Most advertising is a waste of money, either because the advertiser doesn't know how to create advertising that works, because the advertiser is engaging in the wrong kind of advertising, or because the advertiser has been "sold" advertising that he or she doesn't really need.
I addressed this concept a bit in my post How to Advertise in Art Magazines
However, Seth Godin
, posted today Selling Advertising
: a great explanation of the two different types of advertising. In short, there are two different types of advertising:
1. Measurable response direct advertsing
When most people think of advertising, they think of the second kind: Branding. That's because it's in front of us everywhere we turn: Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, etc. We all like these types of ads because they're...well...cool
Most artists who advertise in art magazines are engaging in branding. They want to "build their name." Ad reps at magazines tell them that "you must advertise repeatedly to get results." And this is all true, if the goal of your ads is to build brand awareness.
However, most people don't really have the funds required to build brand awareness and will eventually get frustrated and quit advertising. That's because what we really need, as artists, is to sell artwork.
Therefore, what we need to do is engage in the first kind of advertising: measurable response advertising. We can still advertise in art magazines, but now will do so with a plan of action, with a way to measure the effectiveness of each ad, and best of all, we'll know if ads are working and can stop them if they're not. But better yet, it opens up other forms of advertising: direct mail, direct email, cross-marketing with other artists, and Google Adwords just to name a few.
Some artists like the idea of "building their name" or branding. I agree. I like the idea too. Here's the secret - use measurable response advertising to acquire
new prospects THEN engage in branding activities with your in-house list
of prospects, it's a lot cheaper and a lot more effective. Forget trying to "brand" yourself to the whole world, you're not Nike.
But you can brand yourself to the whole world that matters - those people who are interested in your art.