Happy August to you all. I hope you and your computers are properly cooled. This month I have a question for you: Which is a better way to find local businesses; the The Phone Book or the Internet? Warning: those with weak hearts may wish to skip this article.
Let’s try our challenge.
Imagine it’s 9:44 p.m. on a stormy Wednesday evening in Longview. You hear a dripping in your living room. You check out the sound and find water coming through your ceiling. ARGH.
What to do?
Option A is to use the phone book. The search begins, let’s find that phone book. Now where did you use it last? The kitchen, or was it in the computer room? No wait, you found it in the living room. Drip Drip.
You open the book and the search continues.
Yellow or White?
You find yellow and thumb through to R for Roofing. It starts with Roof Cleaning, then Roof Cleaning Systems (See Air Conditioning-Contractors) Roof Consultants (See Consultants; Also Roofing Service Consultatnts, Roofing Contractors.
Then you thumb through 5 1/2 pages of ads.
It’s late at night ,so you pick one and make a phone call.
Option B is to use the Internet.
The search begins. You go to Google or MSN and type “longview wa roofing contractors”.
4 seconds later, you are rewarded with a list of companies in your city.
You click on a few web sites and make the call.
Alternative: you could go to CowlitzToday.com and quickly find a local list of businesses. You could read reviews and check the map to see how close they are to your home.
One might argue that you can search the phone book and then check out the web sites of the advertisers to learn more. This is very true. But, this is Geek Speak and we try to save key-strokes.
Meaning doing things more efficiently.
If you know you are going to finish at the computer you might as well start there. Want to be even more geek?
Use your smart phone.
You can search, find and even call from the same devise.
Now that is efficient!
Benefits of the Phone Book
- Doesn’t require electricity
- Some boast that they are 100% recyclable
- It is a way of doing things that people are comfortable
Benefits of the Internet
- Information can updated as often as it is changed.
- You can find more detailed information more quickly
A couple Questions for Businesses to consider:
Are you spending more money on your Yellow Pages ads than on your Online Marketing?
Do more of your customers use the local pages than the Internet?
If you are selling in a local market to consumers and you think a half page ad in one (or all) of our 3 (we might have 4) local books is of greater value than investing a proper internet presence, it may be time to re-evaluate your position.
I found a recent poll asking people, Do you use the phone book? …
A whopping 4% said yes.
Followed by 20% saying rarely.
So next time you have a roof leak, I suggest you find your favorite phone book and jam it in the hole in your roof. Then sit down at your computer to find a more permanent solution.
Oscar Myre IV is the Creative Director and owner of OM Originals Design Studio in Longview, offering web solutions for over ten years. He can be reached at #360.575.9839 or online @ omOriginals.com