Could be. This was just my experience. But it was a few years back. But the yellow pages or the like online are basically the same thing. It's just a matter of having someone saavy enough to have your listing actually show up on the searches.
And yes, I forgot that there are quite a few online MA directories that will list you for free. But still, I was speaking mostly of the people who don't know anything about MA, or what to look for, or what the name's of those places would be. Internet or hard copy...there are still a good percentage of people who picked MA school X becuase that's the one they pass on the way to work/school/the store, etc. Or, likewise, the one they google and find is the closest.
Just my experience with it. But things may be differnt outside the LA area. And with MMA becoming so popular there may be more people in general who do have some basic knowledge in what it is they're looking for. Also depends if this is an MMA gym or a TMA school or an Olympic style TKD school, etc. Mommy has to find someplace to drop off the little ones for an hour or two so she doesn't strangle them while getting dinner ready. Most MA schools that I've seen that actually are profitable get most of the $$ from the little ones. I didn't bring that up here before as he's talking about a 17 and up club.
When I get home I think I'll try searching for schools in my area just by searching online. It may be much easier now.
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand.