Yellow Pages Still Fail Online Marketing – Look At Me?

Yellow Pages Look At Me On The Yellow Pages Website

Recently Yellow Pages announced they could help businesses get found by creating new online marketing services available for those needing help with their online marketing. The ‘Look At Me‘ slogan on the TV advertising was annoyingly clever which prompted me to take a closer look.

Note: If you're looking for the Yellow Pages Look At Me TV Ad and want to skip all the rest, scroll to the bottom of this page.

For years I've been convinced like many others that yellow pages advertising is dead. Even sales representatives would admit they were too in love with their book as it was their primary business for so long. They have however taken far too long to adopt a good online strategy themselves, and for other business advertisers. So it was refreshing to see a recent TV advertisement saying Yellow Pages had now woken up. They were now helping businesses build their online presence.

I visited the yellow pages website today to look for the service;

Yellow Pages Look At Me On The Yellow Pages WebsiteBut there wasn't any information regarding the ad or the service. Ok, Sensis manages Yellow so I went on there to find the services…. no luck. So I thought, I know, it was an ad on TV, they would have uploaded this onto YouTube right?

Yellow Pages Look At Me On YouTube

ARGH! No results in the first page on YouTube. I remember in the ad they said they'll help get found on the search engines – AHA! I'll do a Google search.

Google Yellow Pages Look At Me

Goole Yellow Pages Look At Me Search Results

Nothing on the first page of Google for Yellow Pages Look At Me – but this was the 6th result;

Look at me look at me! Yellow Pages ad

Looks like I'm not the only one searching for the ad they've seen. How cool is that? Creating an ad and having people want to watch it – it's got all the makings of a viral video, shame it's so hard to find.

At this point I gave up and went and had some dinner. As it turns out, the ad came on TV so I paid close attention to it to try to get the information I needed to find these services that my business needs to get found, because Yellow could ensure now that I would get found, a bit like their Look At Me ad… (detect any sarcasm yet?). The final snippet of the ad gave a phone number with a web address of yellowadvertising.com.au – HOORAY. Now I can find out what the service is about.

Yellow Pages Marketing Made Easy

Awesome – there's the little guy on the page and icon on the website relating to the new online marketing services Yellow Pages has to offer.

Lets click on the Search Marketing image and find out more about those online services;

Yellow Pages Look At Me Online Enquiry Form

OMG WTF? I clicked on the search marketing icon and I got taken to the contact page. So I go back and click on Website Creation – SAME FORM! Not only am I not getting any relevant information for the service but I'm being asked to fill in an electronic form which has 14 required fields!!! Funnily enough, while I don't have to nominate my business website address (which is fair enough as I may not have one yet) I'm filling out an online form but apparently might not have an email address! It's not required!

OK so Yellow Pages can help (apparently) with the following;

  • Yellow Pages – Can't find the ad?
  • Website Creation – Still, no ad?
  • Search Marketing – No ad found on Google, only others looking for the ad?
  • Coupons & Offers
  • Tracking & Reports
  • Social Media – AH! Social media – now I should be able to find the ad or at least ask where to find it!

I run a search for Yellow Pages Australia on facebook.com and Tada! Here's the ad, finally!

It's also interesting to note; Yellow Pages joined Facebook around the start of June 2011 – AFTER they launched their TV advertising campaign stating they can help you get onto facebook (see the bottom comment on the image below).

Yellow Pages Joins Facebook

So looking at the ad there's the explanation why I couldn't find it on YouTube – It's tagged as ‘Marketing Made Easy: Yellow Pages'.

Ok, back into YouTube to look at their tags and why I couldn't find the ad. This is the result;

Yellow Pages Marketing Made Easy Tags On YouTube

Not one of the tags shown above is ‘look at me' even though ‘look at me' is repeated over and over in the ad and easily the most memorable tag line!

So what went wrong with the Yellow Pages Look At Me advertising and their online services and how can you avoid making these mistakes?

Web Design

Co-ordinate any offline media campaign with your online campaigns and ensure they're optimised. I can't imagine what the TV advertising budget is for this campaign but it's a serious amount of money. Before launch ensure the website has plenty of complimentary information relating to the ad and that it's easily found from your home page.

While you don't have to mention pricing, it's good to give a thorough breakdown of any new service or any advertised product you're offering. Your website should be easily manageable with a really good content management system (we utilise wordpress on every one of our sites for this reason). Your receptionist could be given the task to make quick updates to the website on a regular basis.

Where Yellow Pages failed with the web design

  • Offline ad difficult to find
  • Not on their primary website yellowpages.com.au
  • Small amount of real estate given on the yellowadvertising.com.au site
  • Severe lack of explanation of each service
  • Only one option to find out more, which was by phone call
  • Contact form demands too much information. A simple name, email address and phone number field would be sufficient.

Search Marketing

While the overall business plan might be targeting business searches you have to keep in mind your potential customers and how they might be looking for you. This ad is highly unlikely to be searched by someone typing ‘marketing made easy'.

Even yellowadvertising.com.au hasn't been optimised for these phrases and the page itself

Yellow Pages Meta Tags

Ensure your website is optimised correctly and compliments any offline or online campaign you're running.

Where Yellow Pages failed with the search marketing

  • Poor optimisation on their web page
  • Poor optimisation off the web page
  • Lack of distribution over multiple web services
  • Incorrect tags in YouTube

Social Media

It's a good idea to use social media in various ways, natural conversation is fantastic and engagement with your audience is critical. Yellow Pages didn't have a facebook page until after the launch of this product, but if they did they should have pre-empted the TV ad with a sneak preview on facebook and also mention it in twitter. Exclusive access via Facebook is a really clever way of rewarding followers which in turn promotes your product and is likely to increase fans. Fans refer others to your product both through online social media comments, but also in coversations at their party, workplace, dinners etc… Give followers something to talk about and they will!

Now, for those that would actually like to watch the Yellow Pages Look At Me advertisement;