Choosing a print advertising vehicle has everything to do with your target market, your product, and your budget. Next time you're at an ideal client's home, note the local publications they read —the newspaper on their stoop, the magazines on their coffee table. These outlets are where your target market will look for your service first.

If you aim to sell major remodeling services, position yourself as the remodeler of choice and the answer to a need, not a problem. Your best advertising vehicles are:

  • Daily newspaper “home” sections
  • Local and regional magazines
  • Hybrid home and garden magazines that use outstanding photography
  • If you sell minor home improvements, replacement products, or handyman services, position yourself as the solution to an immediate problem. Your best vehicles are likely to be coupon “pacs,” yellow pages, daily newspapers and weekly shoppers with “business card” ads, neighborhood newsletters, and church or synagogue bulletins.

    Many remodelers have little confidence in advertising because they expect immediate results on a one-shot ad. A single ad is not a campaign. Further, you must track leads to know if your ads are working. For that reason, always try to tie your advertising to an integrated marketing campaign. Use the same message and images in your ads and direct mail. Send your direct mail piece so it arrives in mailboxes at the same time the ad appears in magazines and newspapers.

    Success hinges on positioning yourself to be selected and then putting a consistent message in front of qualified homeowners. Download a complimentary worksheet and instructions for evaluating your next media buy at sheet. — Stephen Wilson ( is a partner in Biz-comm Inc.