The debate of advertising in phone books has reared it’s head again. This time it was Michael from Aztec windows which went to Twitter to ask if it was worth it. I immediately said no, and told him that I didn’t think much to either.

For those who do not know, the Yellow Pages is now owned by a company called Hibu. Yeah I’ve never heard of them either. But what I do know about the company is that they may be about to be taken over by it’s creditors as they are carrying rather large amounts of debt. For me, this puts a great big question mark over the long term health of Hibu and in turn, the Yellow Pages.

Anyway, to help reinforce the point of how little the phone books now influence the leads in our industry, these are the number of leads from each of the main books we have had up to press so far this year:

Yellow Pages: 4

BT Phonebook: 5

Thomson Local: 5

That makes a grand total of 14 leads! If that isn’t confirmation that this method of advertising is dead then I don’t know what is. I also cannot remember selling those leads. They always tend to be tire kickers. We get almost all of our business through word of mouth and recommendation, so we have now pulled the Yellow Pages and altogether. A very expensive waste of money and time.

The other two we are still undecided about. They’re both a lot cheaper, but they’ve only generated ten leads between them all year. I doubt we will have gone bust without those ten leads, so if it were up to me I just wouldn’t bother at all.

We don’t advertise in our local paper either. It too is very expensive and in the past we have got pretty much nothing out of it. The way we advertise is changing very, very quickly. Internet marketing continues to grow in it’s many forms at a rapid rate, with the amounts of print advertising spent going down year upon year.

The bad news is that the days of YP and all the others are numbered. They have left it too late to adapt to a changing market and now they find themselves laden with debt, creditors becoming very itchy and internet marketing powerhouses now taking up the lions share of the market. What opportunities were there to be take advantage of are now gone.

Question is, what are you, out there in the double glazing community going to do about it? Are you going to persist with pointless phonebook advertising? Spending dead money on crap leads? Or will you adapt to more modern methods and take advantage of the millions of people out there searching everything online every day?