BlogPageWelcome to my blog -- Grace's Rantings

I have made a study of human communication -- interpersonal as well as mass media.  I am intrigued by tremendous changes in human interaction in recent years.  The computer, Internet, smart phones and social media have dramatically changed the way we interact with each other.  Human discourse hasn't changed, but the mediums by which we communicate have..."and that has made all the difference".

 

Please share your thoughts and join in the discussion. I welcome your input and comments!

 

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

There is some confusion around the terms Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing.  They may sound similar but they are very different.  Outbound Marketing is what we are all exposed to daily – TV and radio ads, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, ads on billboards, placemats, pizza boxes, etc.  Advertisers buy these ads based on the number of impressions (eyeballs) the ad is expected to deliver. This is the advertising of “the glory days” of advertising portrayed in the series, Mad Men.  

The ads are pushed out to the consumer regardless of what he is doing. They are interruptive. They interrupt the consumer while they are watching a favorite TV program, reading an article, or driving along the highway. Advertisers hope their ad is seen: That the consumer isn’t in the kitchen getting a snack during the ad; that his newspaper doesn’t get thrown into the neighbor’s bushes that day, or that he didn’t take an alternate route to work! (To compensate for these eventualities, advertisers buy lots and lots of ads hoping that some of them get seen, as anyone who watches television knows all too well!)

Inbound Marketing on the other hand is the future of marketing and advertising.  It fulfills the promise  of advertising made years ago -- Deliver the advertising message to people looking for the information and not to those who aren’t.  John Wanamaker famously said,

"Half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half."

John Wannamaker (1838-1922)

Inbound Marketing such as Google Ad Words enable an advertiser to not waste their advertising budget.  These ads deliver an advertiser’s message to consumers when they are seeking information.  These ads are seen  and are actionable because rather than interrupting he consumer, they are answering his call for help.  For example, a local appliance store can run their ad for refrigerators just to people who query Google about refrigerators (and they only pay Goggle when someone clicks on their ad and goes to the appliance store’s website.) Compare this to outbound marketing where the store runs an ad during the local news, a prime time TV show or on a favorite radio station.  Sure, some people who are exposed to the ad will be in the market for a refrigerator, but the vast majority of those who see the ad are not likely buyers.  They represent the wasted dollars.

That being said, there is still a place for outbound marketing, especially for branding an advertiser and delivering a message to many people quickly.  They key is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

Do you know where your phone book is?

When was the last time you looked up a phone number in "the phone book".  When was the last time you used the yellow pages?  Was it to find a plumber or electrician in an emergency?  Are you over 30?

I think this cartoon pretty much sums up the whole yellow pages situation.

Yellow Page vs. Internet Search

We know anecdotally that yellow page usage is down, having been replaced by search engines; yet it is always tricky to find current, relevant data on yellow page usage.  In The Local Media Tracking Study, conducted by Burke in 2009 and released by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) in 2010, consumers were asked "what sources they used in the last month to look up information to find a local business or to look for a product or service in their local area".  The findings were presented is a “fuzzy” manner as they combined print and Internet yellow pages into one category:

Yellow Pages (print and Internet)

65%

Search Engines

58%

Flyers/coupons

38%

Newspapers

33%

Magazines

17%

Of course combining the print and Internet yellow pages really doesn’t tell us anything!  They further clarify that “when analyzed individually, print Yellow Pages was 54% and Internet Yellow Pages was 33%”.  Now 54% and 33% doesn’t add up to 65% so that makes no sense!   However if that is indeed what they mean, here is how the data stacks up:

Search Engines

58%

Yellow Page Print Directories

54%

Flyers/Coupons

38%

Newspapers

33%

Internet Yellow Pages

33%

Magazines

17%

A more detailed analysis of demographic yields more telling information regarding search engine vs yellow page users.  I was able to pull some demographic information from The Praized Blog.  It paints a bleak picture for yellow pages, as adults under age 55 use Search Engines primarily, while those older than 55 favor the print Yellow Pages.  (The Internet Yellow Pages isn’t a large factor but its use is greater than that of the printed version among adults under 35.):

 

18-24

25-34

35-54

55-64

65+

           
Search Engine

87%

80%

70%

53%

32%

Friend/Family Member

73%

66%

52%

47%

39%

Social Network

47%

33%

21%

11%

6%

Internet Yellow pages

44%

52%

43%

30%

17%

Flyer/Coupon

42%

45%

42%

42%

37%

Newspaper

37%

32%

38%

40%

42%

Print Yellow Pages

36%

47%

53%

57%

53%

Magazine

21%

20%

15%

14%

10%

Obviously, as we look to the future, the print yellow pages is quickly becoming obsolete, another victim of the technology age.  And as Google, Bing and other search engines are so easy to use, I am baffled as to why someone would go to www.yellowpages.com, www.superpages.com or any other Internet search engine to then do a search for what they want for when they can just “google it” in the first place!