Can You Hear Me? Over...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Posted by John Tabita 0 comments

Technology is wonderful… except, of course, when it’s not. Like when my parents have something “really important” to tell us... and they call our house phone, my cell phone and my wife’s cell phone… all in a matter of minutes. (We love you, Mom and Dad, really.)

Or like the time the scoutmaster needed a permission slip for my son’s upcoming campout. He sent me a private Facebook message. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been on Facebook for several days and showed up to the meeting without the slip.

New technologies often replace older technologies. (Do you remember floppy discs? No, neither do I.) But oftentimes, new technologies merely supplement an existing one. Friends and family now have several options to communicate with me: They can call my cell phone or my landline, email me, text me, send me a private Facebook message, or post something on my Facebook wall.

It’s no different in the business world. No one is disconnecting their fax or phone line because they now have corporate email. But many companies have decided to stop all their traditional advertising because of this thing called “The Internet.” But is that really the wisest thing to do?

Recently, I needed a new printer, so I began looking at the wireless all-in-one printer/scanner/copiers on the market. My hot button was the high ink cost and the fact that most printer manufacturers combine the cyan, magenta and yellow ink into a single cartridge, forcing me to throw it out when only one color runs out. So I wanted one with four separate ink cartridges and a low cost-per-page.

I decided to research the two brands I’m most familiar with – Epson and H.P. After doing several searches on both brands and discovering that there are far too many printer models (and even more consumer opinions on each of them), I needed a YouTube break. As I’m watching a favorite video, suddenly an inkjet printer ad pops up at the bottom. Coincidence? I think not.

Later that night, a television commercial for Lexmark inkjet printers interrupts my regularly-scheduled viewing. Lexmark, it seems, claims to be one of the most ink-efficient printers on the market. So off to my computer I go for more research.

What finally completed the buying cycle for me was CNET, where I read both professional and consumer reviews on the various printer models. Yes, I did all my research online (and even made my purchase online), but it was good ol’ fashioned television advertising that got me to buy a brand I wasn’t even considering.

Advertising channels are becoming more and more fragmented, so it’s no longer possible to reach a mass market. Smart marketers are taking advantage of every advertising channel that will generate a lead. And something it takes all of them working together to generate a single sale.

As I said before, your all of your marketing should work together as a team. Pick the best players (i.e., advertising mediums and marketing methods) for your type of business, then work them to generate that one sale. And then the next one. And so on...

Yellow Page Advertising, Part 5: Google Search vs. Internet Yellow Pages

Monday, October 4, 2010 Posted by John Tabita 0 comments

I always find it interesting (and refreshing) when a search marketing company has something positive to say about the Yellow Pages. As someone who ran a web development business for over 5 years, I can certainly understand their bias. But it seems that the folks over at Search Engine People have decided to go with the facts rather than anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness of Yellow Page advertising.

Blogging on this topic, Tom Tsinas looked at one of his client’s year-to-date website analytics. Comparing the number of visits that came from Google to those that came from Internet Yellow Page (IYP) sites like Superpages, he found that, overwhelmingly, Google won for sheer volume of traffic: 5,504 to 1,261.

But digging deeper, he found something interesting about the quality of traffic that came from the Internet Yellow Page sites.

He found that the bounce rate (i.e., number of initial visitors who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the site) was much higher with the Google visitors: 55.04 percent compared to 27.07 percent. He also found that the IYP visitors spent more time on the site, visited more pages, and that almost all of them were new visitors to the site. His conclusion?

Clearly Yellow Page visitors are more engaged than Google’s. They also 100% less likely to bounce, view 20% more pages, spend 12% more time on the site and, with almost 90% of the traffic being from people who’d never been to the site, reach a different audience!

Regarding the quality vs. quantity of traffic, Dick Larkin of WebListic, Inc., an Internet marketing firm, puts it like this:

...there are more searches on Google in a few days than there are in all the IYPs combined for a year. However, the QUALITY of users on IYPs is much higher than of general web search. I define quality as how close the searcher is to making a buying decision.

See, it’s easy to fire off a few hundred searches on Google before taking any action. However, on a typical Internet Yellow Pages, you have to enter multiple pieces of information (keywords, location, state, etc.) which is more time consuming, and also filters out searchers who aren’t really interested in finding a local business.

Someone searches an IYP when they’re serious about local information.

This makes sense. A large percentage of people using search engines like Google are likely to be in research mode rather than buying mode. But people who use Internet Yellow Pages have already decided to buy and are merely looking for a local merchant from whom to buy. In a joint study, TMP Directional Marketing and comScore found that IYP sites such as and account for 60 percent of local IYP business searches, while sites such as Google Maps, MapQuest, Yahoo! Local account for 40 percent of local IYP business searches.

This demonstrates that, when searching for local information, people tend to use IYP Yellow Pages more than search engines, making it a viable tool to reach consumers who have already made a buying decision. In a business climate where targeting the right consumer is mission critical, I ask: How much more targeted can you get than “ready to buy”?