« AnteriorContinuar »
Live Stock Advertising.
The Views of a Field Man.
By T. W. MORSE.
HEY have all been pastured
-some rather closely—the fields of live stock advertising, for not every “stock
paper" proves a good tenant, and strives as good tenants should, to "make glad the solitary places, and the wilderness to blossom as the rose.”
Pasturage alone has satisfied this and that one, and the leavings of a neighbor's crop, the other, while the owners of the fields (the advertisers of pure bred horses, cattle, hogs, etc.) secure but a scant rental. Here and there on fertile corners the claim jumper has stopped tilling indifferently, harvesting whatever crop was in sight, and leaving behind him only the weeds of disrepute. But happily, this report is on the minority.
For the most part, the live stock press are honest farmers and through their "field men” have plowed well and faithfully according to the instructions and opportunities given by the "breeders" for whom they work. Indeed, these instructions are more often supplemented by helpful suggestions on the part of the agent, who frequently gives his best service when left alone to plan the advertising campaign himself. And this calls for a definition of the central figure in this unique corner of the advertising world—the “field man.” He is paid by the paper he represents, but in his most capable form he is at once the solicitor for his paper and the adviser of the man he solicits, serving almost equally, as to time employed, the two. He must be a practical stockman and is often the purchasing agent of his advertiser client. He is an artist and an author :-A designer of advertisements and composer
The field man has been, and still is, in places, the missionary of publicity among the men who are making the country richer by improving its barnyard population. To many a business farmer he has taught the rudiments of getting his goods before the public—and then has shouldered the heaviest work of putting his teachings into practice.
In this, wise progress has been made, but the development of the business to follow the plowing of fields yet unplowed, devolves more upon the breeder himself. A few are really studying the science of advertising and making its
practice purely a business proposition, but many who pay liberally each year for space are strangers to key lists, correspondence systems, mailing lists, catalogues, circulars, etc., the A. B. C. of the commercial advertiser's business. With these helps, and others which his natural judgment and ability will suggest as he studies the matter, the advertiser of fine stock can vastly increase returns from the liberal service given him by the better class of farm papers.
Herein lies the plowing yet to do.
I just came from a small public sale of pure bred cattle—which was not a great success. About one hundred dollars had been spent in advertising. One consigner complained that he could not see where it had paid. I asked the manager if he had any inquiries for catalogues. "Yes," he said, “quite a number. There must have been some misunderstanding for we did not get out any catalogues at all.” The Secretary of the Association, too, remembered getting some inquiry but had been too busy to make answer. This, of course, is an exaggerated example of one important lack. Catalogues at public sales are the rule, but beyond these and printed letter heads, the machinery for increasing the efficiency of such "ads” is more than plenty. The men who had not learned the necessity of a catalogue had yet to learn also what good goods areand along th a few other beginners in the business were honestly trying to sell some things, the counterpart of which, in other lines of trade, would have to go for junk.
Argument and accurate description have not reached the use in fine stock advertising their value justifies. Oc
casionally, a daring field man injects a few “reasons why" and a little originality into a "Breeder's Card,” but too many are conservative and stereotyped to the point where they fail to attract attention. By accuracy, I mean truth in illustration as well as description. The practice of overdrawing animal portraits for publication is one of the worst evils of the business.
The greatest and most easily practical field, perhaps, is in the compiling and use of literature to help in selling. Such literature need not be expensive, but should be fresh, carefully prepared and reliable. Once a year, at
least, the breeder needs a new pamphlet list of stock for sale, if not a catalogue, and it should set forth briefly all the points of interest about the herd likely to appeal to prospective buyers.
This cannot reach its fullest effect without a well revised mailing list to supplement the usual run of inquiry. A courteous and commendable practice among breeders is to send catalogues to all their associates in business. This is good as far as it goes, but Montgomery Ward & Company would hardly limit their catalogue list to Sears, Roebuck & Company, John M. Smyth, and the other mail order houses. Every old customer, every prospective customer, and every customer of the other fellow (if you have their names) should get your printed matter while your advertisement in the live stock papers is hunting for new customers you never heard of.
Of course, to the commercial advertiser, all this is rudiment and axiom, but in many fields of live stock advertising, it is unturned sod.
1. The ONLY Agricultural NEWSpaper. (For instance, it is the only agricultural weekly that maintained a regular correspondent at the St. Louis Exposition; the only agricultural weekly that has a regular correspondent at the national capital, and the cnly periodical of any kind that publishes adequate reports of the meetings of the great breeding, horticultural and dairy associations of the country.)
2. The only important agricultural weekly that charges $1.50 per annum; never gives premiums of any sort to subscribers; and yet maintains a constantly growing circulation.
3. The only periodical that is compelled by the demands of its readers to publish the transfers of ownership of Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey and Ayrshire cattle, and the only periodical that carries advertisements of the Jersey, Holstein, Ayrshire and Shropshire associations.
It publishes (and at full price always) more "Want Ads" than all other agricultural weeklies put together. Shrewd advertisers know that this means, at least, that its circulation is worth more to them than that of any other. Yet the prices are not higher than some others charge.
Advertisements tastefully set and carefully classified.
One insertion: 40c per line; $5.60 per inch.
Liberal discounts for continuance.
Send for Sample Copies.
LUTHER TUCKER @ SON. Publishers, Albany, N. Y.