The 16 Biggest Myths in Marketing

February 1999
by Jeffrey Dobkin

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Myth #1 (Magazines): “Sure you’ll get lots of direct orders. You have no competition. You’ll be the only mail-order ad in the magazine.” Fact: If you’re marketing with a direct-selling mail order ad, there should be lots of other mail order merchants in the magazine — the synergy will help your ad get better response. Readers will be shopping that section with a pen and checkbook in hand. If there are no other mail order ads, there’s a reason: They don’t work.

Myth #2 (Magazines): “You can sell anything from this publication. All our ads work.” Truth: You can tell in advance what works; those ads keep repeating month after month. You can tell if your ad in a magazine will be successful to a good degree by studying the last year of issues. Competitors’ ads appear in it monthly; so do ads for similar products. This is the only way to tell. Everything else is a crap shoot. So is this idea, but at least the dice are weighted slightly in your favor.

Myth #3 (Magazines): The Three-Ad Exposure Myth When you ask magazine publishers for a discount on your ad (you do always ask, don’t you?), most usually respond with “Sure you can get a discount. Run your ad three times and get the three-ad rate.” Unenlightened advertisers then mistakenly place three ads in three succeeding months, and… oops! Magazine production time is three months, so when the first ad appears on the newsstand, if it’s not successful, it’s already too late to cancel ads 2 and 3. You…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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