I borrowed this title from actor Kevin Bacon’s statement in the “Few Good Men” movie, but it applies in this case. I’m sure you see them all the time too. I get 4 or 5 of these types of incoming comments each week. Most are bogus or just pure spam. But these two made me laugh since they are contrary to what the call tracking data is telling us about print Yellow Page usage:
“Yellow Pages are obsolete”
The following comment was posted on the YP Talk comment area:
I was googling “why do yellow pages still exist” and I was delighted to find this hilarious article desperately defending them instead. It’s like reading someone trying to defend the slide rule. Sorry buddy, but technology has made yellow pages obsolete. They provide no value, but they do kill a lot of trees. Mobile phones with internet access are now dirt cheap and ubiquitous, providing the same information to people. Even my grandmother has a cell phone. Nobody in their right mind would use the yellow pages, other than as kindling or paper weight.
My response, while trying to be somewhat diplomatic was as follows:
Thank you for your commentary. It’s comments like this that show exactly why the print yellow pages still work as you clearly had already decided on the answer you wanted to hear before you even did your Google search.
I can only assume you missed the article which showed that 76% of all adults do still use the printed YP each year. Or the one about how 85% of those people who do use a book make a purchase once they pick it up. Or that advertisers are seeing AT LEAST a $10 to $1 return for their advertising investments. Perhaps you also missed the article about how call tracking results for print ads have shown INCREASES in the number of calls over the last two years. But even if you had seen that, I doubt you would believe it.
So maybe the better approach with someone like you who appears to only believe what they see at the end of the arm, how do you think all that mobile stuff got there, especially the parts from local businesses?? Answer: yellow page reps working with those businesses that get them listed where ever their clients might be. Print, online, mobile — that’s the definition of “Yellow Pages” these days…
I had really wanted to be much wittier in my response, but the facts are the facts….
How shallow can I be:
This other one came across my radar screen and it sounds like it was a man on the street type interview from an Aussie city. They are easy to do – let’s find a cross section of people who don’t fit the demographics of a typical small business in the print or online Yellow Pages, who probably aren’t experiencing the life events that drive usage, and then ask them leading questions:
Do People Use Yellowpages Anymore? – YouTube Do People Still Use The Yellow Pages? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_psVGi-pEQc
Note how many of these people commented that page 1 of a Google results page is the extent they will go when looking for local businesses. I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending $15,000+ on a new roof, need an experienced dental surgeon, a local limousine service for a special night out, or have to have my air conditioning system repaired, I don’t think I’m going to limit myself to the just the results Google choses to give me on the first page of a search. That seems a bit shallow to me. What about you??
Looks like a perfect opportunity for one of or two industry associations to develop a similar video which shows the exact opposite, with real people who spend real money for real products and services – that’s the real power of yellow……