Top Notch Toys January 2017


H aving spent almost 20 years as a commercial marketing executive for a major bank, I have come to understand the value of an effective marketing and advertising campaign. A comprehensive marketing campaign is a multi-pronged endeavor encompass- ing advertising, public relations, media relations and community involvement, to name but a few. For the purposes of this article let’s examine the role of print advertising, and how you can ramp up the impact of your ads in vari- ous publications. PRINT VS. ONLINE ADVERTISING It’s no secret in the internet age that online publications and adver- tising have replaced many of our beloved publications including news- papers, periodicals and breed maga- zines. Internet advertising can reach a broader audience for less money, but it’s important to remember that the impact of an online ad can be fleeting. For example, if an online ad has a click- able “call to action” like directing you to a 20% off coupon or a website where you can purchase goods or services, it is very effective, but also very tempo- rary. For the type of meaningful, last- ing impressions we are trying to make

as dog breeders and exhibitors, noth- ing replaces advertising in print. BENEFITS OF PRINT ADVERTISING There is no better way to target a specific or narrow audience than print advertising. As dog breeders/exhibi- tors, we are fortunate thawt we can send our message to as broad or narrow an audience as we like. For example, we can market in all-breed ( Showsight ), Toy ( Top Notch Toy s) or specific breed publications ( The Orient Express ) mak- ing our audience as broad or as narrow as we’d like. Print ads not only target your specif- ic audience but are sustainable (publica- tions are permanent records, and often valued reference guides), delivered to loyal readers and can be repeated as often as you’d like. Your message can evolve from month-to-month as the sto- ry, history and wins of your dog grows. SOME SIMPLE RULES TO FOLLOW • Develop a look and feel for your “brand” and stick to it. As stated, you can create sustained impact by advertising on a monthly basis. Don’t lose your kennel or your dog’s identity by having radically different looks each month. Work

with a graphics person or the ad contact of your favorite magazine to identify key elements that you will consistently use in your ads such as a font (clear and large enough to be easily read!), color palette, logo, and boilerplate language. For example, consistently using the same signa- ture information such as: a. owner/breeder/handler info b. Logo c. Tagline d. Contact info including email address, web or Facebook URLs, etc. • Make sure you deliver pertinent information. What is the dog’s name? Who is handling the dog? What judge is pictured in the photo? Where was the dog shown?


68 • T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2017

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