Advertising in Recession: What Can Stay, and What Can Go

Small business confidence is falling, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.  As confidence falls, small business owners are going to try to increase sales, cut costs or both to survive the recession.

It’s normally easier to cut costs than to increase sales — at least in the short run. And one of the first costs to be cut is often advertising.

But advertising is a major driver of sales revenue. The key is to determine which types of advertising are best for the business. That means finding ad vehicles that bring in buyers at a reasonable return on investment. Cut the rest.

The media that excel in this area are direct mail, Internet and Yellow Pages.  (“Impressions” don’t count for much anymore.  Today its about reaching the “ready-to-buy” consumer.)

The advantage for Yellow Pages is that print directories and Internet Yellow Pages reach buyers who are looking for sellers at the precise moment they need to purchase a product or service.

Also, results can be measured through call/click tracking so that the advertiser can determine the exact amount of return on investment delivered by each vehicle.

A few stats:  Local display advertisers in the Yellow Pages have historically received $12-$14 in sales back for every $1 invested. In addition, 40% of Yellow Pages users are new customers to the business they choose.

So if you’re working on a small business ad strategy, think about which media will reach those active consumers.  They’re still out there, and a good number of them are turning to Yellow Pages.

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