they have drastically reduced the number of phonebooks being printed, closed several offices and let go scores of employees. Instead, the company plans to shift the majority of their business online. This comes in conjunction with reports thier print advertising revenue is in free fall mode, tumbling 15% in the last quarter alone. Unfortunately, when looking at the situation with online revenue for Yellow Media, the gains from online advertising have not made up for losses in print.
The rapid decline of Yellow Media’s once dominant advertising empire is only one example of the pressure traditional media companies are facing as digital media and online advertising gradually become the industry norm. The big online players, like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are showing record profits and no sign of slowing down. While some media companies are successfully navigating the transition to digital, print based listings companies are proving unable to compete with online competitors who have much more fluid systems that allow for much more targeted advertising.
As we have told our clients time and time again, the cost of building a website to attract clients is comparable to the cost of an ad in the phone book, a billboard or a typical magazine print ad. The potential exposure for a website, in conjunction with SEO, online advertising and social media, dwarfs the exposure gained through traditional print media sources. Similarly, the major benefit to online advertising is directly measurable ROI and specifically targeted demographics. For businesses with tight budgets for advertising, or even large companies with large budgets, the value associated with online advertising is becoming increasingly apparent with the economic instability of recent years.
So, how does your company do its advertising? If you haven’t taken the time to seriously look at your online options, perhaps now is the time. If you have questions about what route to take, or which online options are best suited to your individual needs, drop us a line — we would be more than happy to help set you on the right path.