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Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business by Jeff Korhan

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Chapter 8

Creating Digital Marketing Assets

Building digital marketing assets that yield sustainable business value ensures the future success of your business.

In the days before the Internet, the primary marketing vehicle for many small businesses was the Yellow Pages, an advertising section within local community telephone directories. In many ways, it was what their website would be today. The investment in phone book advertising had to be renewed periodically when new books were printed, but for the better part of the year, the business owned a piece of real estate in the go-to source for finding local businesses.

Yellow Page advertising was a turnkey arrangement designed especially for small businesses. The phone company made the arrangement attractive by taking care of the details—including the distribution of those books into thousands of homes—where they were usually within reach of the telephone. Of course, back then telephones were attached to wiring within the walls, making them immobile. So, in a sense, Yellow Page advertising was the location marketing of the time, because those books were always close by the telephone. In terms of consumer habits, there was no better place to be highly visible.

Telephone books had some staying power because homeowners and businesses often retained copies that included their personal notations. However, the true durable asset was not the books, but the list of customers to whom those books were delivered, which the phone company owned. ...

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