powerful advertising options exist today, which include websites and
email marketing, twitter/facebook/myspace/friendfeed, etc. Though these
are effective tools for branding and immediacy, we must not forget that
all advertising is not rooted in immediacy.

Many galleries desire instant gratification. They want their
ad to sell a painting right away. You cannot blame them for thinking
this way, yet decades of evidence prove that most advertising does not
generate immediate results unless a foundation of awareness has been
built in advance. In other words an advertiser who has been
consistently advertising will usually have better success pushing
something for an instant sale than an advertiser with whom the audience
is not aware.

Imagine that someone you have
known for years calls you and asks you to do a favor. You know and
trust this person (or not) and can easily make a decision based on
their request and your level of trust. On the other hand, a stranger
rings your door bell, introduces herself and asks for the same favor.
You have no "history" with that person and therefore your defenses
trigger fears. Its no different in advertising. If you do a good job of
marketing you build trust over time by your mere presence. If they
don't know you the viewer may ask themselves questions like Do I know
this gallery? Can I trust them? Is their quality consistent? Are others
collecting them? Do they have a good or bad reputation? Can they be trusted? These and other
questions often trigger an unconscious "I'll keep an eye on them" response. Therefore
more they see you the more they trust you. In contrast a gallery with whom the viewer is comfortable  will have already overcome
those objections creating fewer barriers to a sale.

This is why
instant gratification is not always possible. Advertising is a process
of building trust over and over again with the same audience. (Moving
ads elsewhere is starting over with a different audience). Online advertising
can be very effective at keeping your name visible and of course it
allows click-through to view your site, which also is a step in the
process of building trust. But, an ad expecting instant results on or
off line is less effective until trust is built.

There is a lot
of noise about how print is a thing of the past and I believe this to
be true for many forms of print, especially where news in involved, yet
evidence tells us that "shelter" and "leisure" magazines readership are
as strong as ever. And it is these leisure/shelter magazines which tend
to be kept for future reference. I keep every issue of Architectural
Digests on coffee tables around our home and as a result I may find myself
flipping through current or old copies multiple times. These multiple
impressions benefit the advertisers, who don't get a frequency of one
impression but probably get a frequency of five or seven. It is this
frequency that implants messages into your subconscious mind.

Ever find yourself flipping through magazines thinking "where did I see that ad." It happens all the time. In fact my magazine Fine Art Connoisseur
just heard from an advertiser who made a multi-million dollar sale this
past April from an ad that had run exactly one year earlier and not
since then. Probably the person thinking "where did I see that ad"
rummaged through past issues hoping to find it (probably in several
magazines not remembering which one ran the ad.) This is also why we
encourage frequency so that you're there when the reader decides they
want to find you. We frequently get calls from readers like this: "You
ran an ad for a gallery about three years ago. I can't get that
painting out of my head and I can't find the ad. It had deep greens and
blues in the ocean. Can you tell me where to find the gallery? I think
I'd recognize the name if you told me."

I often suggest that galleries run two images in every ad… a big one of the highlighted
painting and a small image of painting featured in the last ad as a
reminder (even if sold). I'd also place all my ads on my website so
customers could access past paintings for sale.

Understanding the power of frequency, shelf life, and trust building can go a long way in making advertising a success. These things trigger the subconscious mind, which is not always focused on immediacy.

Eric Rhoads
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine

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