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ray_223
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Tough decision … of which no one will be able to tell you which will work the best.

At the trade show for instance, 15,000 people might attend but how many will you talk to? (how many can you actually talk to in 1 or 2 days?) How big is your stand and where is it located? etc

For the ad, how big will the ad be, what page will it be on? Who will write the copy and how good are they are writing copy that sells?

As the great Claude Hopkins tells us the only way to know for sure is to test each method and record the results.

This may mean advertising in a smaller publication / or having a smaller ad for less editions.
It may mean going to a smaller trade show or getting face to face with potential customers in different ways.

It may mean choosing one this year and the alternate next year and see which brings in the most work.

I’d suggest get in front of customers and calculate how long you talk to each customer for (on average). Then multiple that by the number of hours the trade show is open for. That would be the max. people you can do a hard sell on. Do you think that would be better then an ad in a magazine?

Sorry I couldn’t help more … and either way, good luck :)