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Magazine Advertising: Are You About to Throw Your Money Away? - Articles Surfing
One of the first marketing mistakes I made was buying print ad space in about three magazines and signing up for a large number of insertions. Can I recall one sale that I achieved through those ads? Not one. I don't think that I am the first or last person to make this mistake. In general, magazine advertising does not work for a small business. Here are a few dos and don'ts to consider before you decide whether to jump in.
Don't decide to advertise because of your competitors ' You think you need to advertise in a magazine because your competitors have been running ads for months or maybe even years. When the salesperson calls, they tell you 'we have x number of companies signed up so it must be working for them'. How many people fell for that line? Your competitors might be throwing money away on this advertising. Just because they aren't making the most of their marketing budget, doesn't mean you have to follow suit.
Don't listen to the salesperson - Remember their job is to make the sale. Your job is to make the best decision for your business. It doesn't matter what the circulation of the magazine is or how many subscribers they have; if you aren't connecting directly with your market and getting their attention, it's not worth it.
Don't sign up for a long series of insertions - Often times, you might be told that you need at least six insertions to get really noticed by their readers. You need to 'build up a presence' or ensure your 'brand recognition'. Having a six or twelve month commitment with an ad is an expense you do not need. Ads may be good for branding but we small businesses often do not have the luxury budget for branding. We need results.
Don't lose sight of your ROI - Magazine ads can be difficult to track. Even if you use a code on the ad, you might discover that a client noticed your ad but only made contact three or four months later. The code on your ad might have expired by then or it completely slipped their minds. This makes determining the return on the ad spend very difficult to determine. I had a prospect who claimed that they saw our ad in a magazine from two years before. Who can wait years to determine whether their marketing is working?
If you still want to pursue magazine advertising, do commit to a short run of insertions. Refuse to pay the full rate-card price. In fact, tell them you are only interested in last minute space. When they are desperate to fill the page with paid ads, you might pay a quarter of the rate card.
Do pay attention to your results - If the ads are not working, stop them.
Of course, this does not apply for every small business in every market. The important message is you must think very carefully about the return you will make on the investment before you jump in feet first.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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