The Advertising Connection
( Originally Published 1898 )
More things enter into advertising than are generally supposed. In fact, everything that connects a name and a business in people's minds is advertising.
Membership in churches and clubs and societies, the giving of social entertainments, public charities—all these things and more are advertising. But greater and broader, and better and easier than all these is newspaper advertising. You may think of that without thinking of the other plans, but no scheme of publicity is complete without the news-paper.
Properly prosecuted, newspaper advertising will always pay. That here and there is a man who says: " Advertising doesn't pay, I've tried it," proves nothing but that his method was faulty.
Advertising is business news. It tells of things which are of great daily importance. It is of more account to the frugal housewife to know where she can get certain necessary commodities at a less price than usual than to know all the troubles in Siam or Alaska.
The news should be news. It should not be allowed to grow stale with repetition in the same old way.
If you can only advertise in a small way, pick out the best paper in your territory and spend all of your advertising money in that. Don't scatter. When your business grows, and you can spend more money, buy more space in the same paper, until you are sure you are using all you profitably can. Then add another paper. I would rather have one good "ad." than half a dozen poor ones. When "hunting for bear" I would rather take the best gun I had and load it properly than to scatter my powder in half a dozen poor guns, and so "make a flash in the pan." Merely publishing your name, address and business will do some good, but there's a better way. Be different from the others in your line. Find some point in which you excel and harp on that. Give prices and specialties. Try to make the advertisments interesting and readable. Make them characteristic of your store, and, above all things, make them true in letter and in spirit. Don't say that you haven't the time to attend to your advertising properly. Really, you haven't time to do any-thing else. Advertising is the most important thing about any business. It is the vital spark. What good does it do you to have the very best thing or the very greatest bargain on earth if people do not know it ?
In running a newpaper, James Gordon Bennett, Sr., said the important thing was to "get the news and then make a dom fuss about it."
First get the right sort of goods, in the right location, at the right prices, and "then make a dom fuss about it" in the best paper you can find.