Alarm bells were ringing last week, when a client contacted us to ask for artwork for an advertising opportunity they had been invited to take up.
“Just take try your luck and see how you get on.” – we were told by the ad rep trying to flog the space…it gets worse!
This advertising wasn’t in our marketing plan, but that’s OK – we can be reactive and fluid, so we contacted the publication to find out more – fairly standard before spending any hard-earned cash. We had also, never heard of the publication so was thinking it wouldn’t be right if it’s not already on our radar!
We had an idea from reading the email it was a poor opportunity which would have wasted about £300…but we just wanted to check…you never know, we might have been wrong.
But we weren’t.
These are the basics I always ask for before booking an advertising – please save this post, bookmark it, copy and paste it, whatever you like, but please ask these questions before you pay a single penny for advertising!
This ad rep was from the breed of “I’ve got a target of how much ad space I need to sell and I don’t care who I sell it to.”
A good ad rep will talk you through the reasons why their publication matches your aims – a bad one will just flog space!
We asked: (None of this should have been a surprise!)
Who is the magazine aimed at – target audience?
How old are they?
What stage of life are they – anything related to property / mortgage status would be useful
Where do they live? (Percentages of counties / towns would be useful)
What income bracket are they?
What’s their interests?
Have you got any lifestyle info?
Where is it distributed physically – print versions?
How many people receive it on email?
Please could you send us the last 3 editions of the magazine please?
Please send your social media links – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
How do you market the publication?
Who do you market it to?
This is VERY simple stuff that a media pack would have contained – but she told us like we had arrived from the Dark Ages, that “…in this digital age, we don’t really do media packs.”
FYI everyone…media packs are always digital these days – just ask for them or download them from a publication’s website advertising page!
She replied, but hardly told us a thing – and this is where the alarm bells were ringing louder…she was only able to tell us a few things – nothing near what we needed to know to justify the ad spend for this client!
She told us:
Their readership is aged 18-60…no breakdown of how many in each age group was known.
Their readership lives in the Home Counties – but no idea where. There are 11 Home Counties – our client works across just 3, so chances are, it’s very slim pickings!
She also knew only that people subscribed – she didn’t know how they found out about it or why they subscribed just that they did! (Give us strength!)
No previous copies were sent.
Truly, truly, appalling!
We didn’t spend any money…and we never will. If you ask us who it was, we will tell you so that you don’t either!
She was right about one thing though, it would have been ‘trying our luck’ had we gone ahead, because given the lack of judgement, lack would have been all we had!
Please book advertising carefully – if you are being rushed for an answer because the deadline is soon or that price expires, run away…and fast.
Make sure it’s the right place for you to advertise, where your target audience, who are interested in your company, products, services and price, will see you.
Just one to think about if you are thinking ahead to 2024 advertising! I’d hate to hear of someone being ripped off!
If you need help to understand advertising opportunities, just get in touch – we can do all the research for you and make sure your spend is a good one!