google vs yellow pages

This is probably a no-brainer to people in there 20’s, but watch this quick video survey done in Melbourne – questioning the merits of Yellow Pages:

Now I ask you… Why do all these companies still pay for advertising when NO ONE IS READING IT? Because it’s business as usual. Its worked for the past 30 years, and to suddenly stop it would mean to be not be part of the “club”. Yet all these people in this random video survey, young and old, are using google to find something, and they usually only look at the 1st page.

I wonder how long it will take until they phase yellow pages out altogether? Bill Gates famous quote in 2007:

“These things always take time, but Yellow Page usage amongst people in their, say, below 50, will drop to zero, near zero over the next five years.”

You may argue Bill Gates doesn’t have crystal ball by listing examples of when he was wrong before. Okay fine.  Someone is obviously still reading it. Perhaps a more engaged audience  is checking the add, and instead of calling the number, they’re copying the company url in there browser. Which gets me to ask, how do you measure that? “Half my advertising is wasted, but I don’t know which half.” The monopoly Yellow Pages used to have is over.

Online vs print – what to do in the short term?

If your a small business you should budget for both.  But you have to start  learning how google works. Its not about selling a scarce resource anymore – which is how print works. Information isn’t scarce online, its everywhere! Google sells peoples intentions, there expressed desires – and this is growing fast. Free information is the future. It’s more accessible and is the platform the next generation is most comfortable with.