Monday, 17 August 2009


Advertising is a tricky thing to get right. Because the shop is a little different, I get approached a lot. Newspapers, magazines, travel guides, web promoters, etc. I'm lucky in that I get a little more editorial than I might as, say, a card shop, but it can be very difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of each 'exciting opportunity'.

There are a couple of ways to gauge the effectiveness of advertising, but they can be clumsy and offputting at times. I take out a small and incredibly expensive advert in a tourist brochure that goes out in vast numbers all over the country. I have recently downsized the ad, as it had reached the point where I felt it may have become impossible to justify the expense. At least, with that one, people regularly come in waving the brochure. There are a couple of other Edinburgh tourist guides I go in most years, though I tend to vary it a little.

I also take out the occasional ad in the Scotsman and Evening News. With a newspaper ad, many people may see it, but it's a one day thing, quickly binned. Or recycled, of course. Web promotion seems even more nebulous, but at least some form of site traffic monitoring can be put in place in many cases.

I've recently had a spate of calls from website promoters suggesting I paid for their services last year and that it was time for me to renew. Or even, that i had agreed to split payment over two years and it was time for the next installment. This one was the fourth, and by this point I actually told the guy not that I didn't remember but that I didn't believe him. The first one was a little suspicious, but by the fourth over two months or so, I was certain it was a scam. A hard one to spot, though, as often money paid to push your website can seem like cash thrown into the wind.

However - I've had a few calls recently that I have listened to. I'm sponsoring a rubber chicken in a play in this year's Fringe. Gets my name in the program. I got to name the chicken, too. Woody. I'm going to have a 20 second ad running in the Ocean Terminal shopping centre for the next two years. It was a good deal, though it still added up to a hefty sum. I get to keep the rights to the ad, though, so maybe I'll be able to find something else to do with it. There will be some Mr Wood's Fossils 'advertorial' in Vogue this autumn, too. That was a call out of the blue. Apparently, someone had heard we sell meteorite pendants. Sadly, I won't be making the cover.


Christopher Walker said...

excellent marketing skills Mr D, and Vogue?!?!? you have got to let us know which edition!

Matt Dale said...

October, I think. Don't really know what they plan to do yet.