Monday, June 06, 2005

Bring Back the Walking Fingers

Comments by Sieg Fischer, President & CEO,
Valley Yellow Pages, during Simba Webinar, April 28, 2005

We need a national usage campaign that is supported by all publishers to promote yellow pages overall.

Bring back the walking fingers – promote the hell out of it.

It is a nationally recognized logo. Stop the bashing of fellow publishers in front of advertisers and consumers. If we can grow the total pie using a national campaign and syndicated usage research, we can grow 10% and stop the share slide. Everyone would benefit.

===========================
Thanks Sieg,

Consumers seem to consider the "Yellow Pages" to be one large company publishing "those books I keep getting."

The concept has merit, but I don't see the industry majors being willing to do anything that might support a competitor such as the company you've built.

Let me know how that works, will ya?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Hobson said...

I don't see how a large scale promotion of an icon is going to change the marketplace. Even if it did who would pay for such a campaign and why? It definitely would not benefit the name brand players such as BellSouth.

Customers don't buy yellow pages based on an icon they buy based on value. You can't make the Walking Fingers the focus of your presentation. Any books that want added credibility need to improve their products. It's all about Possession, Usage and Preference.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Gerry Screven said...

I don't think people use yellow pages based on anything but preference based on whatever they have readily available to choose from when they need a phone book.
The average user doesn't care who published the book and can seldom distinguish publishers...."yellow pages is yellow pages" to most users.

Advertisers are different breed all together. Most local business owners and professionals are not a credible sourse to determine usage preference....most have someone else look for services and products for their business and often times their homes.

They mostly buy advertising out of habit and a great deal of misperception on the part of the telco directory company. The more they spend the more they are insulated from most sales people. The exception is the telco publisher that has been getting in the door for years by saying they were with the phone company then after they are inside disclosing they were there "taking advertising orders for the phone company's new book". (talk about leveraging)

Sorry Sieg, even though it would be a great idea to have one national campaign to promote the industry, the big guys will never support such when they have a virtuallock on so much national dollars and keep finding ways to bamboozle their biggest local advertisers and inexperienced newbys. I often wonder just how many starups they have put out of business over the years by overloading them by smooth talking, blue sky promices with expensive ads they couldn't pay for?

I suspect whenever the telcos executives go off on one of their executive retreats as boardmembers of their associations, they debug the rooms and then discuss how to best maintain their controls and fight off independents.
Gerry Screven

8:58 PM  
Blogger Gerry Screven said...

I don't think people use yellow pages based on anything but preference based on whatever they have readily available to choose from when they need a phone book.
The average user doesn't care who published the book and can seldom distinguish publishers...."yellow pages is yellow pages" to most users.

Advertisers are different breed all together. Most local business owners and professionals are not a credible sourse to determine usage preference....most have someone else look for services and products for their business and often times their homes.

They mostly buy advertising out of habit and a great deal of misperception on the part of the telco directory company. The more they spend the more they are insulated from most sales people. The exception is the telco publisher that has been getting in the door for years by saying they were with the phone company then after they are inside disclosing they were there "taking advertising orders for the phone company's new book". (talk about leveraging)

Sorry Sieg, even though it would be a great idea to have one national campaign to promote the industry, the big guys will never support such when they have a virtuallock on so much national dollars and keep finding ways to bamboozle their biggest local advertisers and inexperienced newbys. I often wonder just how many starups they have put out of business over the years by overloading them by smooth talking, blue sky promices with expensive ads they couldn't pay for?

I suspect whenever the telcos executives go off on one of their executive retreats as boardmembers of their associations, they debug the rooms and then discuss how to best maintain their controls and fight off independents.
Gerry Screven

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I agree with Jim Hobson..... I work for Verizon. I think Sieg has a valid comment when you consider the Direct Mail impact on the YP industry..... yet publishers offer competing products in the same market... working together when one or another is "superior" is ludicrous. We need more syndicated research!

Gerry... the one to promote a "use the YP" national campaign should be Larry Small and crew at YPIMA in Denver CO! We publishers should fund it... not political lobbyists! lol

9:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home