Do you advertise in directories? Tempted to sign up to a 12 month contract? Read this first!
Old paper directory companies have expanded their advertising offering and are signing up customers to their various digital platforms or services.
They offer online directory listings, Search Engine Optimisation, Adwords Management, Website Services and Local Listings.
In order to reduce fixed costs and protect margins, directory companies have moved to a trimmed down staffing model, which has been achieved by outsourcing jobs to third party suppliers – often to overseas companies at the cost of local jobs.
Although this means a company can control their own bottom line, because they pay a variable cost, depending on the volume of work required, it does mean that the customer usually suffers.
Lack of local knowledge, no intimate understanding of individual customers and automated systems can greatly impact the results you as an advertiser get.
Good marketing is about getting the best possible result for your marketing dollars and in order to do that the service provider has to understand you as a customer, your goals and the local market you are in.
The Packaged Sales Approach
Be wary of signing a contract that commits you to 12 months on all products.
OK a print directory is sold for 12 months, but you don’t have to commit to 12 months for any online product – you can buy online advertising at any time of the year. The standard online contract period is 6 months, with 30 days notice after this period.
What do you do then, if you have committed to 12 months, but the results you are getting are poor?
In most cases you are stuck, wasting money and losing business.
If you really feel the need to be in a print directory then book it on it’s own – you can organise your on line advertising completely separately.
Be wary of the “Added Value” Pitch
Being convinced to take multiple products for some “Added Value” by the way of free listings for example, means you are locking yourself into something that may not work –
Bad For You
- This is bad for you because you are in a contract that offers no flexibility and means you can’t cancel, even if the results are atrocious.
Good For Them
- It’s good for the directory company, because, your investment is helping them achieve their budget for the year.
Blinded By Facts & Figures
Directory companies are very good at presenting lots of facts and figures, graphs and pie charts. These are designed to convince you, as a potential advertiser of the superior reach and value, a packaged print & multi-online product solution, can achieve.
Make A Decision That Give’s You Control
One of the great things about online media is that it is a live product that can be changed at anytime.
You aren’t locked into the same promotion all year round with no hope of escape.
Flexibility Means Better Results
If your marketing is getting great results you will want to keep it going, but if the results are poor you should be able to suspend one type of advertising and invest your dollars in something else to get a better outcome.