The internet brings us many things in our day to day routine: weather, news, research information, emails, connections with friends/family and much more. With Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever other platform we use, we virtually have all the contact information and ability to actually contact those people in some fashion instantaneously. So if this is the case then what person in their right mind would still be trying to push phone books on people as a form of advertisement for their business?
I honestly thought the days of the dusty cumbersome phone book were long gone… Then a salesman walked into my shop peddling his wares of yesteryear. He was dressed sharply and had a salesman part in his hair that could be spotted by a keen eye right away… this fella was a classic salesman. In his hand he was carrying a phonebook, that’s right, a phonebook. I have a vague memory of such books from my childhood. I was sure that the tree hugging liberals must have rounded up all the forgotten relics and recycled them or used them as mulch in their herb gardens. But they must have forgotten one, and here was a man standing in my shop in 2014 getting ready to lay down his sales gibberish to entice me to advertise in the phonebook?
I found this situation so funny because there are many companies in this country that are so far behind with technology and even the consumer culture. With any business you have to study your target demographic and find out the trends and nuances to better target your marketing to make sales. What business, like a phonebook agency, looks at their target (businesses) and thinks that the phonebook is still a viable advertising platform in 2014? With all the free social media platforms available and the relatively low cost to build a website today and have immediate contact with your core demographic at all times, spending money to advertise in a paper book doesn’t make any since.
Honestly, when is the last time that you have picked up a phonebook to look up a number? Hell for that matter, when was the last time that you saw your grandmother pick up a phone book to look up a number! Everyone just about in this country carries a microcomputer in their pocket that can INSTANTANIOUSLY find any phone number in the world! Why would I waste time stumbling around in a phonebook looking for a number that may not be in there because the business owner figured out that it wasn’t worth spending $5,000 a year for a phonebook add when Facebook was free.
So what happened with the classic door to door salesman in my shop? I politely told him I wasn’t interested and he said “Well don’t you want to advertise and get more business?”
To which I responded, “Sir, the free advertising I do keeps me covered up in work. I can assure you paying for advertising is not something I can do.”