Should you spend any more money on Newspaper advertising

Written by on Oct 16, 2009 in Small Businesses | 0 comments

Advertising in the local papers in Surrey and Hampshire can be very expensive.

But does it work anymore, from my experience in most cases no. But I hear you say it works for my business, why only last week I met John down the pub and he said he said he seen my advert in the paper.

Or was it your auntie Joan, who told you that she had seen your advert and thought “It was very good”.

Unfortunately, most advertisers, probably near 90% don’t know which of their advertising pieces work.

But somewhere they read, (I know I did) that you ought to be spending 2-5% of your income on advertising on advertising and marketing.


Retailing tycoon John Wanamaker once said, “I know that half of my advertising doesn’t work. The problem is, I don’t know which half.”

And that was a problem until the internet came along, now you can track if your advertising and promotion does work, at least on the internet. Its easy and there is a free tool from Google to track visitors to your site.

But long before the internet, you still could track response, by using Direct Response Marketing. Even going back nearly a hundred years there were experts called “Direct Response Advertising Experts”

So what is Direct Response and how could it help small businesses in Surrey and Hampshire.

Not long ago I owned several businesses in the catering market. Of this small portfolio, I owned two restaurants and I was pestered all the time by the local sales representatives of the “Star Newspaper”  to advertise with them. One of the main arguments that the many sales reps put to me as one of the main reasons that I ought to advertise with them was because all my competitors were ugh!

“And what sort of response are they getting?” I would ask, “well we have over 75,000 papers printed and a lot of people always look at the dining out section…etc.” Same old drivel no real answer just the same sales rep. spiel.

It was only when I tested my ads in the Star Newspaper and put a “Compelling Offer” of £10 off or a free main course into the ad that I got some idea of the volume of people visiting the pages.

Now 10 years ago it was a good idea to advertise in the Star, the advert didn’t have the same effect 5 years ago and now its just not worth it.

People do not read the local papers.  Yes they might skim through for some local news and advertisers look to see if their ad is there and what it looks like, but nowadays people go on-line.

Local business could do themselves a power of good  and save themselves a great deal of money by concentrating on their on-line presence. These days having a blog is very important and so is the use of video to show off the products or services that companies offer.

Recently I made and uploaded a video  for a local taxi company. Two versions of that video are on the first page of Google.

So if you are going to advertise in the local newspaper or magazine, put a compelling offer into the ad along with a simple code, like 123 that the customer has to give you when they place their order. Then make a note of where the orders are coming from, remember that each advert should have different code, otherwise you wont know which advert or publication works best for your business.

If you need help in building up your business presence on the internet or you would like a promotional video made about your business, please call or email me.


07712 777 822 01252 872834