Why Business Listings Still Matter - Techipedia | Tamar Weinberg

Marketing has changed beyond all recognition over the last decade, and technologies have set the tone for how businesses now interact with their customers. It is no longer an option for business owners to sit on the fence, as could once be the case – those that fail to embrace new technologies in promoting and running their business are now being left behind.

In the age of web and mobile marketing, businesses are getting closer than ever before to their individual customers. This is opening the channels of communication between merchant and customer, provider and client. In the process, this makes it easier for consumers to find the right outlet for any product or service.

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But it is not just the latest and most creative marketing channels that win business in the digital age. More traditional advertising and promotional platforms still have a role to play.

Business listings in the Yellow Pages and similar directories once performed the role of search engines today. Consumers would flick through the alphabetized listings to find businesses that provide or sell what they are looking for in their area. A few phone calls later, and the transaction would be completed.

The Yellow Pages United Blog focuses on different ways businesses can improve their results through local marketing, including through the use of business directories. Today, this marketing process is competing with the instant results of Google, and this is undoubtedly a challenge for traditional listings.

But those who say that directories have passed their peak are missing the true value that still resides in local business listings – in both online and offline forms. Customers still use business listings to make quick decisions about which businesses to call. In particular, customers who lack the confidence to browse online are still drawn in volume to their local print directories as an easy way of finding businesses to call.

According to Forbes, the Internet is now the first destination for those searching for information on new products and services. But the Yellow Pages directory in particular comes second or third in these studies in over 50% of cases. Of those who search online first, there is no telling how many revert to listings and directories as the best format for figuring out who to call.

Kern Lewis, writing in Forbes, said that the value of printed listings remained significant for many local businesses that still rely on business from certain demographics.

“People (especially older demographics) do still reach for the printed Yellow Pages when they need a local business in a hurry. For instance, plumbers should think hard before they ditch their local phone books. Personal injury lawyers should also track their incoming leads closely before deciding to stop their ads. There are lots of examples of businesses that service folks with urgent needs who may benefit from staying in the books.”

For businesses that value a local customer base, the bottom line is that listings can still make a difference. Some businesses benefit from listings of this kind more than others, but generally speaking, printed and online business listings can still hold value for customers and business owners alike.

Image source: http://www.lionseo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/top-uk-business-directory-list.jpg