By Stone Evans
No business can survive the long run without some form of
consistent advertising. As a result, most business owners will
eventually consider using advertising to promote their business.
The toughest part of the advertising equation is in determining
where and how to spend your advertising dollars. If you do it
wrong, you could plunk down your entire advertising budget and
receive absolutely no return on your investment. But, if you do
it right, your advertising could continue to bring a nice return
for years to come.
HOW DO I MAKE THE RIGHT ADVERTISING DECISIONS
In order to make good decisions concerning how to spend your
advertising budget, you must first have a good understanding of
the different types of advertising and promotion available and
what can be expected to be achieved by each.
· You must understand which markets the different media's can
· You must understand the demographics of the media's
· You must understand the buying habits of the consumers
reached through the media.
WHAT OFFLINE ADVERTISING & PROMOTION MEDIA'S SHOULD BE CONSIDERED
The media's that people think of most often are television,
radio, newspaper and magazine advertising. Of course, these are
the big boys that big businesses use regularly.
Other methods of promotion include trade shows, press releases,
direct sales, telemarketing, word of mouth, branding and
CONSIDERING THE BIG MEDIA OUTLETS
The big boys of advertising media's generally cost big bucks.
Given certain circumstances, the big media's can be bought for
very little money.
Take for example, television, radio and newspapers cost big
bucks during their prime times, but can be bought for pennies on
the dollar during non-primetime hours.
Television primetime is between 7pm and 10pm. Radio primetime is
between 7am and 6pm. With newspapers, the primetime is
Wednesdays and Sundays.
If you intend to hit a media during prime time, get ready to
drop some bucks. Primetime means that you will be able to hit
more consumers during these times. So, in most cases, a
primetime buy will enable you to reach more people with your
Non-primetime hours can still deliver a lot of eyes and ears to
your message, and sometimes, these off-hours can be bought for a
bargain basement price.
GETTING MILEAGE FROM EVENTS
Trade shows and press releases are more event-driven. The trade
show is the event, while the press release generally exploits an
Trade shows are an exceptional tool when you deal directly with
potential sellers of your products or services. Other shows are
directed at the consumer, and those can be very valuable avenues
for sales as well.
The press release is aimed towards gaining attention for a
business by distributing newsworthy information about the
Sometimes the appearance of a business at a trade show or other
show can provide the necessary angle for a press release. But
most often, a successful press release will actually require
more noteworthy information than the appearance of a business at
Yet, even the most mundane of information could be spiced up to
give the real air of importance necessary to get your press
release read and printed.
The great thing about a press release is that might permit you
to get relatively inexpensive promotion on television, radio,
newspapers and magazines; for far less than what it would cost
you to buy advertising in those same outlets.
UTILIZING A SALES TEAM
Depending on what type of business you run and the consumers you
are trying to reach, you might find direct sales and
telemarketing to be very lucrative ways to drive sales to your
Both are very similar in nature. Direct sales can be very
expensive, as it requires a great investment of time to accommodate. Telemarketing seeks to minimize the time
expenditure, but it often leads to a smaller degree of respect
Depending on your product or service --- and always depending
upon the people you employ to the task --- each method will be
more suited to each business on an individual basis.
BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS
I grouped branding and billboard advertising together in my
original list for a reason. I did this because billboard
advertising serves most businesses best by helping to support
the process of branding.
Branding is the process of establishing your business as the
supplier of a certain product or service, or in emphasizing a
certain USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as it pertains to your
If branding and USP seems to be a confusing concept, think about
Wal-Mart and their tag line: "Always Low Prices, Always."
Think about Ford Motors, "Quality is Job One."
Think about the Visa Card, "It's Everywhere You Want To Be."
You see, these top corporations have managed to make their USP
part of their branding.
Even if you are only competing in a local marketplace, your USP
can and should fit snugly into your branding strategy.
NO MATTER THE MEDIA OR METHOD
Whichever method or media you should choose to employ in your
advertising and promotion, you should become knowledgeable about
your market, and the consumers reached by each media. It is
important to understand which consumers can be reached by a
certain media, and in what quantities.
However you choose to spend your advertising dollars, you should
always track the results of your promotional efforts. Failing to
track successes and failures will ultimately lead to the failure
of a business.
When you know whom you are trying to reach and how you think you
might be able to reach them, you will begin to learn how to use
advertising and promotion to make your business successful. That
is a good thing --- after all, that is why you got into the
business in the first place, isn't it?
The Perceived Value of Advertising
Customers possess inherent special skills in evaluating and
determining the value of a product by simply viewing its
advertisement. Product advertisements not only convey the
business identity, but also the quality of the company's
product and service (including the deepness of the pockets).
How To Write An Effective
Advertisement Copy: 22 Ways To Increase The Pulling Power of Your Ads
Great copywriting is about knowing who your prospect is, what they need, what they REALLY want and how your product will give it to them.
Like any piece of written material, your ad should have a title, a beginning, a middle and an end.
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