Sensis this week announced another 80 redundancies, after sacking 23 back office staff last week. This takes the total layoffs at Sensis to 220 for this year. The Australian Financial Review described the decrease in the Yellow Pages book as a “terminal decline” and that Sensis has struggled to make up for the decrease in revenue with online sales. According to The Fin, another 300 positions may be at risk.
This is where many Yellow Pages books now end up – in the bin, unopened with all those marketing dollars wasted.
So why is it that the revenue at Sensis is dropping? It is because a big ad in the Yellow Pages just doesn’t work anymore. I know in our business our Yellow Pages spend used to be over $15,000 per year. It is now zero. The phone just doesn’t ring when the Yellow Pages ad goes in!
The decline started with Google and accelerated with the iPhone. Searching online and when people are out using their mobile phones has replaced flipping through a book and the online search product that Sensis has come up with are just too expensive when compared to a good website that has great search engine optimisation. Linking it in with Facebook and Twitter and Restaurant and Take Away owners can have a great marketing tool for a fraction of the cost of their old yellow pages ad. The main thing is that there websites need to be performing, and SEO, linking in with social media and creating a database of their customers are the main steps to ensure that their website will drive more customers through the door.