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Do People Still Get the Yellow Pages?
When’s the last time you used a phone book?
Believe it or not, phone books are still around. More than 100,000 are distributed in the Philadelphia area alone.
There was a time when phone books were an essential marketing channel to reach local audiences.
Personal numbers were listed in the white pages. Businesses in the yellow pages could pay for more prominent placements.
Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
Today, the yellow pages are decidedly less influential.
Yet phone book makers argue they serve a vital purpose for a specific audience.
“There’s 20% to 30% of the population that is not digital savvy, and they have a right to access to a plumber, to an electrician, to an attorney, right to a dentist or whatever,” Keith Monge told Billy Penn. Monge is regional marketing manager at Thryv, the nation’s largest distributor of directories.
Phone books are a good reminder of a bygone marketing era with fewer data points and a more local focus.
Still, modern tools like third party apps and websites can be expensive to connect nearby services like contractors and restaurants to potential customers. Digital advertising and SEO require regular tweaks to remain effective. In their way, the yellow pages offer a simple solution to reach that less tech-savvy audience.
Many consumers today have never even seen a phone book, let alone used one to find goods or services. The large books extract a large environmental toll, and phone books lack the nostalgic charm of high-quality print publications, vinyl records or other physical media. For a vast majority of people, a web search is simply easier and more effective.