The end of catalogues continue with Yellow Pages

Does anyone remember the telephone books and in particular the Yellow Pages?

Does anyone remember this advert?

Now to me this reminds me of my grandfather.  A nice old man.  Now perhaps some people will liken him to the Werther’s Original grandfather.

Now is this blog about the classic adverts which we remember as children (or some don’t remember at all – this was in 1983)?  No this is about the product that is advertised.

The Yellow Pages.  (Look at the thickness of two volumes)

Now before the times of the internet and instant information – the telephone book and the Yellow Pages where the sources of contact information.  The Yellow Pages were a great advertising source for small businesses (TV and Radio was too expensive for most).  I’m sure that people, of a certain age, will notice that both books have shrunk significantly in size.  Part of this is the advent of mobile phones (which don’t tend to be listed in phone books).  Imagine how many people are now ex-directory.

Now information released a few hours ago… shock horror… The Yellow Pages will no longer be produced from next year.  Initially published in 1966 and 104 subsequent volumes (UK figures).

Yell, the UK operation owned by Hibu, is going fully digital and says that it hopes to “help a mullion businesses be found, chosen and trusted by more customers online by 2020”

BBC News


So if something as memorable as the Yellow Pages is going digital first then what other businesses are going to change their approach.  Ok let’s consider this a different way.  The fastest growing companies in the world are either IT related or online only (Amazon however, has returned to Brick and Mortar recently).

So think of it this way.  You’re running a traditional catalogue model.  Perhaps inline with an online offering.  Is this because you are doing what customers want and expect?  Or just because this is the ‘way you’ve always done business’?

You need to ask yourselves that question.

Do you want to concentrate on quickly launching new products?  Having a massively more measurable way of measuring customers?  What about the cost saving of removing catalogues altogether?

Well if Yellow Pages are taking the risk of being a digital first business directory…. maybe you’re customers are ready for it – even if your organisation is hesitant / worries.


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