Advice please: Company profile on DMJ...worth it?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by IndependentBoffin, May 2, 2012.

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  1. Hi folks,

    I was offered a page in the "Modernising Defence" section of the Defence Management Journal. The sum they are charging is not cheap but the salesperson I was talking to claimed large readership and that it will get my company and its products noticed.

    Defence Management Journal (DMJ) - Defence Issues

    The advice I have gotten on it has been mixed. Personally I am torn - cynic in me says a good product sells itself and the job of a salesperson is to sell you something you can do without. Optimist in me says exposure can't hurt and money can always be re-earned.

    Can you guys please advise me how closely companies and government officials who buy military technology watch DMJ?

    Please advise.

    Have a great day!
     
  2. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    if you go to your local library , in the reference section they have a book ( forget its name . It lists all the mags , the publishers and the circulation. One mag I looked at told me they has 100,000 subscriptions when in fact it was only 9,000'
     
  3. Thanks for your advice.

    Here's what I know:
    1) Approaching individual Defence Ministries abroad is costly and cold calling is unlikely to yield results.
    2) I am inclined to agree with the salesperson's pitch that the people responsible for making procurement decisions for different armed forces read journals like DMJ or Military Technology, or have subordinates who do it for them.
    3) Military Technology charge several thousand euros for a half-a-page ad, DMJ are offering slightly better value for money.
    4) I can't afford a stand at a Trade Show and neither do I have the charisma to be a salesperson there.
    5) I can not think of any other conceivable way of reaching international markets - Far East, Middle East, etc.
    6) As a start-up company, I ought to look at how the big boys are doing things and emulate their successful patterns of behaviour where personal principles and resources permit. One of the things big companies do very well is marketing. One of the things I do none of ... is marketing.
    7) 4 years of doing things the quiet way - no sales. Time to change tack.
     
  4. Or time to admit that, despite your own opinion of your potential, you're a very small fish in a rather large pond? Have you considered approaching some of your larger 'competitors' to see if you can offer a niche product within their larger portfolio that they are too big/busy to develop themselves?
     
  5. There is a difference between a large print run and a large readership! I used to skim the DMJ because my clerk used to deliver it to my in-tray with a cup of coffee. Most of my colleagues skimmed it in a similar fashion. I then visited Abbey Wood and saw the piles of DMJ awaiting recycling or worse...

    Litotes
     
  6. Never thought I am anyone particularly gifted. Just worked in a large prime for a year, saw myself growing old making someone else rich and thought "There must be more to life than this."

    I have, unsuccessfully.
     
  7. This is not sounding promising! Was your interest in it on the technical, business, policy or other side?

    Anyone here who deals with procurement care to chime in?
     
  8. Theres is; unfortunately it can take a great deal of effort and self-sacrifice to get there, especially if you're self-funding and trying to market your service while keeping your head above water.
     
  9. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    The cheapest and most efficient way of getting yourself noticed is to get a strong internet presence. That can be done by:

    - Creating a well designed website that is highly ranked (Search Engine Optimisation - SEO)
    - Creating a widely read blog
    - Making use of social media to create interest in your products

    An investment of £100 on Amazon will get you a few basic books on how to do this. Expect to invest several thousand pounds in a properly produced website. The blogs and social media are cheap to do - providing you have the ability to produce content that is interesting, expert and not just a marketing puff.

    However, before doing so I would ensure that the product you are offering is commercially viable. I seem to remember the last product you discussed on ARRSE attracted widespread derision, some of it from people with expert knowledge in the field.

    Wordsmith
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I apologise for stating the obvious but the salesman selling you the advertising was not doing so to improve your sales. He was doing his job which is, as you quite rightly put it, to sell you something you can do without. You can probably do without this. I run a management consultancy and selling our services is a vital part of survival. We have found that hard copy magazines are generally ineffective in generating sales interest. Maybe they inform, if you are lucky and they just happen to be read by someone who already has an interest, but they won't spur someone who hasn't seen it before to say "Great! That's just what I want." Magazines exist to sell advertising. The effectiveness of that advertising is not a factor.

    Web-based marketing is the thing as your advertisments can be targeted and are seen by potential customers who already have an interest and are actively looking, so your investment in advertising has a much better chance of return. Wordsmith in post #9 covers it well, but he also makes the good point about the commercial viability of your product. Have you actually conducted serious market research, or are you assuming it is good because you think so?
     
  11. After my previous reponse to your original post, I have just noticed this one. I am sorry to be blunt, but I am afraid this indicates that you really are barking up the wrong tree in trying to "go it alone". Point 5 above shows you have little concept of conducting business internationally. That is what internet marketing is about. I operate in the Asia Pacific region and I get enquiries about our services through our website from as far afield as Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as our target area. That is how you reach these markets. I have spent days at trade fairs with all the right kit, but sales success has been nowhere near that generated by the website, in which we invest a lot of resources.

    You say you haven't got the charisma to sell. Some of the best salesmen I know don't have "the Charisma" as you put it. They have knowledge of the product and can execute the sales process, which can be learnt. Once you have made a few sales, the confidence comes which evolves into the "Charisma". If you feel you can't do it, then you need someone on board who can. An advert, whether hard copy, through TV or radio, or even the internet does not "close the sale". That has to be done by a face-to-face meeting: "People buy People".

    The successful companies rely on previous sales to make new sales and their marketing strategies reflect that. 60% of our business comes from previous clients and a further 30% comes from recommendations from previous clients.

    Look at post #4 from Cloudbuster. That is probably your best alternative at this time. In the meantime, do your market research to give you either the foundation for a strategy on continue your own, or to go along to a possible partner and say "This is what I have got"

    Good Luck!
     
  12. I have never been in sales but a few comments on advertising from someone who grew up around that business. My dad was advertising director of a major US magazine. Their primary competing magazine had nearly twice the circulation of dad's. However dad's did have a more upscale readership. All magazines survey their subscribers on a regular basis as to what business they are in, what they buy regularly etc. and the salespeople are given this data. If one of dad's salespeople was trying to sell ads to Mercedes they would make sure they knew what percentage of their readers buy luxury cars and what kind and the same statistics for competing magazines. If the other magazine has twice the circulation as dad's but 17% of the competitors magazine readers buy luxury cars but 47% of dad's buy luxury cars them dad's magazine would be a better way to sell Mercedes. A Cadillac driver is more likely to buy a Mercedes than a Chevy driver.

    They sold lots of ad space to manufacturers of heavy manufacturers equipment as they had lots of readers who were business directors who bought that sort of thing. When you talk with magazines be sure to ask about their readers, who they are, where they are and what sorts of positions they hold. If the magazine wants the sale they will provide the information you need to make an informed decision.

    Also, do not be afraid to ask about where the ad will be placed in the magazine, some locations are more desirable than others. Across from the lead story or lead editorial is good but many magazines require a commitment for a repeat cycles of ads (13 times a year, 26 times a year etc) for choice locations.

    Also remember that an ad may not make a sale for you but can generate inquiries. Also, if an employee goes to the boss and says "Sir, we should look into these new iBof Widget removers" it can help if the boss has seen ads and at least has hear of the product or vendor.

    No idea if this helps but I hope it does. Good luck.
     
  13. Alright thanks for your advice guys.

    I've pulled out of the ad. The thing which tipped the balance for me was that there was no hard evidence that the multi-thousand £ investment in a magazine ad would result in sales.
     
  14. Thousands ? What's the rate card for a page then ?
     
  15. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    Hate to ask, but this isn't the 'negligent discharge preventor/substitute baton round' you had a thread about a year or so ago?

    If it is, no amount of advertising/internet presence will help....

    Wordsmith