Taking a Page from the Investment World for your Directory Advertising

When investing in mutual funds, what are the most important things you consider? First you probably determine your risk tolerance level, your long-term objectives, and then you match those to the funds that properly represent your objectives the most.

For example, if you are a conservative investor you are likely going to be investing in mutual funds that are Lose Weight Exerciseed to bonds and income products. If you are an aggressive investor, you are most likely investing in more equity products.

All that is great, but how does that apply to directory advertising?

I try to completely stay away from making assumptions, but in this case I will one.

My assumption is; any business advertising in directories is looking for business. Hopefully you agree that this assumption is safe.

If our goal in directory advertising is to generate business, then clearly the next step is in order to generate business from directories, I need to be in places where people look. In essence, how do I get close to 100% market coverage with my advertising dollars?

Now here is where local businesses are losing. Many still believe they can accomplish this through their local printed phone book. In 1980 you had full market coverage in the local printed phone book, in 2005 you don’t.

This is based on a study that the Print Measurement Bureau of Canada conducted in PMB ’99, indicating that 30% of Canadians no longer use printed phone books to find a business. This is significant because in order for a business to maximize its directory advertising dollars they need to know how to achieve 100% market coverage.

What happened? The Internet happened. Did you know that the #1 and #2 online commercial directories in Canada serviced 6.1 million users in September 2004, comScore Media Metrix. That is 6 million Canadians who choose to use the Internet to find a business and not their local printed phone book.

The breakdown of the #1 and #2 commercial directories are:

Yellow Pages Group (yellowpages.ca) = 4.178 million

Super Pages Group (superpages.ca) = 1.944 million

Now back to my investment analogy.

Investing only in print directories is a diminishing return product. Real usage is decreasing daily and it is completely irrelevant how many books are physically printed if people are choosing not to use them anyway. However, I still believe in local phone book advertising, just a balanced approach to it.

Strategy #1 – Balanced Directory Advertising

This strategy combines the #1 print book in Calgary with the #1 and #2 online commercial directories to achieve close to 100% market coverage. Using the PMB as the standard, we take 70% of our budget and place it in print and 30% between the top online directories used in Calgary.

If you are spend $1000 per month in directory advertising,

$700 / month in the local phone book

$204 / month in YellowPages.ca

$96 / month in Superpages.ca

Strategy #2 – Aggressive Growth Advertising

This is designed for businesses that are targeting the 30-45 ages demographic. Based on the growth usage of Internet directories, the strategy here is to put 50% of ad budget into print and split the remaining 50% between the top 2 online directories in Calgary.

If you are spend $1000 per month in directory advertising,

$500 / month in the local phone book

$341 / month in YellowPages.ca

$159 / month in Superpages.ca

This balanced approach has helped hundreds of my clients receive better results from their directory advertising in Calgary and gain a competitive advantage.