Advertising In The Community Paper
( Originally Published 1898 )
The best paper in a community always brings ample returns to its advertisers. The best paper covers the cream of the trade in any section.
Mark Twain says: "Behold the fool saith: 'Put not all thine eggs in one basket,' which is but a manner of saying 'scatter your money and your attention;' but the wise man saith: 'Put all thine eggs in the one basket and watch that basket.'"
Which the same applies equally to newspapers. Put your ad in the best paper, and then watch the paper and the ad. Have a system of checking the returns received, and be very sure of this much If the ad doesn't pay the fault is in the ad or the goods or the storeónot in the paper.
It will do no good to advertise something that nobody wants. Find out what there is a demand for and advertise that. You can create a demand for an article if you have time and money enough to keep up a continual hammering. For the retail dealer this is a waste of energy, because there are dozens of things in every stock for which there already exists a demand.
Don't say what everybody else in your line is saying, and never publish a general ad. There are three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, on each of which you can talk in the newspapers.
Don't try to tell all you know about the whole store every day. Talk of several items each time if you like, but say something definite about each one. Don't say "fine shoes for men, women and children," but talk about one shoe in each line and give prices. The newspaper will carry what you say right into the best houses in the community. It will give your words a thousand tongues. Out of one thousand people, probably fifteen need shoes every day. If you tell them about your stock, you will surely get your proportion of the trade. If you don't you won't get it.
It's a simple proposition, and as true as it is simple.