Sunday, 14 October 2012

Is Your Print Advertising Campaign Working For You?

Around 70 per cent of business owners who use ‘traditional’ print advertising methods such as newspapers, magazines, trade publications and directories to promote their businesses, do not know whether their advertising is working for them – or not.

Perhaps because of the high-pressure sales techniques of the telesales personnel concerned they feel compelled to keep on doing it month after month. Or maybe it isn’t so much to do with the persuasiveness of the salespeople, but simply because they can’t think of a better alternative. They know only too well that advertising is the lifeblood of every successful business . . . but here’s the thing . . .

If you are not 100 per cent certain that your print advertising is working for you, then please stop. Or at least consider some valid alternatives.

The main hurdle with print advertising is this:-

Because people tend to buy from people they like and trust, it can take a while to win over your readership. It has been suggested that businesses will need to run their ad between 7-10 times, before they begin to see any return on their ‘investment’.
This is why many print publications offer new advertisers a ‘write-up’ as a sweetener – an article about the company which sits alongside their ‘paid-for’ advertisement. The reader knows (or at least they should do), that these ‘advertorials’ are not written by unbiased journalists, but rather that they are part of the advertising package.

The fact is, press advertising is expensive these days and there will almost certainly be a more cost-effective option available to you.

For example, have you considered any of the following?:

Search Engine Optimisation 
Pay per Click Advertising                                                                                                                                                                                      
Direct Mail
Leaflet Drops/ Flyer Handouts                                                                                                       Telephone Marketing
Social Media & E-commerce
Online PR
Offline PR
Direct Sales
Shows, Exhibitions, Events    
Joint Ventures

These are just a few of the very many marketing opportunities available to you – both online and offline – depending on the kind of business you run and what your goals are.
Something you may wish to consider is starting an email list if you haven’t already done so. Done properly, this can be a useful way of locating buyers who are interested in what you have to sell. This can be achieved by adding a simple sign-up form to your website, or by creating a dedicated ‘squeeze page’ to capture your prospects email addresses – a proven way to extend your marketing reach. Particularly if you can provide an incentive for doing so.
For example, if you are a service business you might say: ‘sign up today for a free 45-minute consultation.’ If you sell products: ‘sign up now for 15 per cent off your first order’. A small ‘bribe’ can work wonders in building your first list!
That’s not to say you should give up press advertising altogether if it’s a medium which genuinely works for you. The point is to know exactly how much each of your advertising forms costs you. And what that medium delivers in terms of sales leads and revenue.
Would that be money well spent? Or could you do better elsewhere?
A marketing or business consultant could help you with monitoring and gaining more from your advertising and marketing budgets.

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