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Why Articles Beat Ads in Book Marketing Power

Apr 7, 2008
The credibility of seeing something in print is so powerful, it's become a clinch ("I saw it in print"). Just one good article in a decent magazine can do more for the marketing destiny of your company or books, product or service than several back-to-back ad campaigns.

Why? Because America loves magazines. Just look at the numbers. According to Oxford Communications, there were a whopping 22,106 magazines in some 308 categories in 2006. That means there were 308 specific topics of interest that Americans' actually, people all over the world loved to read about last year.

Overdosing on Ads

In virtually all of those 22,106 magazines, there were both ads and articles. It's true, many readers do respond to these ads, mainly because they relate to the content of the magazine. But, and here's the big problem with advertising: since we're absolutely bombarded with ads every single day, it's just hard to focus on them. Here's what Fordham University found:

* Advertising is the most pervasive element of the marketing mix: the average American family of four is exposed to 1,500 advertising messages a day!

Wow. That boils down to something like 300 to 400 ads for each of us each day, whether we like it or not. And because, most of the time, we don't like it, our wonderful brains screen this promotional onslaught to, essentially, safeguard our sanity. So although we may be exposed to 300 to 400 ads a day, we literally don't "see" many of them at all.

Now articles are another matter altogether.

My Own Dramatic Story Of The Profit Power Of Articles:

Subscribers to those 22,106 magazines are hungry for information on their favorite subjects, so the articles there (unlike all those ads) are actually welcome. And readers tend to accept the information presented in them without question, because it's as if the magazines are actually endorsing the articles' content.

Let me give you a good example of their sheer profit power. In the very early days of my career, I worked as the director of sales and marketing for a money manager. My job was to generate leads and bring in new clients who had a minimum of $100K to invest.

One day, a reporter from The Robb Report called to do a story on money managers. While talking with my boss, the reporter discovered that he lived in the 90210 Zip Code (this was during the height of that popular TV show) drove a brand new Mercedes and was married to a famous actress. That apparently was enough to land a lengthy feature story inside the magazine with his picture (alongside his Mercedes) plastered on the magazine cover!

When the story ran, it was like a financial earthquake! I practically became an order taker, the phones literally rang off the hook with investors who wanted their money managed by the firm. The $20 million under management became $50 million in an incredibly short time!

How many ads would it have taken to get him from $20 million to $50 million? Maybe the better question is, could ads have even done the job?
About the Author
Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on publicity for authors for nearly two decades as CEO of Event Management Services, Inc (EMSI). If you would like to receive her free Ebook "How to Be a Great Talk Radio Guest" visit http://www.emsincorporated.com.
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