Comparison Of Radio With Other Advertising Mediums

Yellow Pages Advertising + Radio

Yellow pages have been around almost as long as the telephone itself. In fact, they've been a part of America's culture for over 100 years.

Only newspaper can claim more longevity. And, as with newspaper, longevity begets credibility. In fact, most businesses cannot imagine not having an ad in the yellow pages.

Despite significant changes the advertising landscape, the yellow pages still finished first in a survey of people who were asked to name the place they would go to first if trying to find a business in their area.

No wonder advertisers feel they have to be in the yellow pages.

On This Page

  • Advantages Of Yellow Pages Advertising
  • Current Status of Yellow Pages/Radio Advertising Rivalry
  • Disadvantages Of Yellow Pages Advertising
  • Benefits of Using Both Radio and Yellow Pages Advertising Together

Advantages Of Yellow Pages Advertising

  • Widespread

    Ninety-nine percent of U.S. adults are familiar with the Yellow Pages. (Yellow Pages Association, 2009)

  • Emergency Reference

    Consumers often rely on the Yellow Pages during emergency situations.

  • Targets Consumers

    Ads primarily target consumers already interested in purchasing a product or service.

  • Traditional Acceptance

    Having a listing in the Yellow Pages has historically been a "must" for retailers.

Current Status of Yellow Pages/Radio Advertising Rivalry

Which Version of the Yellow Pages?

But what does "being in the yellow pages" really mean in the context of modern advertising?

Does it mean being in every "yellow pages" directory that's published, or just the one that is best known?

Does it mean being in the online version as well as the print version?

Like all other media, the yellow page industry is faced with trying to maintain and grow their relevance while contending with new competitors and evolving consumer shopping behaviors.

Yellow Pages + Radio: Increased ROI With Same Budget

Radio salespeople who tell a customer or prospect that they shouldn't be in the yellow pages run the risk of undermining their own credibility.

A better strategy might be to point out the benefits of scaling back on the bells and whistles, such as color and bigger-than-necessary ads, and then reallocating the savings into a complimentary Radio schedule.

Radio Makes Yellow Pages More Effective

Point out how effective Radio is in capturing the attention of consumers, creating interest in a product or service, and driving the desire to purchase.

Then let the yellow pages take credit for helping consumers find the business so they can take the action of buying the product or service being advertised.

The addition of Radio can be used to brand the company, which will make their yellow pages ad more effective.

A portion of their Radio copy can be written to actually draw attention to their yellow pages ad.

Otherwise, the advertiser runs the risk of losing customers to one of the many companies whose ads surround theirs in their business category.

Disadvantages Of Yellow Pages Advertising

  • Limited Exposure

    Less than half of U.S. adults (46%) refer to the printed Yellow Pages directory during an average week. The other 54% will not see your ad. (Yellow Pages Association, 2009)

  • Minimal Consumer Awareness

    Since the Yellow Pages typically are consulted after the decision to buy has been made, top-of-mind awareness must be built in other ways. As products continue to proliferate and the retail business becomes saturated, you must create demand for your products before the buying decision has been made.

  • Inconvenient

    Phone books tend to be bulky, hard to store, and not readily available to consumers outside of the home or office. Their availability is limited to the locations where most purchases are made. How many pay phones have you seen that have a complete book? (Indeed, with the ever-increasing use of mobile phones, how many people even us phone booths anymore?)

  • Ad Clutter

    Your ad is lumped in with all the others for the same product, where shoppers can compare.

  • Inflexible

    Most directories are published once a year, and advertising must be purchased well in advance of the publication date. You can't make corrections or changes resulting from dynamic business conditions or opportunities.

  • Too Many Books

    In many communities, there are several different directories all competing for listings. Who reads them all?

  • Encroaching Competition from the Internet

    Yellow Pages-like services on the Web are appearing more often. They can offer a more logical organization of data, and the capability to update information more often.

Benefits of Using Both Radio and Yellow Pages Advertising Together

Limited Exposure

The combination of Radio and Yellow Pages can work more effectively to reach, motivate and inform your customers. Radio can create demand and influence shoppers before they decide to buy, and the Yellow Pages can reinforce where they should buy once they have made the decision.

Top-of-Mind Awareness

While your competition is content with advertising only in the Yellow Pages, you can increase your top-of-mind awareness through Radio - and greatly increase your market share. Radio can help you communicate the unique selling proposition of your business and help draw attention to your Yellow Pages ad instead of those of your competitors.


Radio's great flexibility lets you make copy revisions at your discretion to accommodate changes in your business. You're not stuck with the same ad for more than a year, you increase your creative options, and you can generate maximum impact when you combine Yellow Pages with Radio.

Other Advertising Mediums

Comparison of radio with other advertising mediums and how they can work together

  • Newspapers
  • Outdoor
  • Internet
  • Point of Purchase
  • Direct Mail
  • Yellow Pages
  • Broadcast TV