Narrowing the listing Featured

9:55am EDT July 22, 2002

Getting consumers to use your service or product is hard enough. Getting them to remember it and use it again and again is, well, every business owner’s goal. For Stuart Kay, that hasn’t been a problem.

An independent audit showed 97 percent of his Detroit audience remembered receiving the first publication of his Mazel’s Jewish American Yellow Pages. Even in a close-knit community, this near-universal recognition is a phenomenal feat.

With that ammunition in hand, Kay came to Cleveland and created a 160-page book, which was delivered in March.

Mazel is the Hebrew word for luck, which had nothing to do with Kay’s success.

“When we began the first book, I was familiar with a lot of other publications — the black yellow pages, the gay yellow pages, the Hispanic yellow pages,” Kay says. “In Detroit, Michigan, there’s a large Arabic population — the Arabic yellow pages. And I started really seeing that there were people who wanted to reach this community. I saw it as a way to create a resourceful directory. And, prior to this, there was no Jewish Yellow Pages. It really is a great way to keep your name in front of the community.”


Choosing the right community

In Cleveland, there are about 85,000 Jewish residents in 35,000 homes. Kay sent 20,000 copies to residences and 5,000 to businesses. But the size of the community was not the only consideration.

“Our consumers are a much higher income and education demographic.”

To make the venture a success — to get advertisers to buy space — Kay had to make the book appeal to consumers. He worked with rabbis and the publishers of The Jewish Book of Why to make the book a resource for more than just businesses.

“I’ve tried to make it a resource guide with valuable information,” he says.

The first 32 pages include information ranging from the words to Ha-Tikva, the national anthem of Israel, to a glossary of Hebrew words, a calendar of holidays and an information line which answers questions about Jewish rituals.

“I don’t believe people read the Ameritech phone book. I do know for a fact that people pick up our book and they look page by page to see who’s in there. Is my dentist in there? Is my car dealer in there? There’s a deep connection between the recipients, the advertisers and, fortunately, us,” Kay says. “Our advertisers feel very comfortable.”

But comfortable isn’t necessarily happy. Making advertisers happy means getting people to use the book. Kay encouraged recipients to read through the publication by offering incentives. From the many cards he received in response to his market research, Kay selected 12 names and printed them in the book. When those individuals found their names and called in, they received a special prize.


Giving them more than they want

Kay made the book appealing to advertisers as well. In addition to the lower cost for ads, Kay promises additional listings in other areas of the book. There is also a Web site, www.jewish-american-yp.com, which includes every ad in the book.

Kay plans to expand his yellow pages to other cities with large Jewish populations — about 30 in the United States. He plans to produce books in three or four new markets a year. The opportunity to expand with other targeted yellow pages is a possibility, Kay says, but finding the right group has been difficult.

“We’ve been looking for another ethnic group that has the same bond as the Jewish community,” Kay says. “We’ve actually looked into about five or six different ethnic groups, and we have not yet found a community that has the same demographics, the same bond.”