Marketing in the press

The press (national or local) – newspapers and magazines

The national and local press are a more mature form of advertising, which is still very popular with entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies.  The benefit is that publishers will recognise the type of business that you have, and recommended packages of advertising that will deliver a particular rate of exposure. 

Remember to keep your wits about you because newspaper advertising is a tough business and newspaper sales people tend to be paid largely by commission, so it is in their interests to sell you as much advertising as they can.  Get back to basics, and locate within your outline advertising plan; what exactly do you need from the advertising?

  • Work out what size of adverts you want.  This is usually done using column inches or centimetres.  As a rule of thumb adverts at the tops of pages are more expensive than those below the fold.  Adverts tend to be read more if they are on the right-hand pages, and again are more expensive.
  • You tend to buy newspaper advertising by a specific financial amount for example $500, or by a length of campaign which might be a month or year.
  • Your advertising might also be seasonal; think about your Christmas Advertising; maybe use advertising as a way to stimulate sales when business is slow at points in the year.
  • Remember to proof-read the advert.  Make sure that you have signed off any creative work and check spelling and consistency.
  • If you do invest in advertising, maybe include a voucher or a code which the customer can use when making a purchase.  This will give you a broad measure of your success.
  • Advertising is costed at a rate per 1000.  So, your local newspaper could be delivered direct to 10,000 people.  If you have a small car dealership, the newspaper could estimate that 60% of the readership drive cars.  This gives you a ballpark figure on which to base your decision of whether to advertise or not.  The cost per 1000 rate will at least give you a benchmark against which to compare other forms of advertising.
  • National Advertising is a more likely choice if you have a niche product.  If you manufacture fishing flies, then you might avoid all local advertising completely.  You might advertise in a national fly fishing magazine, because there you hit more of your target audience.  If you sell through wholesalers, this will be evidence that you are proactive in promoting your small brand nationally.