The Newspaper Advertisement Vs The Web Advertisement
The criteria for the products featured are price, providence, and practicality. It can be quite a complex choice:
a. No good trying to sell a multi-thousand dollar item in a small column - the people who are going to enter into a large camera system or select a premium-quality lens are going to do it with a great deal of care and research. Trying to sell a Leica in a one column ad would be like trying to sell a Ferrari sports car in the back of a comic book.
The item selected needs to be affordable by a large number of people. People who read newspapers...and to put it bluntly, these days that means older people. Like me.
b. We have to be able to provide the goods we advertise - particularly if they are in that very affordable range that might just spark off a rush. We HOPE for a rush! As the copywriter I need to check whether we are likely to be able to satisfy the customers without making them wait for orders.
Western Australians do realise that we are living on the edge of the world... just before it all turns into misty waterfalls and dragons. So we do need to wait a little longer for goods to arrive. But we don't want to wait too long.
c. Practical items sell well in this lower price bracket. It sounds paradoxical, but the people who are likely to spend $50 to $100 on something want it to be able to do something useful... not just look good or be trendy. There are enough other shops selling collectable and impulse goods to soak up the throw-away money, but Camera Electronic has to be able to put something on the counter that DOES something.
By and large we have succeeded with the newspaper sales. The Steadepod has gone like a bomb for years. Cullmann tripods, heads, and accessories do exactly what people need. Hoodman gear works reliably and they have a lifetime warranty for stuff anyway - so does Promaster, for that matter. When we offer these brands people buy, and presumably get value out of the goods. I know I do.
But what about the internet advertisements?
Well our online shop is always a sort of an advertisement in itself - any catalogue is. People pore over the pages as much to dream about what they want as to compare pricing. Sometimes I think the internet site has a mind of its own, just as I am sometimes in despair at the social media machinery that seems to mutate weekly, but eventually nearly everything gets settled out.
Direct marketing offers are the province of the higher management of the firm - I don't think 'em up because I am not a party to the financial decisions of the place. Readers of this column may well be on the mailing list for them and if so I urge you to have a close read when they pop up in your feed. There are times when there are some very good bargains indeed - particularly if wholesale firms are adding cash-back offers to the deal.
You're also well-advised to get in on the special deals that accompany camera and lens launches - the beer and cheese roll nights that introduce new gear to the Perth scene. Frequently the prices are usefully lowered for one night. And you get the beer and cheese roll.
Advertisement is the soul of commerce - here at Camera Electronic we like to make sure that it is a reasonably clean soul at that. Please keep reading.
Footnote: The predictive text and autocorrect have been turned off here at the copy desk. If you find any typographical errors they are original and authentic, and should be prized as such.