Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yellow Pages with distinct flavor (Salsa) ¦ The News Journal ¦ Yellow pages with distinct flavor:

I thought that the timing of this article was ironic because I just released a report recommending niche directories as advertising vehicles ONLY after the business is properly represented in the main directory.

Publisher Nancy Bastidas shows off her new Directorio Hispano with Wilmington food market owner Victor Rodriguez.

The writer of this article agrees . . .

"The downside is that such directories don't have as many users, Fang said. So while the ads may have more impact on those who read them, overall, there are fewer eyeballs encountering the company's name, he said.

Fang recommends small companies use specialty phone books to supplement their marketing efforts, not to replace them."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Yellow Pages Trivia Challenge

Yellow Pages Trivia Challenge

Take the Yellow Pages trivia challenge and have a chance to win an iPod Mini.

I took the quiz, and am very curious to know what are some of the answers.

It's clearly Yellow Pages propaganda, but it does focus attention on the fact that YP users are highly educated, spend loads of money, and are near the top of the social ladder.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Can Verizon compete as an Independent Yellow pages publisher?

Verizon issued a press release discussing their growth as an independent publisher and touting the strength of their brand.

In one sense, they are absolutely correct in the strength of their brand. Last year, they spent more promoting their brand than any other company in the US. They spent something north of $800 million on brand advertising.

So does that translate into operating a strong independent Yellow Pages publishing arm?

While I can't claim any inside information, my observations tell me that it has been much more difficult than Verizon's letting on.

Yellow Book has a list on its website showing several markets that Verizon has either abandoned or sold to a competitor. Is it a small percentage? Well, when you are one of the largest directory publishers in the world, it is a small percentage.

If you are a small business owner who has invested a major portion of your annual advertising budget in an abandoned market, it is much more meaningful.

I'm not here to throw stones at Verizon. Quite the contrary. I am a long-term shareholder.

However, as an advocate for local advertisers, it is important to be able to systematically evaluate directories before investing in any of them.

Here's the rule. . .

If a directory has great content that is easy to use, the directory will be used by consumers.

If the directory is under-developed (industry-speak for lousy ad sales), it will not be used regardless of the brand on the cover.

The next YP Commando Newsletter will deal with simple methods of selecting a directory for your advertising. Make sure you sign up.

Paris Hilton TV Ad for German YP

A year or so ago, one of the business magazines called Yellow Pages the "sexiest business in America."

Appears the Germans think so too.

Special thanks to:
Chris Miller
Phone: (804) 303-4835

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fastest Growing Yellow Pages Headings - Headings that are Losing References

. : Yellow Pages Commando : . Fastest Growing Yellow Pages Headings - Headings that are Losing References

The Yellow Pages Association released a report regarding the fastest growing headings in terms of references.

I called Larry Small, YPA's Director of Research to get the inside scoop. I recorded the interview and posted it so that you can listen to it on my web site.

As an exclusive bonus, Larry also gave me the list of the headings that have lost the most references.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Quebecor World, a leading printer of Yellow Pages directories and Yellow Book announced a long term agreement that effectively encompasses over a TRILLION pages of telephone directories to be printed. It's a $900 million deal.

There is no one on earth who is a bigger supporter of Internet Yellow pages and local search than I am, but this type of deal from two of the most progressive companies in the space sends a very clear signal that printed Yellow Pages directories have many fine years ahead of them. Let me couch that statement. Yellow Book directories have many more years ahead.

I should point out that Yellow Book is my employer, having acquired TransWestern Publishing. I learned of this deal shortly before it hit the wires.

I recall conversations of old time TransWestern employees talking about the days when printers would not return their calls, and shunned their business. Quebecor was one of the rare companies who actively worked with TWP. It's good to see them also succeed.