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Media Marketing - Articles Surfing

In the media world, image is everything. Today's graphics hype and promotion gamble, it is hard running a magazine. Media can offer a cheaper ad to businesses who want to advertise in our magazine. However, this would reduce the quality.

On the other hand, to reduce the quality and increase quantity is a common trend, even though it does not increase the ad's effectiveness. It just makes it easier to sell, because business owners have a hard time comparing an ad's effectiveness against the number of issues printed, and the number of issues sent to the recycling center.

However, understanding the basics can mean the difference between success, and failure, in a small business.

Regional magazines are, arguably the most effective advertising medium today, as effective as television, sixty percent more effective than radio. Still, advertisers do not understand that the regional magazine does work because the quality is so high.

Lower the quality, and the effectiveness is lowered. Advertisers are distracted by distribution. The newspaper empires are built on the distribution myth.

Here is an excerpt from a conversation at a media meeting.

We had a funny situation happen recently. My sales person was at a call trying to educate a restaurant owner on the benefits of regional magazine sales. The restaurant owner kept repeating newspaper stats. One hundred thousand copies, over ten weeks, is one million people that see my ad.

Frustrated, the sales person kept trying to make this person see that only 300 000 people, including children, lived in the area. Where were the imaginary million people coming from? Then he tried to explain that most newspapers are returned each evening, and that it is important to produce these wasted newspapers, so the paper will have enough distribution incase something big happens.

Finally, he tried to explain that most people only read 5% of the newspaper. Not everyone who buys a newspaper will see his ad. In truth, this newspaper with a distribution of 100 000 would have the same number of viewers as our regional magazine. The sales person just shook his head and left the restaurant owner believing that one million people would see his ad.

This is an example of the old adage, 'they will always do some things better than you.' One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is in thinking they have no competition. They forget the indirect competitors.

A trade magazine may be the only magazine in the area, but there are several newspapers in town, and one advertising newsletter. It is important to compared prices and distribution to your target audience, not spamming. There may be no direct competition for a trade magazine, but, there is competition for the advertisers' dollar.

This is how a business owner needs to look at competition. Not as people doing the same thing they are, but people going after the same money. This matters when choosing the media type for advertising. If a newspaper spams 100 000 people, but only 50 read your ad, and a trade magazine mails to 1000 people, but everyone reads your ad, and people buy because you have reached your target market, then the magazine provided the better deal.

This means Wait a Minute needs to compete against the local cable company and radio stations. They are indirect competitors. To compete it is necessary to find ways to make the VALUE of our product better than their product.

This brought us to a problem. With cable, radio, and newspaper ads as our direct competitors, it was necessary to make sure the quality of our magazine, and the graphics, was top notch. We needed to meet the CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS. The customers will judge or product against those they expect from the competition.

Value and customer expectations are the two most important factors to consider when doing market research.

Example from a new concierge service's marketing plan.

Do we go to the business section of town to do our research or find a plaza that does not mind us bothering their customers? Do we phone people? Or, do we send out a mailing?

A concierge service was one I thought about starting.

I started my business plan with 'my' idea about what I thought would work. Then I did market research, checking out the people I thought would be our clients. I found a marked difference in the service they wanted, and the price they wanted to pay. They wanted a guarantee that lunch would be served in 30 minutes.

We tried to explain that we were not a pizza delivery service where we had a couple dozen people with separate routes. The potential clients had a difficult time understanding our fee; they saw it as a tip and wondered why we wanted such a high tip. They wanted people to deliver food, pick up mail, take their laundry, and other services, at all times of the day and night. This was not a problem.

A problem rose when they decided we were to be on call 24/7. The idea that we would magically appear the moment they called intrigued them, and stressed me. After two months of research, I decided that a concierge service would not survive long in our area.

Brainstorming with other business owners, and learning more about marketing, will help you determine what media will serve your small business best.

Submitted by:

Mark Walters

Mark Walters is a third generation entrepreneur and author. He offers free training and investing videos designed to speed you towards financial independence at http://www.CashFlowInstitute.com



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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