Businesses sometimes wonder which type of advertising is the most effective - should they put their money into an ad campaign in a magazine or should they be doing something online. With all the hype around google ads and social media, it's easy to be lured toward what looks like a fresh and brilliant marketing opportunity. So how do you know what works or doesn't work. How do you evaluate the pros and cons. Dollar for dollar, which type of marketing will give you the most bang for your buck?
Fortunately, we've had a few years to watch these new online marketing trends and compare them against some of more established "traditional" forms of marketing, like magazine advertising.
First of all, like investments, putting your marketing eggs all in one basket is not wise. The most successful investors are those who are in it for the long haul. Dollar cost averaging and diversifying your portfolio are just two of the strategies that have stood the test of time. Investors who jump around the market, trying to get an extra percent here or there, or who try to anticipate when a stock will rise or fall, have convincingly been shown to have poorer outcomes than those who invest regularly and consistently in a diversified portfolio. Tony Robbins, in his book MONEY: Master The Game, interviewed the top investment advisors in the USA -- they all concurred with the preceding sentiments.
You need to treat marketing like you do an investment. 1) You need to do it. 2) You need to be regular and consistent. 3) You need to diversify.
JUST DO IT.
If you never invest, your money can never work for you. If you never market, the world will not beat a path to your door. Businesses often leave marketing out of their budget. It's the last thing to consider and the first thing to cut. Sadly, the failure rate of many businesses, or the slow growth can be attributed to a poorly executed marketing plan, and in some cases a non-existent plan.
CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT
Make sure your message is where customers will see it often, and where they will find it with the least difficulty. One of the most successful realtors in my home town taught me an early lesson in marketing. He didn't splurge on huge over the top campaigns, but you would find his small ad in EVERY issue of the local newspaper. It was always the same. When you wanted to buy or sell property, his name popped into your head before anyone else. People believed he would handle their sale or purchase with the same consistent dedication he applied to his advertising. I have a window company that calls me every six months, like clockwork - just to remind me that they are ready to give me a quote anytime I need it. They know I have windows that need eventual replacing. The consistent persistence of this sales person, quite frankly, impresses the socks off me. He's top of my list to call when I'm ready to buy.
Use multiple marketing platforms to get the greatest advantage. Some customers may find you online, but print is still the most trusted. Weight your buy in favor of print. It's still the strongest, most influential, solid form of marketing. Using both increases the chances that customers with different reading preferences will see you. And here's another reason to diversify: Recent studies have shown that combining both magazine and online in your campaign nets bigger results than each of these does individually.
It’s easy to overlook what has worked well "traditionally" in favor of trying the ‘new” media. Internet advertising is certainly growing and there's instances where something goes 'viral' and grabs the attention of a massive audience, but the truth is that, on the whole, it doesn't have the power or influence of magazine advertising. What many don't factor in either, is the amount of time that is required to create, post, monitor, respond to, update and continually support your online advertising. It seems cheap, until you count the number of hours you or someone else has spent tagging, optimizing, posting and reposting, tweeting and retweeting, finding relevant material to post, replying to comments, removing unwanted comments... and so on. I know businesses that cut their magazine advertising to go to social media thinking they'd save money on marketing - six months later they fired their web person because a) they weren't getting the expected results, and b) they were paying huge dollars in staff hours to keep the not-so-free social media ticking along.
Bottom line, magazine advertising should be a staple ingredient of every business’s marketing mix. Add to it, but don’t eliminate it.
Here’s ten important reasons why magazines continue to be the strongest marketing option for businesses.
1. Print sways trendsetters. “Influencers” (those who sway other consumers) are themselves influenced by print as this ranking from the MRI Survey of the American Consumer demonstrates:
Free samples: 39%
2. Readers are receptive to print. People remember effective print ads. In fact, magazine ads have the second highest receptivity of any media, second only to TV. But try to “TiVo” a magazine ad!
3. Print drives traffic to websites. Print vehicles provide a unique strategy to drive traffic to your online marketing. If you were to research the millions of websites, you would find that the vast majority use magazine advertising to drive traffic to their website. According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 47.2% of shoppers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine advertisement.
4. Print provides branding awareness like no other type of media. Nothing makes a brand more recognized than a beautiful ad in a glossy magazine. A well-designed ad is an engaging experience for readers.
5. Print makes introductions. A print ad is like a warm referral to potential customers. The trust factor in magazines is higher than any other form of media. The emotional connection readers can make to a magazine (especially an enjoyable magazine like INSPIRED Senior Living) can be an effective gateway to establishing an ongoing relationship with new clients. Indeed, an effective ad in a magazine can be your first handshake.
6. Magazine advertising gets readers sole attention. Engaging in other media or activities when you’re reading a magazine is difficult. While the readers’ attention is on the magazine, they are totally engaged. In the world of multitasking—where people are texting, e-mailing and listening to their iPod while watching TV—it’s hard to get noticed. But it’s hard to do anything else when you’re reading a magazine! A survey done by Ball State University found that magazines are the exclusive or primary medium 85 percent of the time they are used by consumers.
7. You can take a magazine with you. A magazine is easily slipped into your tote or briefcase. It can be by your favorite chair, your bed, on a bus or airplane—even your bathroom. A laptop on the porcelain throne just does not offer the same experience! And we’re not going to touch televisions in bathrooms, although we know they’re out there!
8. You can pass along a magazine. Magazines get shared and passed on in households and among friends. They can be easily mailed, slipped into a mailbox or under the door, left behind in waiting rooms for others to enjoy, etc. Have you ever tried to share a website while waiting for an appointment?
9. Magazines have longevity. Check out your own coffee table. It’s almost certain that you have magazines that have been hanging around a few months, if not years.
10. Magazine ads can be a lead-generation tool! An effective ad can bring new customers to your door. Clients basically pre-qualify themselves by what they see in your ad so that when they call or come to your store, they already have an idea what they want and are one or two steps along the way to purchasing what you are offering.
According to research provided by Magazines Canada, magazine advertising works well with online advertising:
- Magazines drive consumers to advertiser websites where they can learn more or purchase the advertised product/service. Magazines are also great at initiating a search. Readers shop magazines to learn what’s new and what may be of interest to them; they are often inspired to learn more through search before purchasing a product
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