Can The Web Save Phonebooks?

Businesses are beginning to wise up and move their marketing dollars from traditional media to Internet marketing. As a result other companies are attempting offer services to capitalize on this influx of Internet marketing dollars. A case and point is with Dex Yellow Pages. Over the past month I’ve heard countless radio spots and seen several TV commercials, such as the one below, that features Dex’s new and improved business offerings.

From a business practicality standpoint I have some difficulty buying the viability of Dex as an option for connecting businesses with customers on the web. For crying out loud you’re a phone book company! You know what we use the Dex phone books for in my office? As monitor stands. Their’s even petitions to get rid of them! It’s obvious phone book companies are trying to save their businesses and believe that they can leverage the laggard’s into using their service. After all companies are STILL buying advertisement on the spine of their useless carbon hording materials.

So why will people use Dex’s Internet marketing services and not a legitimate search engine marketing company? First off most people don’t know what search engine marketing is. What Dex does know about is traditional advertisement and phone books. Therefore businesses that currently use their services or rely on traditional advertisement would be more willing to trust Dex because of their proven track record. Secondly laggard businesses are searching for additional marketing resources from sources they currently use instead of going outside the box. Unfortunately businesses don’t know any better and are latching onto the safety net approach Dex is putting in place.

What this move boils down to is Dex attempting to take advantage of less informed businesses and executives. Quite frankly your ROI would be better if you did the Internet marketing internally and had someone familiar with search marketing walk you through the basics in an afternoon. It will be interesting to watch the returns Dex has through their Internet marketing offers and current promotional campaign. If Dex is unable to capitalize on the surge of Internet marketing business phone book companies may wind up like our newspapers.

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