Forum held on best use of advertising dollars

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MIAMI BEACH – It used to be that companies looking to spend advertising dollars automatically went to print – newspapers or magazines – to spread the news about their products or programs. But these days, when many turn to the Internet to make buying decisions, that model may be changing.

“The Great Media Debate: Where to Put Your Ad Dollars,” was presented by the Marine Marketers of America during last week’s Miami International Boat Show. The panelists were James Causey, vice president of Dominion Media, a division of Dominion Enterprises, which produces Soundings Trade Only; and Peter Janssen, editorial director of Motor Boating magazine, published by Bonnier Corp.

“We have to build on what’s happened in the past, but not live in it,” Causey said, noting that a recent survey showed many manufacturers and distributers are decreasing their marketing budgets for direct mail, newspapers and magazines. “You have to be flexible. You can’t just be the ‘print guy.’ ”

We’re not just in the magazine business, he stressed, but in the content business, providing information in many forms, including print, but not limited to it.

“We don’t know all the time where someone touches us the first time,” Causey said. “But once they do touch us, we have to own them.”

The physical magazine, digital media and face-to-face communications all need to work together, he added.

Janssen agreed, saying you can’t put “all your eggs in the print basket,” though it can be the centerpiece of a diversified media plan. Magazines, he said, are the driver of brand awareness – they bring in the people.

“Magazines are the No. 1 medium of engagement,” he said, adding it’s magazines where you can make the emotional connection to readers. “We’re in the dream business. We’re selling dreams.”

After all, he added, magazine pages provide the ability to make a visual impact that’s just not possible on a computer screen.

— Beth Rosenberg


7 comments on “Forum held on best use of advertising dollars

  1. Wayne Johnson

    Seems to me that two people directly tied to print/advertising suggested that you should use print as a means to communiacate.  What a surprise. What about digitial media?  cost benefits, reach, ability to measure effectiveness…  What about facebook fan pages = FREE.  Were those mentioned?  It would be nice to hear what “other” options are out there for advertising.

  2. Jan Hurt

    Got to love the quote
    “After all, he added, magazine pages provide the ability to make a visual impact that’s just not possible on a computer screen”
    This guy must have a 1980 IBM PC with a monochrome monitor. By the way I think you can actually have movement on a computer screen.

  3. Rob Everse

    It’s unfortunate that this is the only outcome to a question that has no simple answer. The reality is that we as an industry and directly as marketers need to better understand the combination of all media and then directly consider reach and influence of each one. As the two experts both pointed out print is merely one part of any successful campaign. What works best for your demographic, your region, your budget, and your expectations for that particular campaign is what matters. Boat running left and boat running right with a fancy headline isn’t going to sell you more products. You need to build trust with your customers and that starts with the integrity of the publications, digital properties, etc. you choose to do business with. You should be doing everything you can afford to do. We have a long road to undo past sins. Building trust should be first priority for anyone reading this. This is true for B2B and B2C objectives.

  4. Ernesto Martinez-Ordaz

    Digital is the only way to go now.
    I am a subscriber to cycling magazines and other outdoor publications. Sure, the print ads might look nice and full of glitz, but before buying, I usually to message boards – yes, those are online. Message boards are full of good ideas, ratings on products, etc.
    If a fancy product/ad placement interests me, I will go online and find out who is using it and why – that is a factor that affects my decision in buying.
    I was once in Madison, talking to an RV dealer about what I do and how our services can help him greatly. His response to me…
    RV: young man, I got it covered
    Me: how so?
    RV: I pay $1000/month for advertising in the Madison newspaper. I was assured that I was going to appear sporadically every Sunday on the newspaper to catch people’s attention
    Me: so you are spending $250/week, for an ad that will just “show up?”
    RV: yes!
    Me: I see a problem with that. Me, as a consumer that only reads the newspaper on Sunday – I can assure you that I only read the front page and the comics. I don’t touch anything else. After a half hour, the newspaper ends up in the recycling bin. Why? I get most of what I need from the web.
    RV guy gave me a look I will never forget
    Me: how do you measure the amount of people that saw your ad on the paper?
    RV: well, the guy who… well, he told me that people would see it!
    He got taken for a ride.
    That’s my 2 cents.

  5. Waterway Guide Bob

    Who are you trying to reach?  Does it require shotgun or rifle shot?  If it is rifle, find a targeted media for your product or service.  One that focuses on your geography, and only those who need/want your product or service.  Yes, that’s tough.  Does paying for an international magazine make sense if you have a marina, restaraunt, or boatyard in Stuart or Miami?  Why put your ad in front of trailer boaters, among everyone else, on the Pacific Coast?  Print can work especially on board moving boats/yachts.  Find a publication that lives there especially as they travel to Stuart or Miami.  Find an advertising partner that gives good coverage in both print and Web.  This is not an answer for everyone.

  6. Todd

    Personally I would love to see John Eppehimer on a panel.
    Our company hired him to consult us about a year ago on digital media. We now do more sales per day then we have ever done in a good economy.
    I think the marine industry needs to soon learn that the normal big players in media for our industry no longer have the attention of our consumers.
    Some will learn but most will not.
    All I can say is we are no doubt happy our president had the insight to chase someone like John and believe.
    After spending hours with him I would no doubt love to see a open panel with him on it.
    If you know him then you know what I mean.
    If you dont know him you should find him.

  7. Gregg Boersma (Insight Marketing & Media)

    Meant to comment on this earlier, but follow-up from the Miami show has kept me very busy.
    Well put Rob (Everse).  This is not an “either/or” conversation.  One doesn’t build a house with just a hammer.  You need to use a variety of tools — each serving their purpose.  My brother, who is a master carpenter, often refers to the fact that some boards need to be “persuaded.”  Obviously, different tools provide different forms of “persuasion.”
    Also, IMHO, too much emphasis has been place on response.  Sure that’s important, and marketing campaigns designed and executed with the objective of generating response should do just that.  (And even then, we must recognize that not all response is of equal value.) But there are other marketing objectives which many “marketers” overlook, such as building trust, desire, and loyalty.  In fact, I’d venture to say that many response campaigns fail because the marketer hasn’t made the effort to build these other factors.
    People do business with people they know, like and trust. It’s really no different with brands.  Use whatever tools are available to you — given your restriction of resources — to accomplish awareness, preference, and trust and your brand will succeed.

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