I speak with quite a few chiropractors running my ads in their local newspapers. Recently a doctor sent an ad to me that he had ran. He wanted me to give him my opinion on my it didn’t work.
At first, I had difficulty identifying if it was even my ad. The photo certainly wasn’t mine. The headline didn’t look right or even make sense to me. And the spacing was terrible.
It could only be called “my ad” in the same sense a Filipino barber cracking someone’s neck could be called a “chiropractic adjustment”!
Then I realized where he’d gone wrong…
He had committed the biggest mistake when it comes to newspaper advertising.
Here’s the mistake.
Don’t let the newspaper rep or the art department direct you into wasteful spending. Their job is to sell you the ad space, not sell you the ad design.
Don’t be a victim to this one. If you’re new to advertising or it’s the first time you are running in a particular newspaper, an experienced ad rep may try and put the pressure on you.
For example, the first time they look at one of my ads, they might tell you that this is not the typical ad that they see. It doesn’t look like the tanning salon’s ad or the MedSpa’s weight loss ad. It does not have color, it does not have graphics, it was not designed by their design department.
These people are clueless when it comes to writing an effective ad. How many courses, coaching programs, or classes have they had on copywriting, marketing, or even chiropractic?
Zero. Nada. Zilch.
A newspaper rep is trained in selling ad space. A graphic designer is trained in…you guessed it…graphic design work!
Any ad that they would design is based on what the designer or the ad rep thinks is a good ad. They have not been trained to develop proven, effective ads, nor do they know your business, the type of patient, and the type of emotional words and copy that would draw the best response.
Many of ad reps will not even know what a “copywriter” is, and yet they work in the advertising industry!
I don’t recommend ever letting the ad rep or the design department do anything to your ads, other than format them, to fit in their paper.
You do not want them to move paragraphs around. You do not want them to move the picture to the other said of the ad or to the top or to the bottom. You do not want to change the size of the headline.
Now they may need to change it from a 4 column to a five column ad, for example, but make sure when you see the proof, that everything is still there. And the photos are specifically place, so if they resize the ads, try to get the photo to stay where it should!
I’ve seen newspapers (and some doctors) horribly butcher the ads I wrote. Ads with a specific purpose, layout, picture, etc. Then the newspaper art department will come in and convince the doctor that they can “improve the ad”.
Which usually means completely rewriting the headline and replacing my ’empathy building’ photo with one of their pictures of a guy holding his back.
What Should A Good Rep Do?
A good newspaper rep should simply assist you in placing the ad. They’ll give you the different numbers you need to make a decision. You know, make sense of the overly complicated price layouts they have. Compare the price between a half page ad and 10,000 inserts.
Then you make the decision and place the ad you already have.
If you get a belligerent ad rep who insists they can develop a better ad for you, one with less copy and more graphics, say this,
“Sure, you can design and run whatever kind of ad you want for me, as long as you do it for free!”
Then I’ll pay to run mine (your Ultimate Chiropractic Ad) and we’ll compare the results. We’ll compare the ROI.
What’s that Mr. Newspaper rep? Oh, you don’t know what ROI is? Well that stands for Return On Investment, something I track on every ad.
Come into my office, let me give you a lesson on marketing…
This and other problems dealing with newspaper ad reps can be found in section 3, Manual 1 or on CD-Rom #2 of my ad kit.
Other topics discussed in section 3 of the manual are…
- How to negotiate the best ad position for the lowest price.
- What section of the newspaper you should never, ever run an ad in.
- Use this special phrase with your ad rep and get 50-80% off your ads month after month.
- Negotiating tricks that ad reps use against chiropractors.
- How to choose between a big, metro newspaper and a small community paper. (This one may surprise you.)
- Why you should never agree to run multiple ads in a newspaper until you’ve done this!
- The 5 pitfalls chiropractors must watch out for when running newspaper ads.
- How to determine which ads to “roll out” in a big way in other marketing media.
- When to run your ad as an insert and when to your run it as a regular space ad.
If you haven’t picked up the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads yet, find out more here…