Advertising Basics for the Small Business
Let’s start a discussion about advertising with a very significant bit of advice – plan it all out in advance! A successful business professional will tell you that the only way to use your advertising dollars is to have a detailed plan well in advance.
Why is planning so crucial? Any successful advertising campaign involves far more than getting the print or electronic “copy” to the advertising company on time.
It always involves doing some market research ahead of time and the tracking the results of the advertisements to be sure that they were worth the money spent. This involves developing plans of action and performing some serious analysis along the way.
How do you start? It all begins with the proverbial “bottom line”.
This means you have to scrutinize the budget to see what kind of income is available for an advertising campaign. Next, you have to take the research from your business or marketing plans to identify the resources available to you in your area or your industry.
For instance, a business with a purely local clientele is not going to channel the largest portion of their budget into the development of a website or pay-per-click ad campaign. Instead, such a business might spend their money on a good email list and email “blast” and might also resort to print ads in local magazines, billboards, and newspapers too.
Straight advertising, however, is not the only way to get a courier service on the “radar”. You might spend time and money performing a door-to-door advertising campaign in which you deliver a business card, brochure with services and prices listed, and even some sort of promotional material.
You could also get super-creative and send a press release to the local radio station indicating that you are the fastest, “greenest”, most unique, etc. service and then do some sort of public demonstration to prove it. This would bring a lot of attention quickly, however, and you would need to be sure you had the resources to maintain your desired level of quality and service.
When a business is small, it usually means that the advertising budget is small as well. Most professionals use their advertising dollars carefully and also spend time tracking their success.