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There are three main reasons why I would hesitate when deciding to advertise in the local press:
? Everyone else is doing it
? Nobody buys a paper for the adverts
? The odds are it won't work
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean it's a good thing, or more importantly - that it actually works! However it seems the natural thing to do - you need to raise your profile, make the local community aware of your company, so you why not advertise in the local paper? Well, because?
Nobody buys a paper for the adverts. In fact, do most people buy a local paper these days? As many local papers are free, their only income is through selling advertising space. In fact if you look at the inside cover of a newspaper you'll see the staff on it. More often than not the 'sales team' will out number the reporters 3 to 1. The local paper is not 'a local' way for the community to keep up to date with local events, it's a 100 page selling tool.
Very often when approached by the advertising telesales team, they'll quote all sorts of readership figures. 'Well actually the Acme Recorder is distributed to over 50,000 homes and offices'. A very impressive statistic. However, of those 50,000 'readers' how many will actually want an accountant at that specific time their browsing through the paper? How many of them will actually see your advert amongst all the others? How many will actually read your advert, and then REACT to it?
The next time someone gives you these figures, follow it up with this next question:
"What's the response rate to an advert?"
They won't be able to tell you. Why? Because this is not important to them. But it's VITAL for you. The chances are they'll either admit they don't know, or they'll quote a local builder who has a great response (but you're NOT a builder) or they will come back with something like, "Well people keep advertising with us so I guess it must be working?"
People keep advertising for exactly the opposite reason. It's not working, so by keep advertising they'll figure that eventually someone will respond. Wrong. If the advert didn't work the first time, it won't work the second time and it certainly won't work the third time!
The odds are if you still do decide to advertise that the advert itself won't work. Remember above all else adverts, direct mail etc, should get a reaction from the reader NOW. However most adverts are poorly designed, and that's okay. You're a coach, trainer, consultant, professional service business owner?That's what you do, what you're good at, designing adverts for maximum impact is probably something you haven't worked on before.
Other problems you'll face. Where will the advert be placed? If it's on the left hand page, studies have shown that it will be noticed a lot less than if it's placed on the right hand page. Similarly where on the right hand page will it be placed? Again studies have shown that placing the advert on the bottom right hand corner will increase its notice ability more than anywhere else on the page.
These are just a few of the factors you should consider when advertising in the local press. Readership levels are not a measure of response rate, it's the ability to convert them into paying clients that counts!
Andrew Ludlam is a client attraction expert, and Director of Maverick Marketing Solutions. If you're deadly serious about maximising the potential of your business, then I urge you to visit http://www.maverickmarketingltd.com and sign up for the monthly 'Maverick Marketing Solutions Newsletter'... where you'll also receive the FREE white paper "Six Magnetic Ways To Attract More Clients To Your Business In The Next 90 Days..!" (Value $37)
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