Saturday, August 16, 2008

Print Advertising... does it sell CDs?

I recently took out a 1/3 page ad in a jazz magazine. Like any jazz mag, the circulation isn't huge (22,000 or so), but it's going to a niche audience. It makes more sense to me to focus on your audience than to throw spaghetti at the wall. I got a deal too, or at least that's what I was told, and it seemed like something I could afford. Anyway, I looked at the SoundScan DMA sales (broken down by metro areas) and saw NO SALES in any of the major metro areas where the magazine circulates. It's also worth noting my trio has never played in any of those areas, so it's not like anybody knew who I was before they saw that ad and the album review.

I'm still reflecting on the value of advertising. I've never been a fan. It feels like a lazy strategy. If you have money, you can advertise. And there's so much of it out there, we're all desensitized. Even though I sold no CDs, was there value in placing that ad? Does it put my name in the back of people's heads? Does it give people the impression that I'm somebody they should know?

I'm not convinced, but I don't regret my decision and appreciate the support of the publication.

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