A great new website to help SMEs with their advertising strategy
Welcome to Advertising Inspector (AI), a totally new website resource for businesses and marketing agencies, which directly addresses the single biggest worry that businesses have when paper advertising – that of false claims of exposure by publishers for their magazine products. The website also has an immensely valuable marketing resource which is based on the Advertising Inspector team’s vast experience in SME marketing.
The AI Knowledgebase has been written specifically without jargon, making it easy to understand and is fairly blunt in its approach because we know time is in short supply for many business owners and managers. It’s not the complete story in terms of marketing, but what we’ve tried to address are the many issues that are raised in our dealings with companies. The AI team always say that marketing isn’t a black art, it’s just about getting the message out in front of people – much of it is purely common sense!
We cover 6 main areas of marketing with:
- General tips
- Online marketing
- Paper based marketing
- Social media marketing
- Radio marketing
- Email marketing
The Comparison Tables
Of course, our magazine comparison tables break new ground in that we take a totally evidence based approach to our appraisals, and it’s worth saying here that if a magazine company don’t provide us with an audit of their circulation, be it copies sold or copies distributed (for free magazines), then the only conclusion to be drawn is that the publisher is hiding their circulation figures because they’re low. It’s true to say if a magazine has a large circulation, they’ll want to shout about it, not hide it.
We have to comment at this point in time (May 2016 – pre-launch), that of the magazines we’ve reviewed (11 titles in total), only one publisher so far, has come back with audited figures for their circulation. As a marketing company (outside of AI), we were aware of the misinformation that publishers put out regarding their publications, but following our audits, we’ve been astounded by the scale of this issue.
Interestingly, a conversation with one of the Editors, was the most convoluted I think I’d ever heard, part of it went like this:
Lucinda: Just phoning to ask if you’re going to be supplying audited figures for your claimed circulation? (this was in the week after sending out audit notices).
Editor (X magazine): No, I think we’ll leave it this year.
Lucinda: Are you sure, by not submitting verified figures it will show your publication in an extremely bad light, our AI e-newsletter is being emailed out to thousands of businesses across the South West?
Editor: Yes – it’s very difficult for us to work out figures, because we can’t predict who will buy how many, and when.
Lucinda: but surely you can provide indicative figures for last year at least (2015). You must know how many you’ve sold? The wholesale distributors will have supplied reports of figures and revenue due surely. And you’d then add up all the figures for the year, divide by 12 and get a monthly average copies sold figure?
Editor: We don’t work like that, if someone came to us and told us they wanted to sell a car, we’d turn them away, because the magazine doesn’t cater for that type of proposition, it’s a much slower cycle.
Lucinda: But I wasn’t asking about that scenario, it’s fairly simple, you just need to provide evidence of your claimed circulation, otherwise your claim remains just a claim, and this will show you in a bad light on our comparisons tables in your county.
Editor: No, I think we’ll refrain this year.
We could only surmise from this conversation that the figures they’d claimed were not actually true, and they’d decided they certainly didn’t want them bringing to light as it would devalue their marketing proposition to businesses and consequently damage their advert rates and publication in general.
Our audit process is totally open, but it does require any figures quoted in our comparison tables to be properly audited. We’ll keep you posted of any changes from publishers. If you’re a business, and have any comments to add, or queries, we’d be delighted to hear from you (contact us).