Newspaper advertising has benefits

Published 11:21 am Monday, October 5, 2015

Today’s business operators have a plethora of avenues with which to market their services or products, ranging from traditional media to those more social in nature.

In fact, the myriad of new marketing choices can be daunting for those faced with making such decisions.

The Vicksburg Post has a long list of advertisers who successfully use print advertising to communicate with their customers and know the effect newspaper advertising has on the community.

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George Carr Buick, Cadillac and GMC, Cook Tractor and Cinnamon Tree gift shop have a combined 83 years of advertising with The Vicksburg Post. The businesses are among many that continue to place ads because they all share a strong belief that print is the best way to reach their customers.

For more than 26 years, George Carr has advertised with The Vicksburg Post. Carr worked in the newspaper advertising industry and handled advertising accounts before owning his own dealership.

When Carr arrived in Vicksburg, he knew The Vicksburg Post was where the majority of his advertising dollars would be spent.

At that time, he said The Post ran very little automotive advertising.

“I looked at that as an opportunity. I don’t think any dealers had ever run a full-page ad or even a half-page ad. When I first came here most of the dealerships were running a 2×4 or small little used car listings,” he said.

Carr is in a unique position in Vicksburg because of its location in Mississippi on the Louisiana border. About 30 to 40 percent of his business every month comes from Louisiana, he said. Carr’s Louisiana customers don’t see the same television programming Vicksburg residents do.

“It’s hard to run a television commercial like when I first got in the business. If we did two on NBC or CBS, 70 percent of the people watching TV that night saw the commercial,” Carr said. “Today, if you run a commercial maybe two percent of TV sees your commercial.”

Carr understands the changes newspapers have faced in recent years; however, he believes there’s a place for printed newspapers.

“I’m a big proponent of newspapers, and they’re important to our community. I think they serve a need and a purpose. I want to support the newspaper,” Carr said.

Cook Tractor Owner William Cook said he has been placing newspaper ads since he opened shop in 1988. When he started the company, it was located about four miles outside of city limits.

“We had to defeat being off to ourselves,” he said. “We made a decision that print advertising was going to be the way we did it.”

Using print advertising helped the company overcome its location problems early on because it allowed them to their get message and location out to the public.

In 2007, the company bought a store in Natchez that had a bad reputation, Cook said. Cook was able to reverse customers’ attitudes about that business by advertising every day in the newspaper about its change of leadership.

“I still believe that print advertising has been the back bone of what we do,” Cook said.

Cook considers himself a “dinosaur” with his print advertising belief, but he knows his customers and knows they still loyally read newspapers.

“I hear people saying ‘newspapers will be out before long,’ and I just don’t believe that,” Cook said. “As newspapers tend to go more and more online, we have to go with them.”

Cinnamon Tree Owner Karen Ruggles has placed newspaper advertisements for 30 years. Like Carr and Cook, most of Ruggles’ customers read the newspaper, making it the most viable option for advertising, she said.

After three decades, Ruggles still feels good when people come in and tell her they saw her ad in the paper.

“It’s nice to know that people are reading whatever you’ve put in,” Ruggles said. “You’re hoping you’re spending your money wisely.”