Tag Archives: yellow pages

AAA Marketing

Back in the day, small biz owners thought they were über-clever when they named their buisness something like ‘AA Plumbers’.

It was a telephone strategy so that they would appear first in the Yellow Pages or other directory listings.

Flash forward to today and see what the market thinks about Yellow Pages. They make YouTube videos mocking the wasted marketing dollars.

While it’s easy to tsk-tsk thousands of businesses whose names start with AAAAAAAAA, pause and make sure you’re not doing the same thing. Are you writing web copy solely for SEO and not people? Are you clamouring for Facebook likes? Are you spamming inboxes with irrelevant messages?

There’s a difference between marketing tactics, marketing strategy, and marketing philosophy. Don’t get them mixed up.

Things change. Your success today doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve built a long term brand. Remember these words from the movie ‘Patton‘,

A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

Don’t make ‘core DNA’ business decisions based on today’s business fad. You’ll eventually regret it.

learning marketing from local media

So your {insert local media outlet} is offering a free seminar that will “teach you how to market your business”.

How benevolent of them to offer such a community service.

I’m amazed at how many small businesses are suckered into attending these events and don’t realize the true motivation behind the “seminar”.

If the radio station is sponsoring this knowledge fest, I’ll bet you my hat that they will try to convince people that radio is the best option. The newspaper seminar will tell you the printed word is the way to go. The TV station’s seminar will tell you why radio and newspaper are a waste of money. And now added to the mix, you have agencies that have a small social media following teaching the way to Facebook and Twitter bliss.

Think about this: Would you go to the “How to choose the best place to buy a car” seminar hosted by the local car dealership?

The truth is that every advertising medium has strengths and weaknesses. It depends on what you’re trying to communicate and who you’re trying to reach.

Just because a salesperson has the words “marketing consultant” on their business card doesn’t mean you should listen to them about your overall marketing strategy. They’re doing their job trying to capture as much of your marketing budget as they can. You should never let someone sell you advertising; you should buy it.

The only reason to ever go to the local media outlet’s seminars is that they typically offer some really good deal to the attendees. If you’re planning on buying from them anyway, it’s a good way to save some money. It’s like going on vacation and sitting through an hour of a timeshare pitch just to get free theme park tickets.


And shame on marketing speakers who lead biased events like this.

I hate Alltel

Normally, I try not to spew hatred in a general non-focused sense…but I truly hate the company Alltel on all levels.

In a business sense, I have to deal with their Yellow Page con men in the Alltel Publishing division. (Full disclosure::I’m not a huge fan of 99.9% of all Yellow Page publishers…but Alltel takes the cake for bad business practices.)

Today, I have general vitriol against them with my personal lines. I spent some time in Alltel’s “All of our customer service associates are busy” purgatory today. It turns out that Alltel charged some things on my bill that I’ve never subscribed to. They signed me up “for my convenience”. The “customer service” rep tells me that I did use these services that I’m not subscribed to. (how did that happen?) She won’t remove the charges and pretty much says I’m lying.

We also have a heated discussion about charging me for the privilege of having long distance service along with the toll charges I do make.

Here’s the best part…
At this point, I’m fairly irate on the phone…and she trys to upsell me additional services. Of course, this is not her idea…some marketing moron higher up is telling all these reps to ask “Would you like fries with that?”

This is akin to me finding a severed finger in my meal and the restaurant asking me if I would like to purchase dessert as well.

The traditional telephone business is dying everyday. It looks like Alltel would be looking for ways to IMPROVE the customer conversation…not make me mad.

But here’s the thing….This happens daily in thousands of other businesses. Some corporate schmuck is handing down “big ideas” to improve the bottom line. It sounds good in the boardroom. But when they execute the idea on the ground…it winds up ticking me off.


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