Clients reducing their print advertising, why?

There’s a new advertising sales manager at a local newspaper in East Devon who’s not very happy with me at the moment. She’s losing print advertising sales because of me.

At least three of my clients in East Devon have, on my recommendation, reduced their print advertising spend with this particular local newspaper. I can see that the sales manager is not amused.

The other day she asked me: “Have we done anything wrong?” which surprised me. My response was “No, we just don’t want to advertise at the moment.” I thought it was an unusual question to ask. Reflecting on it later I could see why she was confused.

The clients in question had regularly advertised in the local paper. Every year they were easily persuaded to sign up to an annual print advertising schedule. She couldn’t understand why that should suddenly change.

Why do small businesses focus on local press print advertising?

Small businesses often focus on local press advertising without ever really questioning the return on investment. Why?

  • They often don’t know what other marketing methods there are or how to go about them.
  • They think it’s better to spend on advertising than do nothing.
  • Advertising is the easy tick in the marketing box.
  • Vanity marketing – they like to see their brand in print.
  • They’re afraid not to. Advertising sales reps sell a good story.

Maximise your marketing budget

Most small businesses have limited budgets available for marketing. Advertising can quickly use up these budgets. We demonstrate to our clients that there are alternatives to advertising. They are often cheaper and more effective. We evaluate these alternatives alongside advertising opportunities and recommend what we think is their most effective form of marketing spend. As their outsourced marketing department we can then manage that marketing activity for them to help them achieve their business aims and objectives.

Advertising might form part of the overall marketing mix but it’s rarely the only form of marketing we advise they do. Hence the decline in print advertising spend with the local newspaper. The three clients in question are all redeploying their marketing budgets and trying out different forms of marketing. These are more targeted and should generate a greater return on investment. We haven’t binned the advertising but it will be more focused and part of an overall marketing plan.

Do you have a small business and rely on local press advertising? If you’d like to see what alternatives are available to you please get in touch.

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