What's on Tap...

A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising Strategies

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

Magazine advertising has been around for a long time and for good reason: it’s a highly effective way to get your message in front of your target audience, an audience who is interested in hearing from you.

Here are just a few benefits of advertising in magazines:

  1. A magazine’s strength lies in the active way in which readers choose and use the medium. Magazines are an active medium and the reader is in control.
  2. Magazines deliver receptive readers. Often the positive brand image of the magazine is transferred onto the advertisements.
  3. Reads find magazine ads relevant and valuable. And, since readers are in control of which ads they interact with and when, magazine advertising is not considered an interruption.
  4. Magazines allow advertisers to easily target their message with precision and without wasting their ad spend.
  5. Readers tend to take action after seeing magazine ads.

Follow the four strategies below to create and launch successful magazine advertising campaigns.

Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising StrategiesChoose the Right One

Not all magazines are created equal, and not all are the right channel for your message. You’ll first need to determine which magazines fit your target market segments, that is, the ones that will most likely be read by this audience. If you sell organic cloth diapers, it makes little sense to advertise in a hunting magazine. Determine who your ideal prospect is and then think from their POV to determine what kind of information or form of entertainment they are drawn to.

Determine Reach

Once you’ve selected the magazine that makes the most sense to advertise in, you’ll want to determine its reach. Ask the sales representative for the magazine’s circulation numbers and pay attention to the number of direct subscribers to the magazine’s circulation ratio. This is important because many magazines sit on the shelves of book stores and grocery stores and are never purchased.

You’ll also want to inquire about which states the magazine is distributed in, its cycle, pricing and market image.

Knowing market image is important because this is the subscriber’s perception of the magazine’s quality and content. Magazine A might have a lower circulation rate, but if it has a better image than Magazine B, it has a greater chance of being read by your prospective customers who will then view your ad and place more trust in it.

Determine Placement

Next, decide where to place your ad within the magazine. According to Starch Advertising Research published by the Rochester Institute of Technology, placing ads next to the table of contents offers the best reach. If your budget doesn’t quite allow for this, placing your ad next to an article or editorial related to your offer is also a good option. For example, if your ad is offering a free consultation on window Improve Your ROI with These Magazine Advertising Strategiesreplacements, you could place it next to an article about home winterizing.

You may also consider piggybacking and place your ad next to another prominent ad. Leverage someone else’s budget and claim a spot right next to those big ads so the reader’s eye will naturally be drawn to yours.

Make Your Budget Work Harder

You should always ask your sales rep for a media kit that lists all the rates for the various ad sizes. When placing your order, be sure you understand how the magazine’s scheduling and readership and your business cycle all work synergistically to reap the greatest rewards.

Also, consider using some of your advertising budget to create professional ads. Depending on what your offer is and who your ideal customers are, a polished ad can mean the difference between seeing a 3% increase in sales or a 7% increase.

No matter what you may have heard about the “death” of print, advertising in magazines is still one of the most effective ways to get messaging in front of a target audience. Magazines reach millions of consumers on a regular basis, deliver ROI, generate positive brand awareness and significantly increase sales. In other words, if you haven’t included magazines into your marketing plan yet, what are you waiting for?


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Tags: magazine advertising

National vs. Local Newspaper Advertising: Which Is Best?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

Newspaper advertising is the oldest form of advertising and is still used widely today by many businesses for a very specific reason: newspapers are a chosen media purchased by the reader. In other words, advertising in newspapers puts you in front of a very special group of consumers: those who value and are immensely receptive to the information (and ads) they find inside. When your message appears in newspapers, readers believe the editorial content adds credibility and legitimacy to your brand and offer.

national-local-newspaper-advertisingMany businesses already recognize the power of newspaper advertising, but many more are often confused as to whether they should spend their budget on local or national papers. First, let’s take a look at the benefits both national and local newspapers offer advertisers.

An Audience that Wants to Hear from You

Newspaper readers don’t find print ads intrusive (like they do online, radio and television ads) because they are in control of when (and if) they read them. Beyond this, readers actively seek advertising that alerts them to deals and coupons.

A Targeted Audience

Besides getting your ads placed in the sections of the paper with similar content, newspapers (particularly local ones) can target audiences in other ways by using events such as holidays, or using specific geographic locations such as neighborhoods and streets, and even focusing on specific individuals like parents or ethnic groups.

A Quality Audience

According to the State of the News Media 2013, newspaper readership correlates with higher income levels of $100,000 or more as well as higher education levels.

Leveraged Trust

Newspaper publishers work diligently to create solid relationships with readers and build a loyal customer base. In a sense, newspapers become like a print version of friends and family. Just as friends and family “won’t steer ya wrong,” readers feel the same about their beloved print publications. Consumers believe publishers only do business with solid companies that can be trusted. Advertising within a trusted newspaper that has a loyal customer base means a brand can build a positive reputation in a short amount of time.


One of the greatest benefits of print is readers can easily keep content close by for future reference. Try saving a radio or television ad or cutting it out and putting it on your refrigerator. Print ads also have a way of “going viral” in that a newspaper can wind up in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and the ads inside will be viewed by many, many people over the course of the week.

Great Flexibility

With newspaper ads you can choose the type of ad and position (classified or feature-section) that will most effectively put your message in front of your target audience. You have great flexibility on the size of your ad, the format, and color so you can achieve the desired impact.

Why Local Newspapers Edge National Papers Outhomepage-image-web

Local newspapers provide a special kind of connection with consumers. While national papers provide a window to a broader world, local papers connect residents to their community and to each other.

According to the 2013 Community Newspaper Readership Study conducted by The Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) on behalf of National Newspaper Association (NNA), about two-thirds or 67% of residents in small U.S. communities read their local paper from one to seven days per week. The study concluded that local newspapers continue to be the primary source of information for consumers living in small towns and cities across the country.

Looking further into the numbers, 94% of responders agreed their local paper was informative; 80% said they and their families looked forward to reading the newspaper; 78% said they relied on their local papers for local news and information; and 72% said the newspapers entertained them. The findings of this study suggest the perceived value of local newspapers and the important role they play in community members’ lives is a true asset to advertisers.

Sure, national ads offer more exposure, more eyeballs on your ad (possibly) but that exposure and those eyeballs may not mean a hill of beans if you don’t get a return on your initial investment. The truth is most small businesses’ ad spend would be much better served in local papers.

Another benefit of local newspaper advertising is the rapid turnaround on production changes. If you need to make last-minute changes to your ad (and it’s bound to happen at some point in your campaign), the newspaper’s advertising department can usually get the job done quickly and not throw you any shade in the process.

As you know, we’re big fans of advertising in the newspaper and know firsthand the benefits print ads bring to our clients. Whether you choose to go national or local, we believe newspaper advertising should be the cornerstone of any campaign.


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Tags: newspaper advertising, local newspaper advertising

What Print and Digital Ads Have in Common

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Back when I used to work out as often as I should (note to self, stop using your kettlebell as a doorstop), I would go to the gym with my friend, Jill. When we’d get there, she would immediately hit the weight machines while I’d hop on an elliptical. After an hour or so, we’d shower, dress and hit the nearest Starbucks for lattes and pumpkin muffins. I know, but we were younger with more cooperative metabolisms.

Jill and I might have had different strategies for staying in shape. I hated lifting weights and she thought aerobics was insanely boring, but both styles of workout had their merits. They also had things in common: they both required movement and commitment on our part if we wanted to see any kind of results.

Effective ads, no matter what their medium, also have things in common – they do the following:

Align with Your Positioning Strategy

What-Print-and-Digital-Ads-Have-in-CommonYour positioning strategy clearly identifies your target audience and the most meaningful features and benefits of your offer. This strategy should also provide enough reasons (or just one really great one) why your product or service is unique and superior to others and it should do so in a way that captures your brand’s personality.

Keep the Message Clear and Simple

Today’s consumers are busy and distracted, so help them remember your message by creating a clutter-free ad. A good rule of thumb is to keep the headline very simple, then have the elements that follow support the headline’s message. The clearer your overall concept, the better chance your ad has of being read and remembered.

Are Consistent

Imagine if Doritos started making round chips. Or the Home Depot started selling light blue buckets. Or Tony the Tiger proclaimed, “Theeeeey’re Wwwwonderful!” You don’t have to be a household name brand What Print and Digital Ads Have in Commonto benefit from staying consistent with your style and personality. Switching things up too often will lead to consumer confusion and fewer repeat customers.

Are Credible and Classy

Don’t be the pizza joint that claims their pizzas are “the best” in town when every review on Yelp complains of soggy crusts and flat soft drinks. Advertising yourself as more or better than you are will not increase business but rather speed your ultimate demise. It’s also a bad move to point out a particular competitor and spew public criticism. Doing so may very well backfire when buyers show support and your competitors sales go up not down.

Tells Consumers What to Do

Successful ads tell people exactly what to do. It’s not enough to say you offer “a huge selection of crafting items,” or give your address and store hours. Your ad must go further and tell the reader to “bring this ad in for a 5% discount” or “call for more information.”

Stand Out from Other Ads

What-Print-and-Digital-Ads-Have-in-CommonWhether you’re planning to advertise in the local paper or on an industry blog, before creating your ad do some research and study the other ads in that space to make sure yours will stand out. Once your ad is created you can test it by using your own personal judgment, or use a small group of target buyers to test your ad for uniqueness, incentive, credibility and stickiness (will people remember it?).

Look Professional

Even if you’re operating on a shoestring budget you can design professional print or banner ads by using desktop publishing software. And, if your budget allows, consider hiring professional designers and copywriters who can take your ad and turn it into something that grabs the reader’s attention and gets your message across.

Print and digital ads have something else in common: they only have seconds to make a good first impression, so be sure yours follow these guidelines to make the biggest and best impact.


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Tags: digital ads, print ads

Are Billboards More Effective Than Print Media Advertising?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

I won’t keep you in suspense; the answer to the question posed in the title of this post is no, billboard advertising is not better or more effective than print media advertising. If you’re Nike and you have an in-exhaustive advertising budget, and you’re trying to launch your latest and greatest sneaker, then billboards may be a good addition to your overall marketing strategy.  But if you’re a local business owner with limited funds, you need a media channel that will reach your target demographic and deliver a return on your investment.

Here’s why you should trust your budget to print media advertising instead of billboard advertising:

Billboard messages have little staying power

According to Marketing Scoop, the average person will see a billboard ad for about two or three seconds. This means the message has to be incredibly short and to the point. People scan billboards as they drive Are Billboards More Effective Than Print Media Advertising?by (normally at rapid speeds) so the text has to be large enough to scan while in motion. This means your entire ad may be an image with two or three words, max. Hopefully your marketing department is creative enough to come up with a campaign that’s short and sweet and memorable.

Print, on the other hand, allows for various ad sizes to suit any budget. You may have a lot of text or little text, add an image or keep it copy only; the choice is entirely up to you. Print ads also have more staying power. People see the ad, cut it out and keep it on hand. The paper or magazine may even be passed on to a friend or family member who sees the ad and cuts it out to keep it on hand.

Billboards are an expensive commitment

You can imagine the time, energy and money it takes to change out a billboard ad, which is why most billboard companies charge so much and require advertisers to enter into long-term contracts. If your campaign strategy requires multiple messages delivered at specific times, billboards simply cannot deliver.

But you know what can? Print. You can request an important change be made to your ad on a Friday and that new and improved ad appears in Sunday’s paper generating sales.

Billboard ads have less impact

Sure they’re big, but that doesn’t mean billboard ads have much impact. Many commuters are subjected to dozens of billboards each day, and after awhile, it becomes all too easy for drivers to ignore them. Even if their eyes notice the ad, it doesn’t mean the person has internalized the message. In advertising, Are Billboards More Effective Than Print Media Advertising?that's a fail.

It is far easier to connect with readers through print media ads because they choose when to view your ad; they are in charge of the communication and when they read your message, it lands.

No niche marketing

There are times being visible to everyone has its advantages, like when you’re the sun. But for most advertisers, a successful campaign means having the ability to target your message to your ideal prospects, something billboard advertising simply can’t do.

But targeted messaging is something print does extremely well. Ads can easily be placed and read in periodicals by people who are the most likely to buy those products or services. That’s niche marketing at its best.

Extensive regulations 

Outdoor advertising is subject to extensive governmental regulation at the federal, state and local levels. County and municipal governments typically have sign controls as part of their zoning laws. Depending on where you conduct business, you may find your local government prohibits the construction of new billboards. Some may allow new construction but only if it replaces existing structures. Generally speaking, advertising through billboards will put you face-to-face with some kind of restrictions whether those refer to zones, spacing or height.

Print media, not so much.

If you have a large budget and your campaign’s focus is on brand recognition, then by all means, sign the long-term contract, deal with the regulation headaches, and hand over your ad spend. If, on the other hand, you need to make every penny count and want your message to be read by only those prospects who are candidates for actual sales, stick with what always works: print media advertising.


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Tags: print advertising

The Top 6 Digital Media Planning Faux Pas

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 @ 09:59 AM

I’ll never forget the time I took my mother to her doctor’s appointment, and as we sat in the tiny room that was too cold and painted an odd yellow-brown color waiting for the doctor to make an appearance, a funny-maternity-shirtnurse cheerfully took my mother’s vitals. Well, this particular nurse was very... rotund, and in an effort to make some friendly small talk my mother asked her, “When are you due?” The rotund nurse explained tomy mother that she wasnt pregnant then quietly left the chilly yellow-brown room. I thought faux pas like these only happened on TV or in the movies, but nope, apparently they happen wherever my mother happens to be.

Faux pas are very unpleasant for all parties involved, so in an effort to help you avoid any unpleasantries when launching your online campaigns, here are the top digital media planning faux pas to avoid:

Living in the Past

Digital media is constantly evolving; new technologies and social outlets emerge almost daily. Any digital media plan that relies on past experiences to deliver future results is dead in the water. Those media planners left with the task of developing and executing digital campaigns need to constantly stay on top of new technologies and trends if they want to provide a return on the investment.

Assuming Anything

Most people who make assumptions do so because they’re afraid to ask too many questions or not enough questions or just one really stupid one. Done correctly, digital media planning requires many questions to be asked such as:

  • What are the campaign goals?
  • What does past research show?
  • What metrics will we use?
  • Who are our biggest competitors?
  • Who is our target audience?
  • Should this be an integrated campaign?
  • How much lead time do we need?

Digital media planners should never be afraid to speak with all team members and ask as many questions as they need to make sure they know the campaign’s objectives and can devise the most comprehensive plan to reach them.

Not Wearing Enough Hats

The role of digital media planner isn’t an easy one to fill. Online campaigns require you to understand numbers, be a critical and strategic thinker, have the ability to analyze various channels and hatsopportunities, and be a clear communicator. Good digital media planning is not taking half the budget and sinking it into an ad network; it’s about developing creative strategies and constantly testing and tweaking them for better results.

Not Following-Up

The person in charge of developing a company’s digital media plan may think once the plan is in place their job is done and it is now up to other team members to execute that plan. But this is a faux pas waiting to happen. Media planners need to stay involved during the initial launch of the campaign to make sure there are no under-performing placements in need of attention. They should also be on hand to analyze any data reports so they can adjust the campaign as needed and use the information as a way to provide feedback to the publishers with whom they work.

Launching When No One Cares

You wouldn’t think digital media planners would allow campaigns to be launched on, oh, say a Friday or during a major holiday, but it actually happens all the time. The digital landscape is far too competitive to let the ball drop over something as important as a campaign’s launch date.

Not Learning from Your Mistakes

I can tell you for certain, anytime my mother and I were around rotund women who could potentially not be pregnant I was on guard, ready to interrupt with a line about the weather should my mother even start to utter the words, “When are...” I had learned my lesson.

Digital media planning requires constant learning. And not just from things that did work, but from those that didn’t as well. Those planners who don’t find the lesson in their failures will have more of them.

Digital media planning isn’t just about placing ads online; it’s about determining how, when and where to reach your target audience while being ever mindful of ROI. The fewer faux pas made, the better the results.


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Tags: digital media planning

Newspaper Advertising vs. Radio Advertising – And the Winner is....

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:33 AM

In any economy, especially one that continues to limp along, advertisers are looking for solid results in exchange for their ad spend. Many local business owners have recognized that digital media isn’t necessarily the holy grail of advertising, and that tried-and-true marketing channels such as radio and print are still very viable and effective at getting their message in front of an audience.

But, between newspaper and radio, which channel offers the most advantages? We’re glad you asked.

Radio Advertising

When meeting with a salesperson for your local radio station you will no doubt find their pitch to be creative and enthusiastic. They may even play a spec ad on tape and show you graphs of listener demographics and maps that show how far their signal reaches. It is all very convincing and will most likely raise your expectations enough to hand over your allotted budget.

But let’s look a little closer at the limitations of radio advertising.

What is the actual market share offered?

If you sit in your car and tune in all the FM and AM stations in your local area, you will find that, even in small markets, there will be 20 or more radio stations with a listening audience. This means the market share is split up into small numbers for market penetration even for the biggest radio station. There may be 50,000 households in your market, but the station you are working with may only reach 1,000 of them.

Radio-NewspaperWhy is the radio on?

Why do people listen to the radio? They either listen to be entertained or simply to have background noise while driving or doing household chores. For those who listen to be entertained, advertising is considered an interruption. For those who have the radio on simply for background noise, the advertisement goes completely unnoticed.

Satellite radio has taken off in the last five years because people are willing to pay extra to avoid the dreaded commercials. Many new cars, in fact, have satellite radio built right in.

The radio industry itself recognizes listeners don’t want to have their music interrupted by advertising, which is why many stations promote themselves as the station that “plays more music, less commercials.”

More competition drives up ad prices

The peak time for radio listening is obviously during the morning and evening commute. So, though there may be 24 hours in a day, there are really only about four to six hours where your ads might possibly be heard. Consider the fact there may be 20 – 30 local businesses all vying for the same airtime and you quickly realize why radio advertising can be so expensive.

Who makes up your audience?

Radio stations often throw numbers around and claim 75% of households are listening during the day, but who is making up this listening audience? Are you sure it’s the demographic you’re trying to reach? Many stations’ core audience is made up of 13 – 21 year olds – are these the customers you’re trying to sell to?

How much lasting power do radio ads have?A radio ad plays for 30 seconds and then it is gone

A radio ad plays for 30 seconds and then it is gone, never to be thought of again. And forget including a phone number or email address in the ad; unless you expect your audience to pull over on the side of the road and jot down your contact information, chances are they’ll never remember (that’s if they actually listened to the commercial and didn’t hit the TUNE or SCAN button first).

Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers have had their fair share of ups and downs since the emergence of digital media, but despite this, they have steadily maintained their local readership base and strength for local marketing.

Let’s take a look at the many advantages of newspaper advertising:

  1. Advertising in a newspaper is not seen as an interruption. In fact, numerous surveys have shown one of the reasons people buy newspapers is to view the ads for their local stores and businesses. Consumers do want and need to be exposed to advertising; they simply want ads on their own terms.

  2. A newspaper ad can be cut out and saved for later. This means your coupon or contact information can and usually will land on someone’s refrigerator or in their wallet or purse.

  3. Unlike radio, whose market share is often far less than first calculated, local newspapers consistently deliver to 50% or more of households. And they do it 365 days out of the year.

  4. Unlike radio, which is often playing in the background and not really heard, newspapers can deliver true consumer engagement. When a person reads an advertisement it’s because they choose to do so. They give their full attention to your message and will remember you when they need your product or service.

  5. You’ve probably heard newspaper subscriptions and readership have dropped in the last five years or so, and that’s somewhat true, but not to the extent that many would like you to believe. The other side of that coin is, the readership of the online versions of newspapers is growing rapidly, much faster than the 7% or so losses in the physical subscriptions.

You can see why many advertisers are steering away from radio advertising and back into traditional print media. Ideally, newspapers shouldn’t be your only medium of advertising, as a mix of channels always works best, but print media is a solid foundation on which you can build an effective marketing plan that will give you the greatest return on your investment.


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Tags: newspaper advertising

How to Create Effective Direct Response Newspaper Ads

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

One of the smartest ways local businesses can create a new customer base is to design a compelling newspaper ad. Sadly, many local advertisers are greatly confused by what makes a newspaper ad compelling in the first place. Open any local paper and take a look at the ads. Most of them will be nothing more than a larger version of the company’s business card; you know – company name, what they do, contact information.

The late and great advertising executive David Ogilvy once said, “Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn't sell much of anything.” It’s not enough to put your company information in the paper, and it’s not enough to have an image of your product front and center. What advertisers need to be focusing on is creating messaging that elicits a direct response from prospects. The business-card-as-advertisement method will do nothing in the way of compelling people to buy what you’re selling.

How to Create Effective Direct Response Newspaper Ads

Direct Response Advertising to the Rescue

The sole purpose of direct response advertising is to get the reader’s attention, interest, and desire immediately, and then get them to take some form of action. Effective direct response ads get the reader’s attention through a compelling headline. They create interest by manipulating human emotions (in a good way) and touching on the reader’s problems. Desire is then created by offering solutions to those problems and the call-to-action follows through by making that solution highly desirable and an absolute no-brainer.

Direct Response Ad Breakdown

There are various components to an effective direct response ad, but for the purpose of this post, let’s focus on the big three: the headline, the offer and the call-to-action.


Extra! Extra! What makes a compelling headline? Well, let’s first discuss what doesn’t make a compelling headline. We’ve already discussed that a company name does not a compelling headline make. The reader (A.K.A. prospect) could care less what you call yourself; all they want to know is what can you do for them.

The reader will use your headline to decide if they want to read further and know more about your offer. In a way, you could say your headline is an ad for the ad itself and will communicate clearly to the reader that reading the rest of the ad will benefit them in some way. So make sure to craft your headlines with the reader’s problems and ambitions in mind. Don’t know your prospects’ pain and ambitions? Then you need to do more research on your market and come back to the headline when you know more about your audience.


Your offer will never be effective unless the body copy of your ad makes an incredibly convincing case as to why someone should want your product or service. Then and only then should you offer to sell the reader a solution to their problem and at a specific price.

Compelling offers are simple and don’t confuse the reader with too many choices of pricing or components. In order for your offer to be effective, simply state what benefits the buyer receives when they purchase the product or service, what results they can expect because of this purchase, and finally, mention the price at the end.

How to Create Effective Direct Response Newspaper Ads - CTACall-to-Action

This is the RESPONSE in direct response advertising. Your call-to-action must force the reader to respond to your compelling and appealing offer. More often than not an advertiser will create copy that has given all the information necessary to make a buying decision, but in the end, the ad failed to tell the reader exactly how they needed to respond. The call-to-action puts the “How” in “Howdy!” Tell your prospect exactly what you want them to do and be as clear as possible. If you’ve written the rest of your ad right, then you’ve earned your right to sell and a good many of your prospects will buy.

In advertising, nothing else matters but results. Creating a brand may be okay for the big shots with the big ad spend, but for local businesses with tighter budgets, it is more beneficial to create reactions and get responses.


Image credit: Instant Income

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Tags: direct response advertising

Why Print Ads Beat TV Ads Every Time

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

What do you suppose would happen if print advertising and television advertising went head-to-head, or rather, foot-to-foot in the World Cup finals? Print ads would score more goals and beat TV ads hands down, er, feet down.

Here’s why:

Print Ads Have Real Speed

Now I’m not a real soccer fan myself, as you can guess from my faux pas of calling it “soccer” instead of “football.” At any rate, from what I understand of the game, the idea is to get the ball waaaaaay down the field and into the goal, and from what I understand of sports in general, the best and easiest way to do this is by using speed.

Print Ads Have Real SpeedNot only do print ads allow you to get your brand’s message out quickly, they also make it easy to change those ads as quick and often as necessary. Let’s stick with our World Cup analogy and suppose your company sells sporting merchandise. If, over the weekend, team USA wins the World Cup, you can run an ad in Monday’s sports section of the local paper offering championship apparel for sale. TV ads, on the other hand, take far more time to produce and get on the air, so the opportunities to take advantage of news and events that are trending are far fewer.

TV Ads are More Affordable

Producing TV commercials is costly, not to mention the fact that once your costly ad is made, you then need to buy even costlier airtime to get it in front of your audience. Print ads come in a variety of sizes making almost anyone’s budget able to purchase space.

Any Time Exposure

Print ads allow for unlimited “any time” exposure. While TV ads are scheduled and only shown a certain number of times per day, prospects have the potential exposure to print ads at virtually any time. As long as newspapers and magazines will be left on coffee tables, kitchen tables, bus seats and taxi cab seats, your ads can be viewed multiple times by multiple readers.

On top of that, giving out a phone number or web address on a TV commercial will send people into the other room looking for a pen. But how easy is it for people to simply cut out a newspaper ad with all of the vital information right in it? Real easy.

People Just Like Print Ads BetterWhy Print Ads Beat TV Ads Every Time

People have never really much cared for TV ads. In fact, I am certain that is why remote controls were invented, so an individual could flip past the commercials from the comfort of their recliner. And now, with DVRs and streaming video, prospects can ignore TV commercials altogether.

People tend to like print ads, though, because they are non-intrusive. Print media allows readers to have control over when they view the ads, completely eliminating interruptions.

Choice of Location

Oftentimes you have no control over which time slot your TV ad is aired. Handing over big money and hoping for the best ROI – that’s just ASI (ad spend insanity). When it comes to print ads, you have control over where the ad is placed, which allows for the highest chance of visibility and biggest ROI.


Watching television is a very passive experience that many people do while doing something else, for example, talking on the phone, folding laundry or surfing the Internet. Newspaper and magazine readers, on the other hand, are truly focused on the content and engaged with the messaging.

Because of this personal and tactile experience with printed material, print ads build your brand through the credibility of the publication and readers consider your brand as a leader in your industry.


In many ways, print is an ideal advertising medium because it is engaging, creative, available in both large and small numbers, and offers flexible options for all kinds of budgets. If you haven’t incorporated print into your marketing mix, what are you waiting for?


Image credit: Annie LeibovitzBundesliga

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Tags: print advertising, print ads

Why Walter White Would Have Made One Heck of a Media Buyer

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jul 01, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

I admit, I am coming late to the “Breaking Bad” party, just like I came late to “The Sopranos” party and “Downton Abbey” party. But hey, I arrive eventually. So as I’m watching an episode of Breaking Bad the other night on Netflix (I’m only on season two, so please don’t tell me what happens) it occurs to me Walter White would have made one heck of a media buyer.

Why Walter White Would Have Been a Good Media BuyerI mean, it has been said media buying is an art as much as it is a science – kind of like cooking pure crystal meth, wouldn’t you agree? Great media buyers are experts in their field, have the ability to identify new opportunities, and are fearless negotiators, which is why I posit that Walter would have been great at it.

Here are some other reasons:

He wasn’t afraid to take risks

Walter was a risk taker – he had to be. He had an important goal and he wasn’t afraid to try new things (or get into new trouble) in order to reach that goal.

By the same token, in order to set a client’s brand apart and identify a competitive advantage, buyers must also be open to taking necessary risks by testing new platforms, technology and media. Many buyers stick to safe bets that won’t get them in trouble, but playing it safe never leads to marketing innovation.

Age was on his side

How many times did Walter have to school younger Jessie on the smartest, most logical way to go about cooking and selling crystal meth? Yo, Jessie may have had youthful enthusiasm yo, but it was Walter who had what only age can give you – the ability to think and reason and make smart decisions based on good ol’ life experience.

According to Salary.com, 65% of media buyers in the United States have less than five years of experience, and 28% of them have a year or less. While the majority of these buyers have a natural talent and enthusiasm for the service they provide, there is nothing like working with a media buyer with years of experience behind them, which allows them to make the best decisions on their client’s behalf.

Walter didn’t rush things

Everyone knows cooking crystal meth is an art form that takes time – you simply can’t rush it.Media buyers are patient

When it comes to testing the value of a new media channel, it takes patience. A good media buyer won’t expect a new partner to deliver unreasonable results within unreasonable time limits and with a tiny budget. Good buyers make sure their testing is based on actionable data not a random number of days or amount of ad spend. Patience is necessary when trying to determine which new channels to add to a client’s media portfolio.

He was a great negotiator

Remember when Walt had just shaved his head and he went to speak with that drug lord Tuco to do some major negotiating? Who knew chemistry teachers could be so badass? The only thing bad about my chemistry teacher was his breath.

A good media buyer will also have badass negotiating skills and buying influence in both national and local markets. Since buyers often place ads for several clients at once, it gives them a total spend that is much larger than a single company might bring to the table. This level of spending gives them some real negotiating power when it comes time to talk contracts.

He saw the big picture

While Jessie often had tunnel vision when it came to scaling the business, Walt had an easier time seeing the big picture: the need to independently ‘curate’ ingredients, tap into locations and opportunities for selling, and raise prices on their goods.

Media buyers have the ability to see the big picture in a way that an individual sales rep can’t. The buyer has done critical research and knows their client’s target customers and marketing goals, and can place orders based on meeting their clients advertising needs at the best possible prices.

You may not be able to hire Walter to buy media for you, but you can look for a buyer who is also not afraid of risks, has patience and experience, is a great negotiator and possesses the ability to see the big picture.



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Tags: media buying, media buyer

Print Advertising Trumps Digital Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 01:54 PM

Pssst... Have you heard the news? Print is dead. If you really believe that I’ve got some old ENRON stock I’d like to sell you. Sure, many businesses have completely migrated their advertising efforts to the web because that’s what people do when something new and shiny comes along. When I got my first Rubik’s Cube for Christmas, I hardly ever played with my Slinky anymore, but that doesn’t mean the Slinky stopped working. It was still very much a dependable toy, yearning for someone to push it off the top stair.print-advertising-trumps-digital-advertising

And print is still a very dependable and necessary component of an ad campaign. In fact, there has been a bit of a resurgence in print advertising because advertisers recognize the fact that, in a crowded online market polluted with banner and display ads, print is a legitimate alternative for branding and engagement.

According to an article on Folio, there have been almost twice as many magazines launched in 2014 (45) as there were in 2013 (23). Indie publishers like Monocle, PORT, and the gentlewoman have gotten into the print game and Newsweek returned to print with a big launch at SXSW. Even large digital publishers like Pando and POLITICO are trying out print for the very first time.

So why this resurgence, and why are so many well-established digital publishers turning to print media for the first time? Because they understand print advertising offers some advantages over digital advertising.

For example:

newspaper-print-advertisingPrint is Tangible

As advanced as technology has become, human beings still have quirks; namely, we like to touch things. A print piece is tangible: a physical thing we can hold on to, flip the pages, dog ear an article we want to come back to. Magazines and newspapers are ‘things’ that stay in houses and offices for months and years while digital ads disappear into cyberspace. Also, it’s very difficult to swat a fly with a digital ad.

Print is Trusted

Let’s face it: the web is littered with pop-ups and banner ads. Add to this digital congestion people’s fear of spam and viruses and you understand why some are simply too weary to click on much of anything. There is no imminent threat in a print ad, unless it’s one of those horrible perfume samples that give me an instant headache. Magazines and newspapers are trusted and because of this, the ads found inside are trusted as well.

Target Marketing

Print media offers highly targeted marketing possibilities. Placing ads in specialty magazines allows you to reach niche audiences while newspapers offer myriad segmentation capabilities.

Print Readers Have BIG Attention Spans

Think about how you normally surf the web: you’ve got five or six tabs open at once, you’re instant messaging one friend while checking out another’s vacation photos on his Facebook page, and the TV’s blaring in the background. Chances are you’re not very focused on or receptive to all the digital advertising you’re coming across. But when people read the newspaper or a magazine, they tend to be focused on what they are reading and only what they are reading.

Folio Magazine reported on a Ball State University study that illustrated when magazines are read by consumers, they are the exclusive medium 85% of the time, meaning, when someone reads a magazine, they are typically not multitasking.

Less Competition

Since a majority of businesses are relying solely on the Internet for their marketing, print publications offer less advertising competition so your ad will shine. And that same print ad may very well have cost you far less because everyone is spending big ad dollars online so print sales reps are more willing to work out deals with advertisers.

print-advertising-newspaperFrequency and Reach

Magazines and newspapers offer a longer lifespan than most other advertising media. They are generally kept for a longer period of time and are passed around between family members, friends and colleagues.

A Dedicated and Loyal Readership

Many advertising avenues are considered intrusions by consumers, but magazines and newspapers attract loyal readers who trust the source and welcome the information provided with open arms and eyes.

“Influentials” are Influenced by Print

According to an MRI Survey of the American Consumer, so-called “influentials,” those who have the power to sway other consumers, are influenced by print, with 61% reporting being influenced by magazines and 53% being influenced by newspapers.

As you can see, print definitely has some advantages over its little brother digital. This isn’t to say digital shouldn’t be a part of your overall marketing strategy. No matter what the mix, print and digital can effectively work together and create a marketing solution that drives online and offline sales. At the end of the day it all comes down to reach, frequency and engagement. Using print advertising to initially engage a prospect then backing up that engagement with digital solutions that enables further interaction will give far better return on investment than using print or digital communications alone.


Images courtesy of Sanja Gjenero, rgbstock.com, gotmesh.org

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Tags: print advertising