Well I took the summer off and have been thinking about what I should post for my first topic back. I wanted it to be something profound so as you read it you would think….it was worth the wait. Well hold that thought for my next post.
I came home to a mailbox full of junk mail. I’m talking about 5″ of advertising that went directly thru my house into the garage and into the recycling bin without being open. I was sitting at the table calculating the cost of producing all that and sending it to my address and what a waste it was…with people starving in Africa when I heard a thud on my front porch.
A plastic bag containing a plastic wrapping containing a 568 page full book size phone book has been dropped on my walk. I speak to the young man as he walks away…no response. I speak louder…still no response and then I see the earphones hanging from his neck and realize I can’t match his volume. I pick up the 3 to 4 lb bundle and go back inside and start to calculate cost. At this time I am only mildly irritated, but as I read the advertising on the plastic bag it hits a nerve….and I start to connect the dots.
There are small business owners that are being “held up” by the advertising salesmen for the phone company. “Be in our book or “miss the boat”. Your competitor is here and he is increasing his spend over last year…so you better double yours.” I know the drill because for years these guys brutalized me in my business.
But back to my calculations……..after extracting much needed capitol from small business they then produce this bloated dinosaur and spend money on distribution…we are talking warehousing, transportation, more warehousing, more transportation…ending with the less than minimum wage youth walking across my lawn. The cost is enormous and then it is delivered to someone who doesn’t want it …will not use it. It is obscene.
The thing that tipped me over the edge as I walked (rolled) it thru the house to the recycle bin was what was written on the bag. “To order any directory visit our website directorystore.com”. They know how to do this the right way but they are going to hold on to old way until the marketplace punishes them. If there are people who rely on paper directories, and I am sure there are customers for this (although their numbers are diminishing rapidly) why not send a postcard with the message that is on the bag. Write here or go to for your free phone book.
I know why………because next year when they go in to pressure the small business owner about his program they want to quote how many books they published last year and tell them about the price increase for this year.
I can get any phone number I want with a couple of clicks. I can spend my advertising money in ways that target a customer base that is interested in what I have and what I am doing. Verizon…and all you others….the clock is ticking on you.
Just as I pitch this mess into the recycle bin I notice something else written on the bag……”To avoid danger of suffocation, please keep this bag away from babies and children.”……WELL HELL!