Newspapers, magazines, and directories are examples of print media. The best print media for your business is not always the largest, most well-recognized newspaper or magazine. In fact, you may find that community newspapers or lifestyle publications are better targeted, more economical, and more effective. A year-long study of newspaper advertising determined that a potential customer needs to see an ad at least nine times before the marketing message penetrates. In addition, the study found that, for every three times a consumer sees an advertisement, he ignores it twice. This indicates that a consumer will have to see your ad 27 times before actually buying something.
If you take out a newspaper ad that will appear three times a week, therefore, commit to running it for nine weeks at the very least. The most common advertising mistake entrepreneurs make is to give up too soon. One gauge of how effective a particular advertising medium will be for your business is to observe it for a while and see whether your competitors use it regularly. If they do, they are probably seeing a good return on their investment, so you could, too. Remember, print media has suffered as electronic media has grown exponentially. Be certain to request independent confirmation of subscriber and readership data provided by media representatives, to confirm the accuracy of their claims.
It is important to use effective design for all of your print advertising and to reinforce your brand each and every time.
Newspapers: Newspapers may be published daily, weekly, or even less frequently. They can be community-based, local, regional, national, or international, and focus on news, finance, or any other topic. For a retail store serving a radius of five miles or fewer, a weekly community newspaper could be ideal. For a major investment bank, The Wall Street Journal would possibly be the best choice. A Catholic bookstore may find the best fit in the local diocesan weekly. In addition to and related to geographic scope, circulation can range from several hundred to millions. With the widespread use of the Internet, many newspapers also have online editions.
The number of advertising options in newspapers is large and changes frequently. Classified advertising and display advertising are common features of newspapers. However, what varies is how they can be placed. Many newspapers now create special editions or special-interest advertising sections, to be inserted in the newspaper or distributed separately. For example, Gannett publications have periodic inserts such as “Prime Life,” “Celebrations,” parenting, camp programs, home sections, and the like. Each of these is directly targeted to a particular demographic, lifestyle, or other segment of the public, and includes pertinent advertising and editorial content.
There is an entire category of non-subscription publications made available at targeted distribution points. These publications, often in newspaper format, include parenting publications, entertainment guides, home and real estate advertising, ethnic publications, natural foods and nutrition publications, and so forth. Some of them include stories about their advertisers or invite advertisers to submit stories.
Newspapers have the advantage of being highly flexible with significant credibility. You can place ads so that they change frequently. Readers pay attention to the articles they read and have sufficient interest in the ads that advertisers can put detailed information in them. The disadvantages of newspapers include difficulties in targeting, as well as a short shelf life. Also, if you want to run a national campaign, the buying process is costly and cumbersome.
Magazines: Publications classified as “magazines” offer highly segmented markets and are targeted by those interests. Because readers are often subscribers, there is high audience interest and this enhances the attention paid to advertising. If your business has a precisely defined target, you may find magazines that are ideally suited for inclusion in your marketing mix. This is particularly true for business-to-business marketing, because business and trade journals reach target customers effectively.
Magazines differ from newspapers as an advertising medium primarily because of their longer shelf life. Subscribers may read through a magazine several times, yielding multiple exposures. Moreover, magazines may be passed along to others, such as with trade journals, or be left in a common area where people can read them, such as a doctor’s waiting room. In addition, magazines have higher-quality printing and more options. Scratch-and-sniff ads, fold-outs, cut-outs, and other unusual presentations offer enhanced marketing advantages.
Among the drawbacks associated with magazines, “clutter” can be problematic, particularly with magazines that have more pages of advertising than editorial content. Lead times of up to six months can make it difficult to deliver a timely message, and the long shelf life can mean that the ads may survive beyond the advertisers’ intentions—especially in the case of volatile or highly competitive industries.
Directories: Telephone books and directories with membership lists from professional associations or chambers of commerce are examples of directories. They can be an excellent source of customer leads and good advertising venues. They tend to have a long shelf life and may be referred to repeatedly. You may use professional directories, in particular, if you can clearly identify professional associations or organizations that have members in your target audience. Advertisements and listings in directories should focus more on institutional advertising, due to the longer-term nature of the medium.
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