Benchmark Communications offers you full service advertising, marketing, media and media buying expertise at reasonable cost

Offline and Online Marketing and Advertising Today - An Overview


These pages have been created to supply you with sufficient information to help you understand and appreciate marketing as it relates to promotion and advertising through the use of traditional media and the Internet. The purpose of this document is not to specifically suggest one media over another, but to supply some basic advice that will act as a good primer for your marketing and advertising planning, whether your business is online or offline.  For a detailed list of our services, please click here.  To get a free marketing analysis and free service quote, please visit How Can We Serve You?, and complete our brief online form.

It is important that you plan what your Marketing or Advertising Strategy will be.

Do your homework:

  • Clearly define the image you wish your business to convey in the market place.
  • Establish exactly the service(s) or product(s) you provide.
  • What demo or group are you targeting?
  • Determine your business' edge over your competitors: Pricing, Quality, Customer Service leading Up to Sale, Friendly - Qualified - Professional Staff, After Sales Service, Guarantee's, Location, Hours of Operation etc.
  • In short, determine precisely what you want to say, and how you want to say it?
  • Also establish if an Internet web site is right for you and your business?

First, lets look at your media options and some quick points on each.

Newspaper AdvertisingIf Print: Should it be Classified or Display? Substantiate circulation (readership). Large ad or small?  What are the lineage costs? Are there volume discounts available?  What about positioning such as page location or in a thematic feature section?  What about augmentation of print with other media to achieve maximum market saturation (which media works as the best compliment to my newspaper campaign?   Follow this lead to additional information on Newspapers!

Radio AdvertsingIf Radio: Theatre of the mind? Certainly, but not like it used to be. Get substantiated 1/4 hour, daypart and cumulative audience figures. Station Formatting is of vital importance. If you're essentially targeting a younger demographic, placing your campaign with an strong adult 35+ news/talk station is not where your ad dollar's are best spent. Radio is portable.  It goes everywhere, from the bedroom, to the bathroom to the beach; from the car to the office. Radio is generally cost efficient! With Radio you can really target people by demographic and lifestyle. What about other media for augmentation?  I admit some bias, but it works! -- our personal favourite Radio

Television AdvertisingIf Television: Let's people see your business and products. Pick a program spot, but remember the higher the program's rating, the more it will cost you to advertise. What about television's higher production costs?  With campaigns in the right programs and with good motion visuals -- TV can be powerful.  Television is a good image builder.   It has become more fragmented now that cable and the Internet exist.  You can more efficiently target now, but with few numbers. Television viewer-ship decreases significantly in the summer months.  Get more information on Television!

Consider your creative: Colour, graphics and positioning for print.  Music and sound effects for radio, or a straight read.  A hard sell or soft sell approach?   For television and the Internet: audio streams, strong visuals (graphic stills or motion video), or animation etc.

Internet MarketingIf the Internet:  The Internet is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, and is flexible. Full commercial applications are just around the corner, even though the Internet is primarily, and always will be to a certain degree, a data delivery system.  The positive ramifications of e-commerce on the Internet are beginning to boom. Look at web site development and web page design costs.   Consider integrated marketing to promote your Online business.  Consider the secure financial transaction factor. Security is still a bit of an issue to be dealt with, and this privacy issue is being resolved which will allow more people to feel confident with the Web as a commercial entity.

Presently, more men utilize the Web than women across all demographics. Yet, female numbers continue to increase dramatically.   The number of seniors Online continues to rise too.  In short, Internet usage delivers all demographics 12 to 65 plus.  It's also much less expensive than conventional advertising and it's scope is truly global.  Visit at our Site Index and Marketing Online page for a more comprehensive look at the Internet and the World Wide Web.

As an awareness and marketing tool a Web Site is great - if it's properly promoted! As a revenue generator it's presently more conducive to a smaller but growing number of products and services. For example: the Travel Industry, Book and Compact Disc Sales, Banking, Computer Software, and Specialty Items not readily available in conventional retail outlets etc.

Promotional & Advertising ItemsThere are also a number of Promotional Item's suppliers. They can deliver you everything from logo'd clothing items and bags to pens and coffee mugs. These promotional goodies can be an effective advertising tool, but beware!  Make sure the quality of the items you purchase from these companies are of decent quality. To give a customer/client a promotional item that is hardly useful, or worse yet breaks after it's used three or four times creates a negative impression.

Other ways in which to promote your business and product(s) in the marketplace -- are through the: Public Relations - Direct Marketing - Outdoor/Indoor Billboards -Telemarketing - Sales Promotions - Publicity (at a fraction of the cost of other media) and Multi-Media.   I'll address these in the marketing section Getting Noticed.  Please visit our Links Page for a number of other advertising and marketing resources.  To view the entire contents of our web site, please click here!

All advertising mediums have their advantages, but the "media mix" must be right for you.  And...always remember cost!  Establish a budget that's right for your business.

Which ever medium(s) you use -- don't be pushed into buying.  If you can afford it - hire an agency or media planner.  If not, do your homework - plan ahead.  Ask questions and substantiate all claims. Request testimonials, and follow-up on them.   No one medium stands alone. It is always better to augment any campaign with more than one medium (Integrate).  Consider the advantages of each and the negatives too. But...ADVERTISE and PROMOTE!

And remember, that a small number of ads, billboards, insertions is not enough. Build any campaign on "frequency". "Frequency" is of vital important when it comes to any form of advertising!

If You Don't Advertise Or Promote, A Remarkable Thing Happens... "Nothing!"


Marketing & Advertising Facts

FACT:  Whatever medium(s) you choose, never Advertise or Market your service(s) or product(s) until you are completely satisfied that everything has been done to see that your - sometimes costly - advertising expenditure will not have been in vain.

The objective must be to move your customer through "5 Stages": Product Awareness, Product Interest, Product Desire, Product Usage and Product Satisfaction. Today more than ever, we must service the customer so well that he/she cannot imagine finding equivalent or better value, service, product, and people elsewhere. So: "Know your market and If there's a need fill it!"

In short, Radio Stations - Television Stations - Internet Services - Newspapers can bring customers to you, but unless the above objectives are in place, even a great advertising campaign or marketing strategy can fail.

PHILOSOPHY:  We believe there are four cornerstones for business success. In our opinion everything else is secondary.

Creativity: Rather than use innovation or new product development, we use creativity because it is more comprehensive. Creativity is the need to continually and consistently add to the value a company supplies to the client/customer. Creativity is innovation in all areas of a business.

It is fundamental to any business at its inception, and beyond if it really desires success. A business needs to focus its creative efforts on the critical areas that will provide the best returns in terms of adding value to its services and products.

High Energy: High energy levels are important in business. Getting there first is frequently the key to success. Look at Microsoft! The quickest service is impressive, and yes it must be done right. The will to win generally gets results, and enthusiasm is usually contagious.

High energy appears to encourage and develop creativity. Making things happen is the real test, and making things work often takes a lot of energy. Frequently, thorough and fast execution can make the difference. High energy is also necessary to sustain a company's forward growth.

Money: We simply can't do much without it. Many new enterprises fall short because they ran out of cash. Success attracts capital, but it consumes it at a fast pace. The ability to attract money and then manage it, along with the growth of a company is always of vital importance.

Management: The ability to pull all the company's resources together, and focus it in a strategically successful direction is imperative. Managers have to have leadership and vision. They have to build. The test of a good manager is his/her ability to sustain creativity and high energy levels on an on-going basis through leadership and with a reasonable clarity of vision.

Thank you for visiting.  We hope these pages are of some benefit to you. Your comments on this we site would be appreciated. You can respond by e-mailing us at info@BMCommunications.com.

Gerald Laing
Gerald Laing
President

Benchmark Communications

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