An Unusual Advertising Strategy for SMEs


MD and creator of HayMax, Max Wiseberg discusses innovative advertising strategies to get your brand noticed

“I’ve often advertised in places where my competitors won’t. As well as the usual places people stock it, I’ve always tried to get HayMax into places you probably wouldn’t expect to buy it.”

“The inspiration behind all of this was when a great friend of mine told me about his colleague who gave up his job, left everything behind and bought a boat. He announced that he was going to go off chartering around the world. My friend told me that this happened a lot in his yachting community: people would go off chasing their dream but, almost inevitably, a few months down the line they’d find it didn’t work and would be looking for a job again.”

“But this guy wasn’t. He was in fact extremely successful and said the experience had been brilliant and he was continuing with it all. When my friend asked him how come he’d done so well he said that everyone else in his line of business had been advertising in the usual yachting magazines and he figured that his ad would be lost in with everyone else’s in those sorts of publications. So he advertised in accountancy titles, where his was the only advert for yacht charter and it worked.”

“So when I started HayMax I advertised my new organic allergen barrier balms in the ‘wrong’ places like Angling Times and Trail. It doesn’t matter who sees the advert and where it is, as hay fever affects a third of us anyway.”

“I still operate this strategy although I do also advertise in the more obvious health titles – it doesn’t make sense to leave them out. And it’s worked for us too – we’ve generated lots of sales this way and we’ve successfully implemented this as part of our PR strategy too, with editorial features in many unexpected media like Golf Monthly or Garden News.”

“My other great tip for advertising is to buy late space. When speaking to advertising contacts ask them to get in touch with you when they’re on deadline. You’ll be amazed at the savings you can make. However you have to be able to provide print-ready artwork that meets the exact specifications at very short notice. The quid pro quo here is that when a magazine has a space that needs filling quickly, you provide them with a service by reliably giving them the artwork they need and they are able to give you better rates. So you’re helping them out and because they’re on deadline and they trust you, they’ll give you an amazing deal.”