Advertising today has definitely evolved, just as people and businesses continue to find and discover ways of sharing information with one another. Back then, it was almost imperative for businesses to grace the pages of that thick yellow phonebook more fondly known as the Yellow Pages. The traditional yellow page advertising has been a key promotional tool for businesses to create awareness for their products and services, and sell it to the public.
The advent of the Internet, however, started to alter the way people do things; businesses responded to this by exploring new ways of communicating with and addressing the needs of the people. Today, an increasing number of transactions are already being done online and information-sharing and dissemination over the Net has never been more widespread now than it was before. More businesses are likewise actively promoting themselves online, taking advantage of the growing number of Internet users and wider reach of an online medium. Thus, there came the emergence of online marketing.
Online marketing is fast growing in popularity as an effective advertising tool, and continues to post itself as a viable alternative to the traditional yellow page advertising, especially in a fast-paced and tech-savvy environment. Any avid Internet user today would actually notice that a lot of businesses today have websites where they promote their product and service offerings, and share other types of company information. In contrast, the once very thick Yellow Pages seem to have fewer pages lately, an indication that businesses are recognizing the benefits of increasing their online presence against advertising the traditional way. A thorough comparison of the two modes of advertising reveal that online marketing indeed has a greater number of benefits versus yellow pages advertising. Let me share with you ten benefits which top my list.
First, the Internet allows businesses to share more information to potential customers. Businesses practically have limitless space in their websites which they could fill in and update with information. On the other hand, yellow page advertising has a limit in terms of space that may be utilized to post certain content. The more information is shared in the Yellow Pages, the greater is its investment requirement.
Second, marketing initiatives done online are more easily searchable as compared to those advertised in the Yellow Pages. With the right key words, businesses can easily make their websites accessible to their target market. Information searches done using the Internet is much faster than manual scanning of the Yellow Pages.
Third, online marketing is more cost effective than yellow page advertising. Setting up, designing and running a website could be done for just a small amount of investment. On the contrary, the use of offline medium is known to cost substantially, even reaching thousands of dollars, while being bound by space and time limitations.
Fourth, online marketing makes it possible for businesses to attract hundreds, even thousands, of visitors to their sites, and create two-way interactions with them. Websites can be easily programmed to collect information from site visitors and keep in touch with them. This kind of functionality is not available in the traditional yellow page advertising.
Fifth, customer loyalty is more easily gained via online marketing. The Yellow Pages are simply all about ads, nothing more and nothing less. Meanwhile, websites may contain newsletters, updates and other attention-grabbing information links that encourage repeat customer contact.
Sixth, establishing credibility and gaining the customers’ trust are easier achieved through online marketing than yellow page advertising. Aside from ad placements, company websites can contain a whole range of information that can give customers better knowledge about a company and its products and services. The more customers know about a company, the greater is their tendency to trust it and see it as being reliable.
Seventh, online marketing offers greater convenience and flexibility in terms of updating information, at practically no additional cost. Businesses have total control of the content of their websites and they can modify it at any time they wish. Yellow page advertising does not have this kind of flexibility. In addition, any update done on traditional advertising usually requires additional investment.
Eighth, the effectiveness of marketing initiatives could be measured faster when the online medium is used. Site visits or hits as well as inquiries related to an online advertising placement, for instance, can be readily tracked as compared to calls received in response to a yellow page advertisement.
Ninth, marketing online allows companies to better demonstrate their competitive advantages and support their unique selling propositions. A website highlights the merits of a particular company, while the Yellow Page merely categorizes a company, together with its competition.
Lastly, online marketing has far greater reach than yellow page advertising. Web presence exposes businesses to the whole world, allowing it to tap not only local but international prospects as well. This opens promising opportunities for business growth and expansion later on.
There is no doubt about the power and capabilities of the Internet as an effective marketing tool. No wonder more and more businesses are shifting their budget allocations to enhance their web presence. With the right planning and use of resources, companies can make the most out of online marketing, the next big thing in the field of marketing and advertising.