Advertise, without buyer’s regret

Marketing – and more specifically advertising – can be a daunting exercise. You have dozens — if not hundreds — of options to advertise nowadays. Which ones will be best for you to advertise your brand? Which ones will give you the best return on your marketing investment?

Advertise advert TRAIL magazine running South Africa marketing. Happiness is pleasure without regret quote Leo Tolstoy

It’s impossible to answer that highly complex question for you in this post, but I hope it does help you decide which avenue (or avenues) will be best for your situation. There is no one size fits all marketing solution, and only you can decide which will work for you.

Placing advertising in TRAIL magazine will undoubtedly be a superior choice if you sell trail running products or services, or of interest to trail runners. But even under the TRAIL magazine umbrella, there will be options that will perform better than others. Print will be better than digital for some marketing, and yet it won’t perform well for others.

My job is to help you decide on the best choice for you. That might mean I suggest you don’t advertise through TRAIL at all. You won’t be the first person I’ve pointed in another direction.

I totally believe in treating others the way I’d like to be treated. You may have run the gauntlet of poor advice from plumbers, roof repair companies, car salesmen, life insurance brokers, and the like. I have too, and don’t want you or anyone associating that uneasy feeling you got when you signed or clicked Yes on their booking forms with TRAIL magazine. For me, it’s about building a reputation of authenticity, based on… surprise… authenticity!

What marketing should I choose?

What works best for you will depend on several factors:

Goal. What is the outcome you want to achieve? Are you trying to sell a single product or event? Will this be for a short time only, or is it ongoing? Are you a service that needs a regular presence to remind readers of your benefit?

Product. Do you have a time-limited offer to promote? Or is it a new product launch you want the trail community to know about, and to tell their friends about? Or do you have a regular product that you want to boost sales of?

Credibility. How old is your brand? How well known is it in trail running circles? What is your brand’s share of voice? How loved is your brand in the marketplace? I strongly advise against advertising to brands that do not have suitable credibility. Advertising only amplifies what the marketplace has decided about your brand. If a brand has any negativity surrounding it, advertising in magazines only boosts that sentiment. Over the years, I have turned down ads from brands I didn’t trust for whatever reason. The number one factor was that I didn’t believe their claims to be a benefit to our readers. To run an ad from one of these charlatans would be a sell-out. Our readers come first, every time. They are our foundation. Advertising simply supports the central message.

My job is to help you navigate the options, and advise you, based on my 22 years of magazine marketing experience.

Avoid advertising mistakes

Have you ever bought something and regretted it? It might have been instantly (because you felt compelled by someone or some situation, against your better judgement). Or perhaps you regretted it after using it for a while, when you realised it was of inferior quality. Ever had a product break the day or month after the warranty expires?

Whatever the reason, buyer’s regret SUCKS!

It feels like such a waste of money, right?

I’ve had buyer’s regret too, and that’s why I’ll never sell you advertising you don’t need. That’s my promise. I’ll ask you questions about your product or service to understand what your goals for marketing are. If I feel we cannot help you (for any reason), I’d rather suggest another option, or refer you to another media company.

I consider your campaign like it’s my own campaign. If we’re going to assist you, we have to do it with a 100% clear conscience, and 110% commitment to making it a success for you.

Advertising success

Why do I want it to work for you? For two simple reasons.

First, I want you to be satisfied because that also makes me feel good about life.

Second, I want you to be so delighted by the experience and the results, that you come back again and again. That is win-win success in my book.

Deon Braun, TRAIL magazine founder

Advertise advert TRAIL magazine running South Africa marketing issue 15 newsstand

Grow your sales! Advertise with TRAIL magazine

In marketing, silence is very often a death knell. Book in TRAIL in four issues, and you get 12 months of high quality, affordable exposure.

“We have had more enquiries via our website in the last month from runners than we have had all year, and we are pretty sure that this is because of our ads in your fab mag. We are super chuffed.” Emma Brown, Trailnuggets.

Each issue is on shelves for three months, so when you’re in it, you benefit from a quarter of a year’s exposure.

If it’s trail runners you want to talk to, it makes good sense to be in as many issues as you can. We reward those who think forward by offering reduced rates for bookings of four or more consecutive issues.

“I want to thank you for your input, words of encouragement, and expertise you share with me. It is and will always be highly appreciated. Since the campaign launched I received 15 orders for a gross amount of R20,000. Thank you!” Terblanche Fourie, Weekend Warriors (Aonijie hydration brand).

Advertising is dead… long live marketing!

Magazine stats

6,000 print copy circulation. Published four times a year.

Estimated readership of 12,000+ from sold and post-newsstand back copies via retailers, existing subscriptions (we have not sold new subscriptions since March 2018, but existing subscribers are being serviced), back issue sales, partner sales, and event complimentaries.

Launch date: December 2011

Issues to date: 33


TRAIL is quarterly. Deadlines for 2019/2020 are:

  • Jan/Feb/Mar (T34) – Booking 28 Oct, Material 4 Nov, Sale Mon 16 Dec
  • Jan/Feb/Mar (T35) – Booking 27 Jan 2020, Material 10 Feb, Sale Mon 30 Mar 2020
  • Jul/Aug/Sep (T36) – Booking 27 Apr, Material 4 May, Sale Mon 22 Jun
  • Oct/Nov/Dec (T37) – Booking 27 Jul, Material 10 Aug, Sale Mon 21 Sep

Special emphasis themes for 2019/2020

  • T34 Jan/Feb/Mar 2020 – GIFT GUIDE – good gifts, socks, summer apparel, trail and road shoes
  • T35 Apr/May/Jun 2020 – AUTUMN GUIDE – lighting, compression, run shorts, food bars
  • T36 Jul/Aug/Sep 2020 – WINTER GUIDE – cold weather apparel, energy supplements
  • T37 Oct/Nov/Dec – SPRING GUIDE – rain jackets, eyewear, navigation/HRM units

Popular products like apparel, nutrition, and shoes appear in every issue, but the theme issues will have more of them. Products are arranged by category, in ascending price order.


Contact Deon Braun for the latest rates.

Reader surveys

Enquire for info if your brand seeks the comprehensive exposure a print, web, and social media campaign provides.

Past and present advertisers

32Gi, adidas, Addo Elephant Trail Run (2016-2019), AfricanX Trailrun, Altra, Asics, Biogen, Brooks, Bryton, Camelbak, Capestorm, Chariot Carriers, Columbia, Compressport, Dodo Trail (Mauritius), Enduren, Featherbed Trail Run, Feetures socks, First Ascent, Giant’s Cup Trail Run, Golden Gate Challenge, Hi-Tec, Hoka One One, Iamsuperbar, IceBreaker, Injinji, inov-8, Julbo, K-Way, Knysna Oyster Festival, KZN Trail Running, Leatherman, Ledlenser, Lisa Raleigh/Super Scoop, Mac Mac Ultra 2019, Magnetic South, Merrell, NAKD bars, Nativa/Go!/Turbovite, New Balance, Nuzest, On shoes, Otter African Trail Run, Oxpecker Trail Run, Pekant, Pure Adventures, racefood, Reebok, Royal Raid (Mauritius), Runtheberg, Rushbar, Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge, Salomon, Saucony, Skyrun, SPOT, Squirrel’s Nut Butter, StaminoGro, Suunto, Tekkie Town, The North Face, TomTom, Trailnuggets, Trek bars, Ultra-trail Cape Town, Ultra-Trail Drakensberg, Vivobarefoot, Warrior Race, Wildtrail, Wild Series, Wildlands Conservation Trust, Wolkberg Trail Run, Zini Beach ‘n Bush.

Advertise advert TRAIL magazine running South Africa marketing event help assistanceAdvertise with TRAIL to:

  • Inform trail runners about your useful products and services.
  • Capture the attention of new potential followers.
  • Change lives – and the immediate world – for the better, with your offering.
  • Show new potential buyers what your products and services can do for them.
  • Reinforce the benefits of using your products to people who already know about you.
  • Remind current customers that you will continue to help them with new offerings, or backup their existing products.

Partner with TRAIL magazine, and you’ll promote your brand in print, the magazine’s digital editions, and our social media.

Who reads TRAIL magazine?

TRAIL readers are high LSM, adventurous, fun-loving people from all ethnic groups. They place a high premium on being in the outdoors. They love running, hiking, and generally being on trails.

They tell us that their therapy is the great open spaces of nature. We know, we feel the same way!

To enjoy the experience, they look for reliable, long-lasting, and good-looking products. They look for services that will delight them and exceed their expectations. If that’s your product, your gift to the world, then we can boost what you’re already doing.

Our annual surveys reveal that over 80% of TRAIL readers also mountain bike, hike and road run, either at present, in parallel, or before taking up trail running.

TRAIL readers will pay extra for products that enhance their experience on trails.

And how will they know, if they are not shown?

That’s where we come in.

If you sell something that ticks the reliable, long-lasting, and good-looking boxes, you’ll recognise the need to promote to potential buyers every way you can.

Magazines have a sizeable part to play in advertising. You should see them as partners in distribution and the most cost-effective way you’ll ever create your own quality print campaign.

If you go DIY, you’ll pay the same, or more likely, more, than what you’ll do when you partner with a magazine. You can easily do the maths. Ask a printer for a quote and then add your additional costs – freight of your flyers to events, insertion costs, and postage. And the value of your precious time.

It adds up fast.

We want to help you save money, time and avoid all that frustration.

We do that through wide distribution

Retail. Sold through 600+ stockists including Spar, Clicks, CNA, Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books, Sportsmans Warehouse (they ceased stocking magazines from TRAIL issue 33), and specialist retailers in South Africa.

Digital. Available worldwide through:


Print Gillian Scott at Paarl Media KZN, Durban

Distribution manager Caitlin Starkey at RNA Distribution, Johannesburg

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to being of assistance to you when you need it.

Deon Braun, founder

Email me


website advert magazines for your event flyer Advertise TRAIL magazine running South Africa marketing event help assistance

Advertising lessons

I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of marketing managers over the 22 years I’ve published three endurance sport magazine titles.

There are two things I notice time and time again when it comes to the niche brands.

1. Advertising only amplifies (your reputation)

If you sell gardening tools, you need to speak to people interested in gardening. And regularly.

But there are times that advertising can actually hurt a brand.

What I’ve seen happen over the years: Scenario 1: If the product/service is a superior one and is popular with consumers, advertising boosts the public’s awareness and increases word of mouth. Result: increased sales. Think Apple, BMW, Cremora, and #Veganuary for their campaigns over the years. Scenario 2: If the product has a bad reputation or doesn’t solve a problem, advertising boosts the negativity through word of mouth. Result: plummeting sales and/or brand failure. One example I recall is Power Balance (although they are still sold, go figure!). They tried to advertise in Go Multi, my previous publication, a few years back, and I politely declined. I’m still grateful I went with my gut instinct.

2. Focus on solutions and benefits

Another thing I notice is how many marketers still make the HUGE mistake of pushing FEATURES instead of sharing BENEFITS. When I receive a PDF with a bullet list of FEATURES and TECH JARGON to be used as a product description, I know in five milliseconds in which camp they fall.


“Buy this LG washing machine! It has a Digital Inverter and a Direct Drive!” Does that make you reach for your wallet? I know that I am not swayed by that message.

But how about: “Let our LG washing machines save you at least R600 a year (that’s just R50 a month) on your energy bill (they’re 34% more efficient than similar-priced rivals). You’ll also love that they’re 25% quieter and independent tests show they last two years longer than rival brands. So over 10 years, you will have saved R6,000 in electricity. Our washing machine model X costs just R5,000. Do the maths!” You bet I would think about that.

So, do you tell your customers about what problem your product can help them solve, or benefit it will give them – or do you still try selling them features the R&D department stuck in a Powerpoint presentation?

The first works, the second fails.

How to book? Email me and let me know what you’d like to achieve with your campaign.

I’ll work through some questions, and give you the most cost-effective option, based on your budget and goals.























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