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Phone book advertising

Question:

Do people still use phone books? Is it worth it to advertise there?

– Abby Singh, Owner/Manager, Canteen 900, Forty Fort, PA

Answer:

It may seem unthinkable to those of you reading this column on monkeydish.com, but according to a study by the US Department of Commerce, twenty percent of US households still have no Internet users, and fewer than seventy percent of US households have access to broadband Internet. Since landline telephone subscribers typically receive phone books including Yellow Pages and other business directories for free, they remain a relevant, if declining, source for business listings.

Keep in mind, also, that business directory companies are working to keep pace with changes. Yellow Pages, for example, offers an online search directory, a mobile app, user reviews, and promotions, so you may be signing up for more than just a printed phone book listing.

My advice is that you should do anything possible to make it easy for guests to find you. It is hard enough to run a restaurant successfully without excluding twenty percent of the potential market. While a full ad may not make sense given your target demographics, unless the cost is prohibitive, I would recommend a listing. Finally, ask your sales rep for data regarding circulation, available market data, and promotion effectiveness so you can make an informed decision.

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