Before I talk about 2016, I would like to remind you that in November 2015 we published a recipe book, in celebration of Oracle’s 10th anniversary.
Full of local readers’ very own recipes, it was sold in aid of HARP – Southend’s Homeless Charity and I am very pleased to announce that by the end of 2016 it had raised just under £5,000! I would like to thank everybody who participated in making Cooking-on-Sea such a great success for a worthwhile cause!
Good as gold
In February 2016, Oracle was awarded ‘Gold’ by the Southend Business & Community Charter. This award recognises local businesses who support the community through fundraising, volunteering, mentoring, pro bono work; or anything that helps ensure we have a thriving, vibrant community.
January last year, saw the launch of our very own ‘Community Spirit Award’ to celebrate individuals who have selflessly contributed to local charities or supported the community in different ways. If you know of a local hero that should be recognised for their efforts, then please send in their details and explain why you feel they deserve this award. No deed is too small – it’s the heart that counts!
Due to popular demand, both Oracle magazines increased their circulation in March 2016. With a combined circulation increase of 2,500 households, Oracle’s total monthly coverage is now 14,000! This increase was made at no extra cost to our clients, and with the addition of the laminated front covers the year before, Oracle remains the only glossy, local, popular and respected magazine that has a very desirable specifically targeted audience, with the advantage of self-managed distribution. Please visit our website to see a map of Oracle’s coverage.
Set your sites higher
With PCs, smart phones and iPads everywhere you look these days, all businesses must have an on-line presence. For a number of years, I have listened to many of my clients complain about the web developers they use and their unreasonable charges. For example, when they want to move their website to another developer or take control of it themselves, they have been told that they do not own the domain name and therefore will have to pay additional costs to release the passwords for their own site!
I have felt there has been a gap in the market for a transparent, honestly-priced website development company for a long time. Early last year, I was approached by web designer, Scott Hartfield, who has years of experience creating large database and e-commerce sites for many companies in and around London. After meeting Scott, I felt there was a real opportunity for somebody with his wealth and depth of knowledge to work with us developing sites for local businesses at affordable prices while still offering clients an expert, professional service. Subsequently, our sister company, Oracle Creative Media Ltd was launched in July 2016. Since then, OCM has developed a number of sites and has had some great client feedback. All of our clients own their sites and are offered tuition on how to content manage their websites if required, saving them money in the future. You can see examples of OCM’s work on www.oraclecreativemedia.com
Touching isn’t it?
Despite the ease and popularity of online media, the range of printed magazines has continued to rise?– people simply enjoy their instant, tactile qualities. Whether while waiting for the doctor, getting your hair styled, or at a friend’s house while they’re making the tea, we all reach out for the nearest magazine to find the latest conversation piece. Not only that, but consumers still continue to have the most trust in local advertising printed in magazines and newspapers. The power of the printed word from a recognised and reliable source still rings true and has great value when evaluating advertising.
Customers like to feel they can trust the brand and seeing it more than once is very important to help create impactful awareness of your product or service. A mixed media campaign, i.e. print media boosted with internet advertising would help reinforce the message you wish to convey to your potential customer. However, if this amount of spend is out of your budget and you are providing a local service rather than a global one, then a print campaign should be your first priority. Repeating adverts over many months in one, smaller area has more impact than trying to reach a larger audience in a bigger area as the budget will be spread too thinly. This then means that your businesses share of the market will grow in that specific area, as potential clients will have seen your adverts over a number of months and grow in trust. Many of Oracle’s long-term clients attribute their success to advertising with Oracle regularly, each month without fail.
Going … going … gone!
Knowing the type of customers and the message you wish to convey is also key and I can’t recommend enough to research this before any advertising campaign. Don’t buying something cheap if it doesn’t reach your key audience, as you may as well be throwing your money down the drain.
Be sure that your advert says what you need it to say. Remember, consumers don’t really care who you are, they want to know what you have to offer them. Consider offering a readers’ discount on the advert, unique to that publication so that you can measure the response. If you have an advert that is clearly communicating your product or service, you are targeting the correct market, and have added an offer or a gift, then you really should see some results once the advert has been running for a few months.
The secret of success
So why has Oracle been successful for so many years?
- A focussed, desirable target market – Delivery of Oracle is concentrated on desirable households in Thorpe Bay, The Garrison, Southchurch, Shoeburyness, Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell, Westcliff-on-Sea and the Southend Conservation Area, so no magazine is wasted.
- Reliable, monthly, self-managed distribution –
With our own dedicated team of distributors, we can ensure that the magazines are delivered correctly and on-time and offer an unbeatable level of reliability. Monthly publishing affords us time to create an exceptional quality product whilst keeping repeat adverts highly memorable.
- Coffee table quality – Because of it’s high-quality production, Oracle isn’t treated in the same way as a newspaper might be. It can be kept for months and never get tatty or fall apart.
- Complementary services – Advert design, leaflet distribution, web-design, print design and brand management all combine to fulfil our clients’ businesses needs and help them to grow.
- Never afraid to develop – Now in our 11th year, Oracle is always growing and leading the way! With brave editorial content that connects with its readers, Oracle has become a trusted source for local information and is a popular and well-respected, mouth-piece too.
Consult the Oracle
Feel free to give me a call to discuss how you might grow your business this year through advertising. I would be very happy to give you some free, no-obligation advice. Let Oracle give you the business!