A Preference for Print

We at Dentons are often asked whether there is still a place in the digital age for our print directories, filled with listings and adverts for businesses and services.

Yes, sure, if you need to find, for example, a plumber in your local area, use dentons.net online directory on your mobile or tablet as an alternative to looking it up in the printed book. So, does that make our 25 local print directories obsolete?

On the contrary – rather than diminishing, demand for our “books” remains buoyant. Less than a year ago, in fact, we launched a brand new directory for Salisbury and environs, and had no trouble filling it with 100 pages of categorised information, including hundreds of paid-for display adverts.

Our “flagship” directory for Bath (the original first published by Dentons 50 years ago) still packs in more than 200 pages of listings after half a century of being updated every year.

In total many thousands of businesses across our area obviously find it valuable to maintain a presence in one or more of our stable of local print directories.

We’re certainly not still printing directories because we’re sentimentally attached to the origins of our business!

Why we keep ‘em coming!

We’ve moved on, obviously, now offering creative and digital services alongside our online and print directory business, but there are many reasons why we believe we’ll still be publishing and delivering new, updated annual editions of our books for many years to come:

  • A large proportion of our long-term customers assure us they still get a good return on their investment in a print ad, so they keep coming back.
  • Our directories are well-received in the communities they cover, where they are delivered free to tens of thousands of homes and businesses – a captive audience.
  • While millions of us have internet access nowadays, 12% of the UK population (source: Ofcom) do not. Most of these are of the older generation, who are more likely to make use of local print directories when they need goods or services.
  • Any internet user will agree that there are many websites and online directories (dentons.net aside, of course!) that are not kept up to date, and show defunct information. Dentons directories are thoroughly checked and updated annually, so users find it reassuring that the information is always current. It’s all about credibility and trust.
  • Many users of our books have told us they enjoy the convenience of being able to keep the directory handy at home for quick reference. No PC boot up or multi-click searches required! Clever categorising makes it quick to find what you need, and you can see all the listings for a particular category at a glance.
  • From the advertisers’ point of view, because the books are delivered free in a particular area, they can be assured of reaching their target audience reasonably inexpensively compared to any other sort of advertising.
  • An advert in a print directory is action-oriented. The audience is actually looking for a particular advert, and highly likely to act on it, rather than pass it by.
  • Unlike online ads which can disappear with a click, print ads stay on the page for the life of the book, catching the eye every time the user flicks through it. Print means permanence!

We could go on ad nauseam, but hopefully you’ve got the picture! Print directories are far from dead or dying – in fact, they’ve never been more alive.

Here are a couple of illuminating links which we’d like to share to back up our belief in the power of print:

The International Newsmedia Marketing Association: Study shows print advertising has highest ROI

Advent Media Group: Why Print Media is still important to your Business