Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Competition makes strange bedfellows


To your comments about advertiser irritation with YP, I offer 2 observations.

a) some of it is deserved from how advertisers have been treated

b) The structure of YP guarantees that they will always hate YP regardless of the value they receive or how well they are treated.

YP, by its very structure, pits them against their competitors. In the short term, they are in a zero-sum game with their competitors - their competitors gain customers at their expense, or vice versa, they gain customers at their competitors expense.

This is what creates value for the users - they find comparative information about all of the businesses in one place, but it guarantees that the advertiser will always have gripes about the medium.

Other media strive to insure that 2 competitors ads rarely appear next to each other; Yellow Pages guarantees that they will.

YP are a "necessary evil" because YP truly works for the advertisers - it delivers great economic value, but they don't have to like the situation it puts them in relative to their competitors.

Just a perspective.

Dennis Fromholzer
CRM Associates


Anonymous Patrick Marshall said...

I completely agree with Dennis' point. The simple fact is that advertisers will choose the program that they believe will most benefit their business. Any perceived advantage amongst the competitors at a given heading will be perceived by some as "unfair".

That said, Yellow Pages publishers do need to do more to keep their customers happy. Better and more effective customer care (not just responding to complaining customers) is required. Proactivity is much preferred to reactivity.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Fortunatly the customer has complete control over the content of the ad and has an entire year to test various ads in the weekly paper to see what type of ad will draw the best.

We can also take into account every other ad in our heading to make sure we are completely unique from the rest.

Plus we can form Joint Ventures so we give away business we don't really want.

3:21 AM  

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