Master the Art of Print Advertising: Selection and Presentation Are Key in Print Promotions and Can Bring Added Sales to Your Gallery. (Special Report)

Article excerpt

It pays to advertise. Promoting a gallery the right way in the right publication will reap rewards, according to experts polled by Art Business News.

Gallery owners and marketing specialists agree that a successful print advertising campaign is based on targeting the right market and making a presentation that entices customers to call on you.

Advertising has several benefits, the most important of which is getting your name in front of your customers. "Your customers need to know who you are, where you are, what you offer and why you're better than the next guy," stated Eric Danneman, president of Martin Lawrence Galleries.

"Print advertising is probably the most common way to do this," added Danneman. "It's no use building the better mousetrap if no one knows you have it for sale." Martin Lawrence Galleries are located in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Maui, New Orleans, New York, Newport Beach, San Francisco and Santa Clara, Calif.

"Gallery owners who don't advertise yet wait for people to walk through their doors are not participating in their own success," observed Steve Diamant, president of Arcadia Fine Arts, New York. "The goal of a gallery is to expose art to new markets. It's about increasing visibility."

Print advertising affords potential clients time to warm up to a purchase, noted Rann Shinar, vice president of Fingerhut Group Publishers and Galleries, located in Sausalito, Laguna and La Jolla, Calif. "When people walk into a gallery and see an artist for the first time, it will take them time before they are ready to make a purchase," he said. "But when they see the artist's name in print advertisements before arriving at the gallery, it creates familiarity. The name comes to ring a bell. Advertising establishes the foundation for that artist and allows the reader to become informed on the artist and his work."

Executed properly, a print ad can start off as an educational tool that breeds familiarity, he observed. "It's like the difference between meeting a stranger or seeing a friendly face. Familiarity can lead to sales," he said. "Once education is established, selling is the next step."

Selecting an Advertising Vehicle

Advertising in the right vehicles will attract an audience to an artist and a gallery, according to Vicky Berg, director of operations for Axelle Fine Art, a publishing company based in New York that also has retail galleries in New York, New Orleans and a new one opening this year in San Francisco.

"The Yellow Pages are not the way to go anymore," she added. "You need to know what magazines are being read by your audience."

"There are two kinds of marketing: general and specific," said columnist Murray Raphel, president of Raphel and Associates, a marketing solutions firm with locations in Atlantic City, N.J., and St. Johnsbury, Vt. His column, "The Art of Selling," is published monthly in Art Business News.

Raphel said that a general advertising campaign address the universe while specific ad campaigns address a group of people. He said the latter is the most effective and less expensive. "When you are targeting a specific market, you have to brand your store and target who you are, what you offer and why you are good at what you do," he explained.

A basic strategy, said Raphel, is for galleries to seek magazines focused on like products. "For instance, if your gallery specializes in Civil War memorabilia, advertising in a publication targeted to that market will get you the biggest bang for your buck."

Likewise for fishing, sports or airplane inventory, among others. The annual publication Writer's Market is a means for exploring which vehicles target themselves to particular markets. The book lists thousands of magazines, publishers and agents and the key information you need to intelligently contact them, according to a review on Amazon.com. "It lists thousands of magazines, categorizing them by demographics, subject matter, regions, etc. …