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Spend It Where It Counts

By: Jane Wurwand
Posted: June 26, 2008, from the July 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Advertising is another spending quagmire. As soon as word is out that you are in business, you will be approached by individuals selling display ads for the local phone book, radio station, magazine, newspaper and more.

Print advertising is carried out these days primarily for image. Ralph Lauren runs his regular 12-page photo spreads in Vogue because these signature images visually tell the story of his all-American brand. And, because we know that each page costs literally millions of dollars, the ad spreads are a confirmation of his brand’s huge success. Good for him.

Most likely, you are not yet in this position. Advertising typically won’t do much for enriching your bottom line at this stage in your development, unless the ad is part of a very targeted community marketing effort. For instance, if your place of business is beside or within an outlet mall that attracts visitors by the literal busload, it may serve you to place an ad in a publication created by the center so shoppers will come to you for a retail relief mini-treatment after feverishly snapping up bargains.

Also, I am not an advocate of couponing or offering discounts in the form of a print ads, as I believe this weakens your credibility and cheapens your brand essence.

My advice overall is to skip conventional advertising altogether and instead make your business a presence in the local community in other ways. Find a local cause that you feel passionate about, volunteer some time for the cause itself, and then offer your skin care services in a unique and creative way. For instance, if an urban garden is being created in your city, offer your own talented hands to do some clearing, digging, lifting, weeding, watering and seeding during the transformation.