It is a ritual every spring.
The yellowish green pine tar pollen coats the
cars. The buttery yellow crocuses start to come out of the ground. Golden yellow finches start singing from the flowering magnolia trees.
And the yellow pages
are thrown on to
my driveway without
When was the last time you used the yellow pages or a phone
book to look up something? I feel like I am receiving a delivery from the
1970’s. I already have access, with my phone to
all the information in these book. Why don't these endangered species disappear?
My almost 87 year old Mom (Bea) reminded me that the last time she used a phone book was to help a great grandchild sit up higher at a dinner table. The phone book was used instead of a booster seat. She also told me that this years phone book was thrown in her bushes during a snow storm and she just picked it up a few weeks ago (when the snow cleared) and tossed it in the trash.
Why should I let my fingers do the walking when I can let them do the
Some products run their course and lose their importance to
a huge part of the population. I’m sure there are some who still look for an electrician
or the address of a company that sells drapes by digging through the thousands
of pages of tiny print in this printed dinosaur.
Worst of all, I don’t get to opt-out of getting it
delivered. I can’t click unsubscribe. I can’t get on the “do not drop pounds of
paper on my driveway list” easily. Then there is the dilemma of what to do with this beast? Do
I put it in the recycle bin? Do I throw it in the trash? Do I use it to absorb
oil escaping from my car.
Are your products like the Yellow Pages?
Do your company's products need reinvention? Do they belong in a different decade? How can you reinvent your brand, your business or your services in a way that makes it feel like it is of the 21st century?
What problem are you solving?
I always like to go back to basics. Why does your product or brand exist? No,it isn't to make money. You have to solve a problem, fill a need and provide a solution to someone. Have you lost your way like the yellow pages? Was their digital approach way too late? Did they hold onto a technology too long so that they felt like your mother's solution - not yours? Wouldn't it have been obvious to reposition these as the new GREEN pages where the paper goes away? What a missed opportunity.
There are almost 100 million millennial, born from 1980-2000. How many of these consumers ever used a yellow page directory in the last 5 years? What is the future for this platform? Is your product in a dying category and need a makeover? Like newspapers, I think the pages of these books will continue to yellow, dry up and disappear. If only they embraced the disruption 20 years ago instead of fearing it, we might be telling a different story.
How are you preparing for your product's extinction?
To learn more about me and my marketing ideas, please don't let your fingers do the walking in a yellow book.
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Labels: Defining a problem, Jeffrey Slater, marketing, marketing disruption, Marketing Moments, momentslater, problem solving, product extinction, product management, Yellow pages