Choosing Media First Is A Common Mistake small businesses make. An ad sales rep calls and the owner thinks, “Yeah, it’s kinda slow around here. We should advertise. What’s it cost?”
This lucky sales rep is about to make a sale based upon good timing and a price. Now her goal is to quickly fill in the blanks, collect all the generic information about your business that can fit in a rectangular box and your logo and she’s outta there. This owner has chosen media first without a clear reason for advertising and a message crafted to reflect that reason.
The first thing to consider should be your message. What do you want your audience to know? Why are you advertising? Do you have an exciting new product, special discount, new level of expertise? Have you just hired a specially talented person or added some very specialized equipment that makes your product or service unique? Are you ready to roll out some new and very special experience for your customers that you’re going to tell them about in your ad? Are you celebrating your 25th year in business and having a special customer-appreciation sale? Why are you in business? What makes you better or different than other available options? How is doing business with you going to benefit your prospective client? Answering the question “Why am I advertising and what am I advertising?” will help you begin to craft your ad. The next move is deciding who you want to see it.
That’s your MARKET. Now that you’ve decided what you want to say or the story you want to tell, it’ll be easier to decide who you want to reach…your MARKET.
Are you looking to capture the attention of everyone in a specific neighborhood? Perhaps your targeting only home owners or people who make at least a certain amount of money or have a certain level of education. Families with teenagers, infants, retirees?
When you have clarity in your message and your market, then you’re much better prepared to choose your Media.
Direct mail or a local newspaper will get you right into the market if you’re trying to capture theattention of a neighborhood. Choosing an appropriate section of a regional newspaper may be the answer to targeting people with specific interests or who fall into certain other demographic categories you choose.
The internet now gives the ultimate resource in marketing. Resources available to market online range from free to extremely cheap and are abundant. Somewhere online there’s a place where you can advertise, participate, post, dialog and infiltrate the public conversation to draw attention to your business. Whether you have a website or not, the internet is the ultimate equalizer whenit comes to competing with larger competitors. There’s no shortage of ways to learn how to do these things online or find someone who can help you.
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