There are many companies out there that will advertise in every possible way. They end up spending a large portion of their yearly budget just in marketing their product. The question is… is it worth it? With so many outlets for advertising out there it is hard to figure out which one is best for your business. With a lot of small businesses undereducated, and other large businesses stuck in tradition, many are wasting time and resources. I want to share my thoughts and opinions on this topic, as well as give some advice to those making the marketing decisions.
So lets start with types of marketing. There is so many ways to market your business it is ridiculous. There’s newsprint, magazines, radio, television, billboards, flyers, apparel, door hangers, word of mouth, referrals, promotions, sponsorships, and many others. Using technology you can market a product through websites, banners, pop-up ads, pay-per-click advertising, Facebook, press releases online, e-mail blasts, e-mail subscriptions, site sponsorships, and still many others. All of these ways to market are great in each of their own ways, but are they right for your business?
After this last recession, one of the major cuts in many companies has been the marketing budget. The issue at hand is that these cuts probably could have been avoided had they marketed their products correctly. You see this much less with larger businesses, and much more with inexperienced small business owners. The key factor in determining how to market your product involves two simple words, “Target market.”
Looking at your target marketing will spell out how to market your product. Having a knowledgeable marketing person will also help you in actually determining this. When focused solely on one specific target market you need to look at how to get your target market to interact with your marketing strategy. For example if you are a business that is targeting high dollar clients in the professional world you will want to market accordingly; advertising in something like the Wall Street Journal, or business week would be a start. Many companies are always hiring and using websites to do such. One website for high dollar employers is theladders.com. This website specializes in employment opportunities of $100k a year or more. These high paying jobs are for high dollar clients that you are looking to gain. So advertising with a banner, or a small ad on this site may be a good idea. This is just one scenario of course, but it is a good example on how to market. As long as you are marketing in ways that coincide with your target market you will be able to get the biggest bang for your buck.
One easy way to be able to be seen is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This enables your business to show up with keywords that relate to your business. There are many companies out there that can help you with this, and something like this will not break the bank. With the internet growing at an extremely fast pace, your business and product is guaranteed to be visible to those that are searching for similar needs. This is one marketing strategy that I would recommend to all businesses big and small, no matter what the product. It is somewhat like putting your name first in the yellow pages.
An additional recommendation is to join your local chamber of commerce. My wife actually works for the chamber so I am somewhat biased to this, but many others will tell you that this is a great opportunity. These services will not be free in any way, but the benefits you obtain from the services that are provided are usually worth the cost that you put in. Some chambers have general membership dues that are paid in accordance with whatever is best for you, and others have tiered structures dependent on what you are looking to get out of your membership. Many chambers offer a business directory where you can list your business and what you do. Other chamber members typically use this in order to find a reliable business to provide services for them. There are also many other things that the Chamber will provide. Many have networking events where you can meet different business owners/representatives, as well as trade shows to showcase your business. Every chamber is different, but they all have great benefits. Contact your local chamber of commerce to setup a meeting with someone there.