Saturday, 24th August 2019
IN MY OPINION Article
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Monkey see, Monkey do!

Monkey see, Monkey do!

Mimicking must be something that humans have inherited from monkeys; it has never been more evident than now. Some helpful tips for the advertiser on the Costa del Sol – by Michael McCrae

While it is true that there is nothing new under the sun (nihil novum sub sole), I do not know what makes some people think that they can copy and do as good a job as someone who has done it for years and even all his life. I think this must be one of the most irritating things for the established professionals.

I can understand that everyone has a right to earn a living, however I think it is wrong to do so by copying ideas from established businesses and falsely convincing buyers they are better and/or cheaper. I have come across an increasing number of business people complaining of this problem, while buyers eventually discover the truth for themselves the temporary distraction loses business for everyone.

I can only comment on my own line of business and I can confirm that with fifty-two years of marketing experience worldwide, encompassing advertising and promotion over a span of more than 30 years, I have never seen so much incompetence and deceit as with some media on the Costa del Sol. Just because a publication is new or cheaper it does not mean that it is better than an established one. It is the longest established business that really knows its trade and the market in order to maximise results.

Advertising is but a part of marketing, an important part perhaps, however it is wiser to examine oneÂ’s own business and oneÂ’s competition with the idea of advertising a real consumer need and not just rely on the media to perform miracles. If it doesnÂ’t sell it never will, no matter what media is used. The grass is never greener next door; on the contrary, the longer a business has been on the Costa the more it should be trusted. How many media and publications have you seen come and go in the last 12 months?


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For a start there are some advertising basics well established since time immemorial that need to be taken into account and which will never change. For example newspapers are meant to provide daily information, on a smaller scale, weekly local newspapers are also acceptable. What is the use of providing the public with monthly newspapers full of “old hat” information, when the dailies and local weeklies are already available? Not unless we are talking of some remote village up in the mountains or a specialized paper like a police gazette or a local Parish publication.

As far as the monthly publications are concerned, these are represented by professionally prepared magazines, with articles covering various interesting topics or one specific topic (ie: National Geographic).

A collection of advertisements bound in a booklet is most definitely not a magazine. Of course there are always the justifiable exceptions to the rule for specific marketing reasons as for instance “Azalea: A Magazine by Third World Lesbians” or Craft Magazine. For these a quarterly publication is more than sufficient but is does not serve the purpose required by most of the advertisers on the Costa who look for business from all directions and walks of life.

Of course the cost of paper and printing is very high but it is wrong to suggest “cheaper” advertising because a publication is quarterly or even published 3 times a year. What is the point of that? Do you believe that such publications are printed and distributed every month? If that was the case it would defy the object of being quarterly and it would cost more. Any way what is the point in that? It is false economy to assume that a quarterly advert will have best effect. Any professional advertiser will tell you that advertising must be constant. The more you see it the more it works.

Of course there are many more issues about advertising and marketing. Issues such as identifying and targeting specific consumers, location of consumers, identifying suitable media and much, much more. Marketing is a complex and profound science and an advert in any cheap or even very expensive table top publication without a good marketing justification is certainly not the answer that provides sales.



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