There was a time when print was the primary mode of advertising, but those days are quickly diminishing with the increasing popularity of digital publications. No longer do people pull out the phonebook and manually search for a business listing. Instead, a needed phone number is delivered to the palm of their hands with a simple Google search from any mobile device.
But, printed phone directories are not fully extinct, which beckons the question, Should your business still maintain its printed listing?
Yellow Pages to Split Its Business
Yellow Pages, or YP Holdings, recently announced that it will split its digital and print directories into two separate companies. Each will be under separate leadership, but both will work together towards a shared goal to expand the Yellow Pages brand.
YP has slowly been embracing its digital audience over the years, including a focus on delivering more online content. This transition has helped the business, known for its large printed directories, earn more than $1 billion in digital revenue.
It was only a matter of time before YP decided to branch out into the digital world.
Should My Business Keep Its Printed Listing?
Fortunately for those businesses that still rely on printed listings, physical directories will still be published and distributed. However, in a growing digital world, is it worth maintaining?
MediaPost, an integrated publishing and content company, discusses a survey that was conducted by Borrell Associates, a data and analyst firm, which indicates that many small businesses in home services still heavily rely on their printed listings. “Home services” includes roofing, HVAC services, and painting, among others. The survey also indicated that, of those businesses, only those with less than $500,000 in annual sales revenue will continue with printed directory listings. Larger companies, instead, will continue to migrate towards digital advertising.
While printed directories are still being published, many experts, including Borrell, do not see a bright future for them, believing that most directories will become obsolete within the next five years.
YP Chief Revenue Officer David Lebow reported that, “Five years ago, 18% of our revenue was digital, and in 2014 it [was] 44%. Next year it will be over half.” Lebow continued, saying, “Print is very much in a managed decline. Fewer people use the print book, and revenue follows audience.”
Prepare for the Future
Today, you can still profit from listing your home improvement business in the phonebook, especially if you are relying on targeted, local business. However, now is also the time to start thinking about the future of your business as print continues to decline (and to consider looking to digital applications). As YP evolves with this digital trend, you ought to begin looking to advertise your business in the digital sphere. Visit YP.com to learn more.