Unpicking the ad deal
Surely for a business to thrive, it needs to advertise? And what can be better than a heavily discounted deal from a publication title who claim to reach a audience of 5,000 potential local buyers? The sales representative says you need to make a decision by the end of today to get the deal and then there is the painful process of creating the advert. Is it worth it? Will it bring in customers? How do you decide whether or not to take the deal?
The business of print advertising
In any newspaper or magazine you will find a plethora of adverts for local businesses and services. Consistent advertising in a publication with a reader profile that accurately reflects your target audience can be very effective for brand recognition. The more times your prospect sees your brand name, the more likely they are to consider your product or service when the need arises.
If you are approached by an advertising sales representative from a media channel they will almost always have a deal for you. Often when you compare the deal to the usual rate card price for the advert in the media pack or listed on the website it is heavily discounted, sometimes as much as 80%. On the face of it, it can look very attractive, but there are some important things to consider when unpicking the ad deal.
How to weigh up the ad deal
- Never make a decision straight away. Even if the offer is for a limited time only, take your time to look at the publication and review the audience. The chances are the offer will still be available next month if you decide to decline on this occasion.
- Ask for the media pack which will contain the circulation and readership figures for the title. It should also include detailed information about the type of people who read the magazine. The important questions here are ‘Are they your target audience? Will they buy your product or service?’
- Ask for a copy of the publication either printed or online. Have a look at the topics covered and the types of companies who are currently advertising in the title.
- Be clear on where your advert will be placed and what size you are being offered. Front inside cover and back cover are more valuable because they usually get more attention. A position nearer to the front of the title is preferable.
- Is the publication including the creation of the advert in the cost or will you need to supply it?
- Find out what topics are being covered this month. Is there a topic which is particularly relevant to your type of business? Can you include an advert as part of a story or offer some editorial content? Often a quote stating your name and company in the right place, can attract more attention than merely submitting an advert. Advertorials (where you pay to submit a relevant article) can often be more effective than submitting an advert.
- Never pay the rate card price, always negotiate. Look for other ways to promote your business to their audience to get more from the deal, for example featuring the advert online, asking the publication to tweet about your advertorial or latest promotion.
Making the most out of advertising
Accepting a one off deal for advertising in a newspaper or magazine is unlikely to bring in new customers straight away. It is rare for someone to get in touch simply because they have seen your name in a publication. The role of advertising is predominantly an awareness and brand building exercise. To bring in a return on your investment, you will need to be consistent and it is far more effective to block book a series of advertisements over a long period of time, than to book one off’s in short bursts. Print advertising is also incredibly difficult to measure too. For example, a prospect may use Google to find a local Accountant and they get in touch with you first because they recognise your name from your advert in the business section of the local newspaper. When you receive a new order or enquiry, always ask the important question ‘How did you find out about us?’.