Resentment for Newspapers, Yellow Pages

I keep hearing anecdotally — I haven’t sought to confirm this directly — about enormous resentment among small businesses toward the newspapers and yellow pages. The source of this is purportedly 1) rates and 2) the sales mentality that they’re the “only game in town.”

I do know this feeling among small businesses exists but the real question is: how widespread is it? Peter Zollman’s research with realtors is suggestive of it in the newspaper arena. I also heard this privately from a couple of newspaper execs. I recently spoke to. In addition, anecdotal interviews I was involved with while at The Kelsey Group also suggested this among select yellow pages advertisers.

There’s no research that I’m aware of that directly tests the vulnerability of these media among SMEs. Open note to market research firms who might want to do this survey . . . here are some potential questions:

  1. Do you currently advertise in (fill in traditional medium: yellow pages, newspapers)?
  2. Monthly spend?
  3. Are you seeing a return on your investment?
  4. Has that ROI remained the same, improved or gotten worse during the past 5 years, 1 year?
  5. Do you advertise online currently? Where?
  6. Do you anticipate ever shifting your entire budget online? If so, why?
  7. How would you describe your attitude toward (traditional medium: newspapers, yellow pages): highly satisfied, satisfied, not satisfied, highly dissatisfied, resentful.

This same survey could be conducted for brand marketers regarding TV advertising. Again, the issue is to get at how volatile the advertiser relationship with the medium is. One could even build a trackable index around the strength or weakeness of the medium along these lines.

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2 Responses to “Resentment for Newspapers, Yellow Pages”

  1. Howard Owens Says:

    Here’s what I’ve heard from many agents over the years: “We only advertise in newspapers because our clients get up set if we don’t.”

    And here’s what I’ve heard from brokers: “We only advertise in newspapers because our agents get upset if we don’t.”

    RE advertising in print is probably safe so long as the average seller preceives it as the best place to have their ad seen by potential buyers.

  2. Software Sports » Two Reasons Small Businesses Hate the Yellow Pages Says:

    […] Last week, Greg Sterling posted about small businesses’ resentment of newspapers and Yellow Pages […]

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