Digital technology has changed the world. That is why digital business reinvention has become crucial. In this post, we will learn about the importance of digital transformation for businesses by the Yellow Pages story.
Yellow Pages stopped printing physical copies from January 2019. Two years after they made the announcement to stop printing in 2017 and after 51 years of being in business. In its heyday, Yellow Pages was one of the most powerful listing catalogs for local businesses.
Whether one needed a plumber or a locksmith, most would revert to this voluminous book for reference. On rained-in evenings, families would browse through its pages and order takeaways that were fancied for that day. Even for bigger ticket purchases — buying a house or renting an apartment — Yellow Pages was the preferred guide.
Why has this iconic household catalog brand decided to cease printing? Because times have changed. The instances that I’ve shared above were part of every household in the latter half of the last century.
Impact of the Internet
But, with the introduction of the internet, household and consumer habits began a perceptible shift in the 90s. Over the next 20 years, digital technology may completely wean us away from print listings. The worldwide popularity of Google and other online listings hammered the final nail in the coffin for Yellow Pages, finally leading to the demise of its paper edition.
But the company is far from done. Fortunately, for Yellow Pages, they saw the impending disruption well in advance. As far back as in 1996, it set up yell.com, an online business directory. And today, it is one of the leading business listings in the UK.
While the cessation of the paper edition was regrettable, from a business perspective, the impact was relatively mild. The company was able to adapt and transition to the digital world well in time. Sadly, the same can’t be said for many other businesses. Over just the past few years, thousands of book shops and music stores have had to down their shutters simply because these businesses couldn’t foresee, reinvent and transition to the digital age.
Yellow Pages was perceptive enough to read the shifts in market dynamics as well as changes in customer behavior. Acknowledging the need to evolve its product experience in sync with changing behaviors, the company designed a new strategy, with management adopting a robust digital philosophy.
Importance of Digital Transformation for Businesses
Businesses such as Yellow Pages had a monopoly on their respective markets once. The digital age, however, has leveled the fields for everybody. Hundreds of new online applications are born are every day. Businesses are inventing innovative ways to connect with their customers. To woo potential customers, they are aggressively designing ways that boost their discoverability and promote the desirability of their services and products.
Businesses must focus on offering intimate customer experiences rather than simply selling products or services. Being intimate with the market and the ability to quickly change with the market dynamics are the new fundamentals that every business must subscribe to in the digital age.
This article is written by Anirvan Sen.
It is edited by Nupur Chakraborty and keyword optimized by Rajita Gupta