I’ve come across an interesting fact since moving from the monster city of Los Angeles to this tiny little town on the East Coast-the phone book is actually quite a useful marketing tool.
You see, in LA I never picked up the phone book. In fact, I quit taking them because all they did was collect dust on my counter before being tossed into the recycling bin six months down the road, when a new stack of eighteen inch wide books were dropped at my door.
If I needed something, I did what every big city girl does: I looked it up online. Yahoo Yellow Pages became my best friend. I found doctors, restaurants, toy stores and book shops with the click of a few keys.
The problem now? In a small town, most businesses are NOT online. In fact, I forget the name of the mailing company that I am using for my business mailbox and tried to find it today both in the phone book AND online to no avail. So, I guess I’ll have to memorize it next time I stop in to get my mail (luckily I do recall where it is located!)
Since moving to Georgia I have used our phone book a number of times. I have used it to locate those who install gutters, a variety of landscapers, the gas company, my realtor (a few times), local gyms and car dealerships. I’ve made so many random notes in the margins of pages and flipped down so many pages that it looks as though I have owned this book for two years and not just two short weeks.
Yes, I have to say, the Yellow Pages have become my savior since this move.
And yet in LA I never used them once (or at least, not that I can recall).
This made me consider whether those who live in small towns are more apt to use the Yellow Pages. As a business owner, does this mean that in LA it would have been a waste of hundreds of dollars to advertise this way while here in Small Town, USA it would be greatly beneficial to take out an ad in the phone book under Web Site Design or Marketing Companies?
If the cost of the ad were somewhat the same as it was in LA, would it actually be a better risk here than in a city of many millions of people?
It’s not like I don’t have the Internet here; I’m on it right now. Instead, in this small town people don’t advertise online. They put signs on their cars, or signs on the street, or they come up to your door and say in their sweet Southern drawl, “Welcome to Georgia, ma’am. (Yes, I’m still getting used to be called ma’am!) I see here that your palm trees are a little out of control and I was wondering if you had someone cutting your bushes down for you?” (This is how we found our landscaper).