Kickstart MarketingExtract from Chapter 7:
The Marketing Toolkit- Introduction
New clients: you love them, you lust after them, you spend hours plotting and planning ways of bringing them into your business. For many people, their plans to lure new customers focus around advertising. Any advertising! For some reason there is a belief among small business owners that spending money on advertising must be better than not spending money. That buying an ad, even if you're not sure if it is working, must be better than buying nothing.
This belief probably starts with that helpless feeling of not knowing where to begin with your marketing. You open your local paper, a trade magazine or the Yellow Pages directory and find them chock full of advertising, so you assume that if everyone else is doing it, it must work. Just ask any business owner who has invested in advertising or paid promotion, and most have more stories of failure than success.
The fact is that not all advertising works, usually because it isn't targeted. We take a shotgun approach when we should be using a rifle. A lot of money is being paid to reach a lot of people that aren't needed.
Just like your general marketing strategies, your advertising tactics need to be focused on getting the right message to a significant number of decision makers from your target market segments. Once you have identified the decision makers in your target market, you can make better decisions about the advertising mediums you choose. You are less likely to be influenced by the sales pitch of advertising or media companies when you can evaluate each opportunity from a client perspective. A great deal on a radio advertising campaign can be dismissed because the majority of listeners are older than your target clients and live outside your market boundary. Yellow Pages advertising can be reduced because you know that your potential customers don't look for you in the phone directory. On the other hand, a stand at a trade fair visited by all your potential clients becomes a justifiable, low risk investment when you know that the majority of your target clients attend that annual trade show.
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