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How Coaches Can Make Advertising Work For Their Clients
I have coaches asking me continually how they can make advertising work for their client’s small businesses. All business owners eventually face a serious dilemma—how to advertise their business… which advertising medium will get them the most exposure… and which advertising venue will provide the biggest bang for the buck.
Over my next few articles, let’s explore the pros and cons of each advertising medium. Knowing these can help you decide which medium is right for advertising your client’s product or service. In my last article, we discussed television advertising.
Now let’s investigate the pros and cons of magazine ads… and let’s start with the pros. Magazines offer a wide variety of subject matter and editorial focuses to reach readers when they have a specific state of mind you’re looking to tap into. You can tailor your message to appeal to their mental condition.
Magazines have glossy, polished paper that makes color photographs and other graphic elements look like works of art. Most magazine ads look superb… although that doesn’t mean your product or service will sell. They can reach very specific target markets without having to waste time or money on markets you don’t care about.
And like newspaper, you can have long copy. Full page or multiple page ads allow you to make a long and detailed pitch. But do people really read all that fine print? Yes they do… if you grab their attention and interest. You also have the option to insert your catalog, card, flyer or other marketing collateral into the magazine. Like newspapers, they allow you to include reader response materials such as coupons, entry or order forms and more.
They’re not disappearing ink. In fact, magazines are even better on this count than newspapers because people are much more likely to re-read or skim a magazine a second or third time. Many people collect magazines… or use them to conduct research, giving your ad the chance to be seen again and again.
Magazines can reach a huge audience, easily in the millions with the bigger ones. They allow for an array of creative options such as pop-ups, special inks, holograms, unusual space configurations as well as personalizing elements for each reader of the publication.
They have national, regional and local reach. Magazine ads can reach specific demographic segments within the total readership of the magazine. That’s because most magazines have departments and areas that focus exclusively on specific topics or subject matter, giving you the ability to target your customers.
Magazine ads can reach potential nonreaders who might be part of an advertiser’s secondary target audience. Because they’re more highly focused and need less repetition like radio or TV, they can often be more cost effective than any other media form. Frequency of exposure is high because as I mentioned earlier, magazines are often read more than once and by more than one person. Also, they may read other similar magazines you have targeted for your ads. They may also reach people that other media do not. Many people prefer to read magazines to newspapers, for example.
So what’s the bad when it comes to magazine advertising? For one… timing. There is typically a fairly long waiting period between buying the ad versus when it actually comes out. A magazine ad may take three to four months before it appears. If you need fast cash and customers, this isn’t the medium to use. Also, the readers may not read their magazine immediately upon receiving it.
Magazines tend to be expensive for one-time runs. They don’t offer sound or movement, although some cutting edge ads, such as pop-ups or those with micro-chip insertions are breaching this drawback. These innovations are mega-expensive, however.
And because magazines are more highly focused, they have less reach, which many don’t really consider a drawback since they’re pinpointing a specific target market. You must also submit your final copy and ad prep many months before their deadline. Some magazines have a fast close, and others will call up repeat advertisers with last minute deals, often because they have space to fill when others back out at the last minute.
Generally, once you buy a magazine ad, you’re locked in no matter what. Once they start printing, you cannot back out. Refunds are rare. You don’t get high frequency with magazine advertising unless you buy an entire year’s worth, but even then readers will see your ad about once a month for most magazines. And finally, you only get exposure to one person at a time, as opposed to a whole room or car-full of prospects as in radio or TV. But there’s one additional venue to consider when advertising.
And that’s the Sunday magazine supplement. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of it. First, the pros… you get superior quality color on high quality paper, allowing for effective product presentations, but only if you’re willing to pay top dollar.
Sunday supplements are great for insertions. Most Sunday papers and magazines offer lots of extras… which are why many readers buy this publication in the first place. Many people live to scan and clip coupons.
Supplements give you ample opportunity to use long copy. They’re among the best place to make a long, detailed pitch. As we said, people love to clip coupons, and this is the place advertisers will use for special insertions… from coupons and sweepstakes to contests and surveys.
You have a better chance here for repeat exposure to your ad than newspapers or magazines. People tend to hang onto the Sunday paper longer… and they typically read it with a greater degree of attention because they’re more relaxed and have more time on Sunday to linger over the paper.
Supplements can reach large numbers of people in a short time. You can get very creative here, similar to magazines. This means pop-ups, specials inks, scratch-and-sniff samples… and even insertion of product samples. These can frequently reach nonreaders who might be part of an advertiser’s secondary target audience. High readership and an above average repetition factor make supplement advertising a good deal for scarce advertising dollars.
Production costs for your ad will be less than all other media, except for newspaper. These can reach people who don’t ordinarily read newspapers or pay attention to other media. Many simply consider the Sunday paper “special.” You get immediate delivery to an entire audience… in some case that’s millions of people in just one day. They can have national, regional, or local distribution… although national is less likely with most Sunday supplements, except the real big ones such as the New York Times. And finally, Sunday publications have higher penetration… and greater readership locally than do competing publications or other media.
But now for the bad. These ads don’t force themselves on readers like radio or TV does. In other words, they’re nonintrusive. There’s no sound or movement. They usually require advertising materials well in advance of the issue date. Some even have longer lead times than magazines.
They’re relatively inflexible for accommodating last minute changes. Most Sunday ads are set in stone immediately after you issue a check… and if something comes up, you won’t get a refund. Frequency is also lacking because they only come out on Sundays, and in most cases, people don’t make connections from one Sunday to the next.
This type of advertising is extremely expensive if you want national or regional coverage. Large space ads are very expensive and they’re here today and gone tomorrow most of the time. They’re relatively short-lived, and quickly end up lining a bird cage. They’re not your best choice for delivering ad messages to young people such as tweens, teens, young adults and especially children. Most often, your ad is seen by only one person at a time, unlike radio or TV, which can deliver a message to a roomful of people all at once.
Next time, let’s sum up all advertising mediums and provide some tips on selecting the one that’s right for your clients.
So until next time
About Adrian Ulsh
Adrian Ulsh is the CEO for Leader Publishing Worldwide, the largest online provider of coaching services worldwide. Adrian currently works with more than 500 coaches in 24 countries advising them on building 6 and 7 figure coaching practices.
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