Print Ads

I probably first heard it 10 or 12 years ago. Print is dead.

Yes, print is changing. Yes, readership has declined for many papers, perhaps most. Yes, some papers have gone out of business.

But the statements ... 'No one reads the paper any more' have no merit. Of course people are reading the paper, and every day. Millions of people. All kinds of papers. All over the country and the world.

As much as 10 and 20 years ago? No. Are people still reading the paper? Yes.

The thing about the paper that I thought many years ago, and still point out today ... the people who read the paper are some of the better and best customers that independent jewelers have.

True, young people (by and large) do not read the paper. If you want to reach the younger market, that younger bridal market, you're not going to reach them through the paper. Use other mediums: radio, in particular. And social media, though social media generally has a smaller reach. TV, where you have a wide selection of stations to choose from (which sometimes is a problem).

Who DO you reach through print? You reach 'the older crowd.' How old? Folks in their 40s, on up through as old as people live. The older generation. The generation below the older generation.

These men and women have money.

That's all it really boils down to with print. When you advertise in the paper, you are talking to people who have money.

And they have, on average, far more money than those young men and women in their 20s and 30s.

These older folks -- 40s on up -- are usually, if not always, the best customers for independent jewelers. If you look at your list of your top 10 to 100 customers, and look at their ages, you'll likely find that most of them are in that 'older age group.'

So when you advertise in the paper, you are talking to two important groups of people.

The first group are the men and women who are currently your customers. Is it important to advertise to them? Sure it is. It's very important. You need to keep talking to the people who ARE your customers, so that they stay your customers. Relationships need to be built, and maintained. They need to be taken care of. You keep talking to the people you want in your life. That includes customers whom you want to keep spending in your store. We quit talking to people, and what happens? They quit talking to us. You quit advertising (talking to) people who are your customers? They eventually quit spending with you. All of them? No. But quite a few of them will.

Keep advertising -- keep talking to -- the men and women who buy from you now.

The second group? Those men and women who do not spend money with you. They haven't been in your store. They may not even know you exist.

The first group? People who know you.

The second group? People who don't.

As for those people who don't shop with you, who don't know you? What are they like? Why are they a good group to talk to?

Well, they're older. We know that about newspaper readers. Being older, they on average earn a lot more money than the younger markets. That means they have money to spend on things that the younger market doesn't have money for.

The young bridal buyer -- when is the next time that fellow will buy a nice piece of jewelry for his new wife? Will he buy it next year? In five years? 10 years? If they're building a home, a family, careers, how long will it be until he and she have the resources to buy a nice piece of jewelry?

Contrast that with the 50 year old husband and wife.

They've raised their kids. Yes, kids are rarely really 'gone' in the financial sense, unless we're very lucky. But by and large, the heavy expenses of raising kids is done. Perhaps college is done, too. Or they're getting close.

They bought their house 10 or 20 or 25 years ago. If it's not paid off, they likely have a lot of equity in it. Their house payments are low, compared to what people pay today.

They've saved. The earning power of either or both the husband and wife has increased through the years as they've built skills, reputations, abilities, networks.

Their financial situation, compared to a couple in their 20s, or even 30s, is dramatically different than this couple who are 50.

Years ago, I read something somewhere that said the people in their 60s and older, controlled something like 2/3 of their wealth of the country. When you look at their savings, investments, property values, these are the people who have most of the wealth in the country.

The point is simple: these older people ... have the lion's share of money in this country. It works that way. Older people have been around longer, earned more, invested more, saved more. They have more money. A lot more money, than the younger folks do. That's as it should be.

So who reads the paper? Older folks.

The problem is that 'older folks' often get skipped over. I'm not sure why. There's the perpetual chase for the young bridal market. And that's a great market to chase, to talk to, to become familiar to. Of course it is. I'm not saying forget the young bridal market.

But I am saying ... remember the older folks.

Remember to talk to the folks who ARE you best customers now. Remember to talk to men and women who are like your best customers.

Again, look at your better and best customers. How old are they?

Look at those men and women who come in throughout the year, and who come in year after year. How old are they?

It would be nice to have more customers like those ones, wouldn't it?

Well, those men and women may very well be reading the paper every day.

Yes, they watch TV and they drive by billboards and they listen to the radio. They do Facebook. They do all those things. And many of them get the paper every day, sit down with it wherever they are, and read through it.

If you want to reach that group, one place to do it is through the paper.

If you could reach ONLY one group of people, who would you choose to reach? People who have money and the desire to own nice things? Or the young bridal market?

I don't mean to simplify this too much. I do mean to give pause to those who think that there's no value in advertising in the paper any more.

Now, am I talking ANY paper? Do shoppers reach the same crowds as, say, a daily paper? Not likely. As is the case with all media, different papers will reach different crowds. But if you have a daily or weekly paper that has actual news ... that you know people in your town read ... then keep in mind the ages and incomes of people who read that paper.

But going back to the question I asked: if you could reach only one group of people with your ad dollars ... who would you pick?

I would 'go after,' talk to, the people who have the most money. Who are the most educated. Who like finer things. Who can afford those finer things, from a nicer car to nicer clothes to a nicer home to nicer jewelry.

I would advertise in the paper. Because I know that I'm reaching, talking to, that group who has that money.

How much should you advertise in the paper?

Big question. No real answer to it. Except in the most general of ways.

If you're going to advertise in the paper, then be in it at least once a week. Whether the paper is a daily, a 3 times a week, 2 times a week, or weekly ... advertise at least once a week.

You don't need to advertise many times a week in the paper. In fact, if you have good messages, you likely can advertise less than other businesses, and see greater results. But that's a different topic.

The thing is, advertise at least once a week.

And a big thing is this: Change your ad every week.

Years ago, I got a call from a jeweler in Georgia. He had seen my ads somewhere, wanted to know if he could be part of the program. I had another jeweler in his market, and told him I couldn't work with him. But I shared something with him. I said, 'If you do nothing different with your newspaper ads, change them every week. I can't work with you, but I can offer that advice.'

A couple years later, I did a talk in Atlanta. After I was done, a jeweler walked up to me. He introduced himself. He was that jeweler that I had given that advice to.

He said, "I took your advice. I change my ad every week. I don't always have interesting words to say, but I do change the image, add a little personality to it. It's not a big ad. But I change it every week. And I have customers tell me that they see my ads."

Change is huge. In any medium. The more frequently you change what you say, the more attention you will draw to whatever it is you're saying.

We notice things that are different. We're wired that way.

And say interesting things in your advertising. Say things that YOU would find interesting, different, things that would catch your attention. This is where I come in with JATW. I've created probably close to 3,000 print ads in the past 19 years. The benefit to you is that you can change your ad every week without having to figure out what to say. I've done the 'saying' for you. You just pick messages you like.

How big does your ad need to be? Probably smaller than you think. You can run a 2x3 or 2x4. Most of the ads I create now are those sizes, along with a mix of 1-column ads.

There's so much to talk about with print. We've touched on just a bit, though these are important bits.

Yes, print is alive. Print is a 'viable medium.' Print reaches some of the very best men and women for independent jewelers.

As far as the price of the print ad program? It's $150 a month. For those one hundred and fifty dollars, you get access to -- and the right to use (in print only) -- all those ads that I've created that are on the site. You have more ads -- that do work -- at your fingertips, than are probably available in any other industry.

If you do the print ad program, and you want to also be part of the radio script program, you can radio for $50 a month more ($150 a month for that program if you just have radio) -- both programs for $200 a month.

So thanks for taking a read through this. If you're interested, let's talk when you can. And here's to your business growing in all the ways you serve people ... and growing, as a result, in dollars.