Verizon announced that the Public Utility Commission has approved them stopping distribution of their White Pages, which includes residential and business phone listings, starting in January 2011. They will continue to distribute the Yellow Pages, which includes business listings, and the Blue Pages, which includes government contacts and other consumer information. States that will have their distribution halted include Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. White pages will still be available on Verizon’s website, or customers can request them either on CD or original print form.
This move by Verizon is another sign of the advancements of technology. More individuals are replacing landlines with mobile phones, and searching for contact information on the Internet instead of printed directories. And when I say “Internet,” that means desktops, laptops, smart phones, iPads, GPS devices… it feels like we are adding to that list every day. Also, an important topic for myself and many others in the general public today, let’s not forget the environmental impact this move will have.
What does this mean to businesses? I think there are two main points:
1) It’s becoming more and more important to maximize your online presence. 10 years ago, we were paying extra for our printed listings to be larger, bolder, and more colorful so that ours would stand out from the competition. Today, it’s important to find comparable methods for your website. It needs to be designed and structured properly, and consider search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media and blog integration, cross-referencing, and many other tricks.
2) As digital marketing becomes more popular, integrating print marketing is becoming that much more necessary. As other businesses may shy away from it, it just increases the value of doing it yourself. It will stand out more, could have a longer life, and will expand your reach to those that haven’t jumped on the digital bandwagon yet.