I’ve been told by older reps how sweet it was to sell Yellow Page advertising “back in the day” (that being when phone companies had a monopoly on Yellow Pages). They tell me the typical sales pitch went something like this:
I’m here to sell you Yellow Page advertising. Oh, you’re not interested? Well, you will be. Here’s my card; call me when you change your mind. Oh… and the book’s closing in 2 weeks.
That’s how first half of their day was spent. The second half usually involved golf…
Those days are gone forever, mainly because the deregulation of the Telecom industry allowed for smaller, independent Yellow Page companies to publish directories of their own. Competition has forced rates to come down. As a result, companies like AT&T and Verizon can no longer charge the exorbitant prices they once did. And the independent publishers’ rates are even more affordable. (You could spend less than $3,000 and get display advertising in multiple headings for an entire year.)
Of course, any advertising is “too expensive” if it doesn’t work. And by “doesn’t work” I mean that you paid more money for your advertising than you got back in return.
So any discussion of advertising must include Return on Investment. And that’s the topic of my next post.