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Offline advertising

Going old-fashioned

     
10:16 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We're looking into branching out into some offline advertising (in magazines and trade publications). Until now, we've done all of our own promotion and it has all been online. There are hundreds of local publications in our industry with relatively cheap advertising.

What experiences do other small/medium website owners have with off-line advertising? Do you hire outside agencies? We want to start small, can we get an advertising agency to work for us with a budget of only $10-$15K to start?

Ideally, we want to hire an agency that will take care of the whole process for us -- writing the ad copy, identifying publications, and getting the ads published. I don't know the first thing about offline advertising, and I'd rather not learn.

If anyone else has branched out into the offline world lately, any advice would be appreciated.

10:35 am on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi there,

About 2 years ago (not so recent), i moved in to offline advertising, such as key magazines for my business area, targeting end users and other businesses. Perhaps it was my bad luck, but i didnt find it very beneficial at all.

The costs through out the year for one publication alone worked out at just over $11000 in total. And whilst their persuasion to take out monthly adverts which looked fantastic worked, i found people rarely used the site by finding via the magazine.

Nowadays i get the big newspaper supplement companies contacting me, offering their 'specials'. I still decline. However what i may consider in the future is the 'Internet Supplements' ...

Hope this helps.

Zee

2:12 pm on June 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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zomega42, My experience (I work in Publishing) is that it depends on your product and whether it has it’s own niche or if everyone else in the world offers what you do. Take this into consideration. When going through the ads in a culinary magazine lets say, and ACME pot & pan has an advertisement. That’s great. This will stick with the reader even when they aren’t really aware they are storing it in memory. Then they will go to the local department store and see ACME pots & pans and say “oh I remember reading something about these”.

In that same magazine Betty carries ACME pots & pans, and has a great website where you can go pick them out. Even more selection than the department store. So the ad says what it needs to say in order to attract the customer, and the reader glances at it for just as long as they gave the ACME ad. The problem? Now later there is nothing to remind this person that subliminally they have your ad stored in memory. And even if they do say “Oh yeah I remember I wanted to look something up on the internet” before you get to excited, they also think “what was the address? Ahh never mind, too much work..”

The way physical advertising works is mainly to
1) Get a customer in the door -- physically walk-in
2) To remind a consumer that there is a product they need when they just-so-happen to pass it by. (Targeting that subliminal memory).

When we sell advertising, we tell our customers to “remember, a physical advertisement is all about constant presence. When they know you’re there and the impulse to buy comes along, who will they buy from?”

Hope this gives some insight as to whether your niche will attract results which are conducive to physical advertising for that specific niche. ;0)

-- Zak

4:07 pm on June 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the insight. We are in a niche market -- of our three main competitors, I know the biggest spends upwards of $100K/yr on offline advertising and as far as I can tell the other two hardly advertise at all, but they are all doing very well.

I think we will give it a try in one state, and see how it goes.

9:57 pm on June 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I do very little online advertising and much more traditional advertising.

I too am in a niche market and prefer reaching the people the old fashioned way. I do a lot of trade shows as well.

9:53 pm on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We run a consumable goods online shop, and tried a three month run of an ad in a relevant magazine. Results? Exactly nil.

When you do start offline advertising, make sure you include a promotional code or something else to allow you to track performance.

10:57 pm on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think this also depends on which age group mostly uses your niche. There are still a lot of older people that won't get near a computer, alone the internet. Also teens tend to be on the internet more, they don't have to work or do anything at all.

Advertising offline is great way to build brand and trust, anyone can create a web site and advertise it with little or no requirements, while offline there tends to be more rules you have to follow and users are becoming more aware of this