Marketing in today's " high pressure" society has become a serious guessing game where highly trained and correspondingly compensated professionals seek to develop an edge for their clients. Successful agencies are those that find ways to directly stimulate a sale or negotiation. In this environment, most major publications include advisory personnel on staff to assist their clients in developing effective advertising programs.
At The Celator, we unfortunately do not enjoy the luxury of hiring this kind of expertise. Still, we feel a need and responsibility to do everything in our power to make advertising a viable and successful experience for our many commercial supporters. Afte r all, without their continued involvement we would cease to exist. On the whole, comments which we receive from advertisers about the impact of their ads are positive. Sometimes they are very positive, which always helps brighten our day. We have noted one area, however, where reader response has consistently been poor. Because we do not have the expertise on staff to analyze this area of concern we bring it to you, the reader, for some insight and feedback.
Several firms have, over the past couple years, run full page ads featuring specific coins or antiquities for sale. These ads typically list anywhere from a few to as many as 40 or 50 items, and they have included objects in a variety of conditions and price ranges. While collectors seem eager to purchase the same type of material from dealer lists and catalogs, they frequently shy away from ads of this type in The Celator. This is mystifying to me, since the coins offered in these ads are exactly the same coins that will ultimately be sold on someone 's list. Not only is this the case, but the prices asked on a mail list will in almost every instance be higher in order to compensate for the costs of production and distribution. An ad in The Celator' is much cheaper and easier to produce, from the seller's point of view, than a direct mailing.
For reasons which we do not understand, and desperately need to understand, this particular type of advertising has not been very effective. We know that our readers are making contact with our advertisers, and that consistent advertising does lead to sales. What we don't know is why this direct sale advertising has not worked very well, and what it will take to make it work better.
Some readers have written expressing their interest in seeing lower priced coins advertised, bm as Sandy Wolf pointed out in last month's Letters section this does not seem to make the difference.
This is a subject that you will probably never see broached in this way by any other publication, but then no other publication is quite as fraternal as The Celator. We depend on reader feedback (help from our friends) more so than many other publications might.
Don 't expect to see your comments published in our Letters section, but if you have ideas that might help - we certainly welcome and solicit them. Even if you don't have an explanation for this perplexing phenomenon, remember to say you saw it in The Celator when contacting dealers about offerings or events. Since the number of collectors in this hobby is really limited every little bit of feedback helps.
The Celator is more than just a magazine about ancient coins and antiquities, it has become the focal point of a very small and diverse group of individuals sharing a common bond. In many ways it is a "club" publication without the club. It is truly a publication by and for the readers. It has grown and improved because readers and dealers have chosen to support it. We should not lose sight of the fact that this support is one of choice and only from our mutual support do we derive a mutual benefit.
We will be at the ANA convention, as this issue goes to press, and expect that it will be a gala affair. Hopefully we can hold back the Art & Market page from our printer long enough to include an " in-progress" report. With the Pre-ANA show, PNG Day, auctions and the convention itself (which lasts for six days this year) it should be quite a busy week.
The Fall auction and show circuit will be upon us before we know it. Although we are still waiting for a formal press release, the big news this year is that the New York International Numismatic Convention has reportedly been sold to a consortium of dealers. According to a spokesman for the group, it will be reduced somewhat in size and will be held this year in early December at the Drake Hotel. Look for an announcement soon.
As usual, we appreciate hearing from you so why not take a moment to share your point of view?