Pundits Vs Profits….

I just read an article by another on-line “Guru” ranting about how the Yellow Pages are dead and how they are a waste of your advertising and marketing dollar.  I understand why this twenty- something “guru” is saying this.  From his perspective and the way he searches for new sources of products and services, Yellow Pages are a waste – he will never use them.   The pitfall of believing that everyone thinks like you is an age old mistake that unfortunately has been made by millions of business people when it comes to advertising and marketing.  The truth is that people think in millions of different way.  Rather than judging any media on the way you think and how you search for new sources… track your leads, analyze which media are delivering the profits, and follow the profits!  This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to grow your business.


Track your advertising and follow the profits –
It is the fastest and most cost-effective way to grow your business!

A month or two ago a friend of mine offered to take all of his ads out of the Verizon and Yellow Book yellow pages and give his entire budget to me.  I told him “let’s not go so fast.”  For the next month he asked every new lead where they found him.  It turned out he was still getting calls and jobs from the yellow pages – especially calls from older people – a market he does very well with.  I reviewed his headings and about 80% of the competition has left the yellow pages because they do not produce like they once did.  The knee jerk reaction is to cut it all and invest on-line or in other vehicles because the usage of yellow pages has dropped off considerably.  Here is how I advised my friend:  cut back your ads to the point where you would be the 3rd– 4th  largest ad today (n the current book). This enabled him to cut his print budget by almost two thirds…  Since there are only a few advertisers left in his heading, there is a good chance that a few will leave next year too and he will still get calls from most of the people….   The number of yellow page leads has shrunk; but not by 80% (the percentage of his competitors that have dropped out of yellow pages).  There used to be 40 or so advertisers; this year there were 5 display ads and I’m guessing next year it will be down to 3 or 4.  He will spend about 30% of what he spent in print this year and will most likely get 75-80% as many leads (he gets about 2  leads a day from the yellow pages).  I also suggested that he set up tracking number that only run in his ads (a different one for each book) and not in his listings.  This way he can determine who is using the ads and who is just looking up his phone number.   I advised him to invest the remaining 70% to develop a better website, optimize it, market it and to invest in marketing to his warm market – people who have done business with him and people who were interested and decided they were not ready to buy…..  Most business people only focus on getting the next new sale.  Most do not know that it is 3-4 times easier and less costly to get happy customers to buy from you again rather than to just chase new customers…..

Just because a media in not in vogue
does not mean it can not generate profits!

I could have had his full budget if I ranted about how the yellow pages are dead…. But I always advise my clients to follow the profits and let them guide you.  In the end, good advice and helping my clients stay focused on the profits will help me to grow more than 100% of one year’s ad budget.  I told him as long as the yellow pages are delivering profits keep on advertising.  It doesn’t matter that they are not sexy… they happen to be delivering customers cost –effectively.   He no longer needs a half page ad to be one of the dominant ads (they generate the lion’s share of the leads).  As long as he is getting leads with a high return on investment, I will keep advising him to advertise.  I also gave him this advice:  when the “gurus” or friends make fun of your advertising and marketing program… laugh all the way to the bank!  If you are in a small or mid-sized business and you want to thrive…. Follow the profits and not the “pundits”!  If you are interested in working with someone who earns his money by giving you his best advice rather than what is most profitable in the short term…. Check out my website and request a no-obligation consultation.  If you are not yet ready to speak, click hereto request my free marketing tips (like the page and get free tips)….

Here’s to following the profits and maximizing your ROI on your advertising and marketing dollar!!!