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Where To Find Useful Info For My Marketing Plan?

Where To Find Useful Info About Magazines For My Marketing Plan?

This month’s article is inspired by conversations I’ve been having with other small business owners about marketing vs advertising.

So what is the difference between marketing and advertising? In our talks advertising is paid for space in publications etc while marketing is more about public relations and is free space in publications.

Paid for advertising for small business can be very difficult and costly, bringing back poor results and not really benefitting the business. Personally I think paid for advertising should be very carefully considered and research.

I know I’ve done paid for advertising in targetted publications which has not worked. I think I wasn’t ready for it and I used the wrong publication (even though it was targetted). So it was my lack of experience that cost me. I have learnt from it and it wasn’t too expensive but it isn’t how I want to learn my lessons on a regular basis (then it would be a costly process!).

What has worked best for me has been the free publicity, special marketing tools such as my website, key words, listings in directories, newsletter, business articles, reward card, competition, wholesale brochure, jewellery party brochure and flyer and mentions in newspapers and magazines.

All of these marketing tools do cost me in terms of development, production and maintenance but paid for advertising must be created and that costs too. At least with marketing there is only one cost rather than two.

I’ve written a series of articles on how to create your own marketing tools – for example using Microsoft Publisher to make business and reward cards, brochures and flyers. But when you’re ready to focus on newspapers and magazines with your marketing where do you find the details?

Where do you find out what publications are out there, who are the readers, what is the circulation, what is the subject of the publication?

The answer is simple, it is one book and it is national. You won’t find it in the business or marketing section of the bookshop, even though it is like a publication bible. The book is “The Australian Writer’s Marketplace – Every Contact You Will Ever Need to Succeed in the Writing Business” by the Queensland Writers Centre (God-bless their little souls for doing this!). The 2005 edition is out and available for about $30 – $40.

The first directory in it lists nearly all the magazines in Australia including details such as name of publication, postal address, street address, contact details, website, publisher, circulation, target readership, topics of interest, submission info and tips and general info. All very useful details when you’re planning your magazine marketing plan.

When you get your copy go through it with a lateral mind, a pack of small post it notes and tag interesting sounding publications. Later you can refine your list and work them into your marketing plan. Your marketing plan can as detailed or highlevel as you like, just having a written out view of where you want to go and want to achieve will make a huge difference. Believe me, I’ve done both and know which one brings the results. But this isn’t an article about marketing plans, this is about really good sources of information.

I also wanted equivelant books for overseas and I hunted around online for hours, getting frustrated, so I decided I was going to do the personal approach. I phoned the Queensland Writers Centre and they were wonderful. I wrote down the details, packed them and moved flats. And that was that.

But you know what happened last week? I was looking for a book for my Uncle’s birthday and found… the UK version! “Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2005” by A & C Black of London. I bought my copy from Angus and Robertson for $43 but I’m sure you can get it from most bookshops. Even if they don’t have it on hand they’ll be able to order the books.

The UK book has magazine details for UK, Ireland, Canada and South Africa – very useful!

If you are inclined to publish your own work both of these books are fabulous and well worth a complete, cover to cover read.

So what can you do with this information? How can it be useful for you?

Australian’s are some of the highest per capita consumers of magazines – we love them – we have a very healthy domestic magazine industry plus we support a lot of imported magazines.

If you want to reach your audience through print magazines can be the ideal vehicle. So you need to know which magazines exist and who reads them. Knowing how many copies are circulated and when also comes into the decision process. The Topics of Interest can also tell you about the reader and whether they are good potential customers for you.

These books make researching SO much easier and empower you to make informed decisions as well as giving you the ability to contact the publisher to get copies of previous editions. It is much easier and cheaper than buying 20 magazines and then finding out the one you really wanted to be in wasn’t stocked by the newsagency!

Just a final tip, there are amazing finds in bookshops, often not in the business section. So check out the reference books area in a variety of bookshops regularly. Make friends with your local bookshop owner and assistants – they are interesting people who know lots of different things and can lead you to some real gems that can give your business that edge.

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