Browsing "Yellow Pages"
When I arrived in Canada in August 2007 I got to speak with three print media giants in their own area, The Yellow Pages, Winnipeg Free Press & Winnipeg Sun, in that order.
I told each and every one of them that they needed to change outlook and the way they operate to make dollars and survive going forward, all thought I was some cocky nut from Blighty.
Funny how things work out, The YP, they owned autotrader at that time and took what I told them as a slap in the face on how they needed to change direction on how they advertise, worked online etc., they sold it to the Brits losing $500 million dollars. Full Story Here
Then I spoke with the Free Press on a couple of occasions thinking I might get more traction in my adopted city, they had a circulation of around 500,000 at the time if we believe the stats, again they thought this guy is nuts, all he does is go on about Online, Google and Social Media, we are starting our own stuff on our website selling cars, real estate and banner ads, we know what we are doing, a few years later they tell me they are doing their own app and this is going to be killer, I asked for who?, I learned last week they are changing again as all this has not panned out as expected, were losing revenue and oh we are building a new website too.
Thirdly the Winnipeg Sun, I had a great meeting with the then boss Kevin Klein, a nice guy who actually had some idea of what the future might hold, but unfortunately they were tied to some boat company and there advertising ways, not good either, so today they announce they are laying off 500 workers to save $45 million a year. Full Story Here
The morale of this story, don’t judge a book or the person even if the book might be slightly X Rated, if that book has been a best seller around the world, maybe, just maybe they could be something in there your missing that could help.
The world has changed dramatically on how we get news, tweets to our tablet hours before the main news announce it, mobile uploads at the scene, if you have not lived this way of life for the last decade it’s very hard to catch up.
Shit Kickers we are, we have never denied that, but it’s all for our clients, when they win we win and we win alot.
When I arrived in Canada 4 years ago, the first people to contact me was a company working with a big yellow book. I had a lovely lunch meeting with the people, I gave them my thoughts & ideas on how they could move forward into this new digital world capitulating the planet and of course my contact information.
Now, as most people who know will testify, I don’t usually sugarcoat anything, shoot from the hip is a term used a lot here in Canada and I do, It’s just the way I am.
So today as I watch the demise of a once great institution taking place, I ask myself could I really of helped? The answer MOST DEFINATLY.
If fact, with a little tweaking they could rule the search engine results pages, seriously, and that’s were the real dollars are, plus advertisers would flock back to be at the top of Google.
Now could the hierarchy on the east coast put up with a straight talking Brit? now that’s another question, they could’nt the first time. I did foresee the autotrader’s problems and mentioned it, they lost money on that one. I also told them about the Google Adwords reseller program/agreement they have and what would happen with that a full 12months before it did, psychic, no, Internet experience and common business sense.
They were great at selling advertising in a book every business wanted to be in, there not very good at the Internet game. They may have some good technicians, programmers and traditional marketers in house and they certainly have a few pretty faces, Ive seen them first hand But they don’t have anyone near capable for the online strategy stuff that could relight the company back into a leader they once were.
Need proof? how much have they recently spent on videos, marketing, brochures, Adwords etc promoting the new search engine solutions program, Mucho $$$$ and where do the list organically on search? They should be totally dominating this term.
Now, solution, get expert help, pay the dollars, it wont be cheap, take the company ego’s out of the room, don’t expect a slick marketer in a pinstripe suit showing you a PowerPoint or YouTube video, these guys know shit, the ones who know in this game don’t look or work like that, we just know.
It’s never over until the fat lady sings, do something now or you will be hearing those dulcet tones sooner than you think.
Dont let Bill Gates be right. The old-fashioned printed Yellow Pages used to be the way that people found local business, but not anymore. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has gone so far as to predict the Yellow Pages will be officially dead 2012 .
So the Yellow Pages are finally getting it, I spoke with these people when I first arrived in Canada in 2007 at their request and told them as much.
But like most businesses here the truth hurts, YES you are behind a few years and playing catch up, but at least your starting to play now. The idea of a cocky little Brit telling them what they need to do with their business in a new digital world does not go down very well, they always know best.
So they have managed to get rid of the Auto Trader to the Brits to pay off mounting debts, losing $500k on what they paid for it, (bet they wished they listened now) but to be honest the British Autotader is a lot better, so may be something to look forward to in Canada.
Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst broadcast a new strategy for the directories arm of Telstra this week stateing
“The marketing and advertising environment confronting small businesses today is totally different to what it has been in the past. Gone are the days where a local business owner wanting to advertise their business would simply advertise in the Yellow Pages, paint contact details on their company car and print business cards,” he said. (No shit Sherlock)
“The explosion of technology and advertising channels, and the popularity of digital devices, has created a complex digital world that small businesses must be part of to ensure they are found by customers looking for their services.”
Well better late than never so they say, so when the Yellow Pages girls & boys come knocking for your advertising dollars, dont forget this is as new to them as it is to you, Remember experience counts, seek out the Orange in your area.