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Getting your offline or online business noticed! - Part One

This marketing section deals with everything related to getting your business, product(s) or services noticed in the marketplace. It is a step-by-step guide to assist you in setting up your promotional plan. Promotion is one of marketing's major components. It's used to sell products, services and idea's. Promotion communicates and persuades through: Personal Selling, Publicity, Public Relations, Advertising, Direct Marketing and Sales PromotionFor a detailed list of our services, please click here.


PERSONAL SELLING: Chart

Everyone understands personal selling and all of us have experienced it. In short, it is one-on-one persuasion.   Every person who answers a telephone or deals with the public for a company has a "sales" role.   A good salesperson commands all of a customer's attention and goes through the traditional litany of a sale, consisting of Attention, Interest, Desire, Action and Product Usage and Satisfaction (AIDAPS).

1. Attention: The good salesperson has to find some method of gaining attention. When a customer appears in your place of business, he or she has shown general interest. The salesperson's role, then, is to focus the customer's attention on a specific need or on options. With the customer's attention, at least partially directed, the salesperson is prepared for the next step towards making the sale.

2. Interest: Attention implies some degree of interest, and the skilled salesperson should cite to the customer the features or benefits of the product or service. The object, of course is to answer the customer's unspoken question - "What's in it for me?" It's then on to step 3.

3. Desire: Once interest has been shown - it's up to the salesperson to heighten the customer's interest to the level of desire. For example: " Wouldn't this look great in your kitchen?" or "Imagine the compliments you'll get when you drive this vehicle into your driveway for the first time!"

4. Action: The good salesperson always asks for the customer's order. They might even use an alternative close: "We'll be in your area on Wednesday or Thursday. Which day would be convenient for you to take delivery?" Or, "It's agreed that this is what you need. Would you prefer the regular model or the premier unit?" Of course, not every sale works perfectly with AIDAPS. Consumer's do frequently have objections. It is up to the salesperson to determine their objections. Discover if the objections are real or a ruse. And overcome them.

5. Product Use and Satisfaction: The sale should never be over until the purchased item is delivered, and is followed up on. The salesperson or a business representative should always follow-up to determine satisfaction and usage. "Was the delivery OK? Are you satisfied with the product? If you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to call?" This follow-up service will assure satisfaction with the product and your company, generally resulting in referral and/or repeat business.


PUBLICITY:Chart

A step up from one-on-one personal selling is the use of publicity. Public relations people use publicity to get people to "know" something, "believe" something, or "to do" something. Publicity may be considered a hastener and multiplier of favourable impressions among the readers, listeners or viewers of the various media carrying your story.

Publicity helps distribute your message widely and with credibility. Stories in the media kind of offers them an endorsement, primarily because a third party developed the story/report.

It can offer the exposure of advertising at a fraction of the cost. However, publicity does not offer real control over the primary message in the same way that advertising does.

When developing publicity materials, you must: Keep the product low key. Highlight the media benefit. Give the consumer benefit a high profile. And tie publicity into all your other marketing efforts.  To learn how to construct your own press (publicity) release, click here!


PUBLIC RELATIONS: Chart

Enlightened corporate leaders understand the major role public relations plays in achieving corporate goals. Similarly, wise marketing people seek the support of the public relations people or staff, as part of the marketing mix.

When organizations act in the public interest, they act in their own interest. In essence, a business has two bottom lines. I believe it was Pat Jackson of "PR Reporter", that said a few years ago: "A company must please its public before doing business successfully. That's bottom line number 1. Bottom line 2, is the traditional one -- whereby a company measures success in financial terms. But a business won't have success on the second bottom line until it meets the public relations needs of its first bottom line."

The synergism that results from close co-operation between marketing and public relations staff or people can be positively astounding.

As we move into the 21st century the lines between marketing and public relations are almost non existent. An identical thing is occurring between marketing and other functional areas that play a role in selling a business, its products and its services.

The marketing people use conventional or established formulas to produce countable transactions. Public relations people use - mostly accepted - techniques to better the climate for the business so that all expected transactions can occur.

Marketing deals big time on emotion for quick effect. Public relations, on the other hand, relies primarily on information to effect behaviour over a period of time.

Marketing is what you do! Public relations is what you have! If you stop the marketing process, your business will inevitably shrivel and die. If you stop the public relations exercise, your business will still have public relations. That is: the public will still form opinions about it. And over a period of time, those opinions can in effect, become distorted - possibly creating an inability to carry out proper and effective marketing. This is the primary reason for the marketing and public relations functions (people) to work together.


ADVERTISING: Chart

Demographic and lifestyle changes have fragmented the mass market. The homogeneous market, based on broad consumer buying categories, has given way to splintered consumer groups -- each having special needs and interests. For example:

  • There has been an aging of the population. As the baby boomers got older, the birth rate declined.
  • Only a small percentage of households consist of the traditional family unit. Single parent families have risen. And those single parent households are headed by a growing number of women.
  • The once powerful 18 to 34 year-old group has been replaced by the 25 to 49 year olds.

Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. The media used to carry the message can be anything from Newspapers to Radio, Television to The Internet or Yellow Pages to Magazines.

The purpose of advertising may be to sell a product or a service. But to do that, an advertiser needs to: Identify logical purchasers. Test and prove specific appeals that will motivate each buying segment of the population, and identify the media(s) needed to reach each segment.

Proven appeals used in advertising copy/creative are:

  • Quality - the upscale appeal.
  • Thrift - good value for less money.
  • What's hot - everyone is doing it, or buying it. Health - vitamins, weight loss appeals, low cholesterol etc.
  • Vigor - exercise, aerobics, health clubs etc.
  • Nostalgia - even the kids respond to oldies music.
  • Youth - people regardless of age, like to think young.

Selecting The Right Media: The need for segmentation in advertising was recognized many, many years ago by publishers who wanted to offer business people magazines that concentrated on their fields of manufacturing, distribution, retailing or service. These publications were called class publications. Today, hundreds of trade papers are geared to specific demographics and lifestyle groups. Also, Radio, Television and Newspapers are all catering to or segmentizing their products to appeal to specific groups.

The major part of virtually all advertising budgets goes to pay for media space or air-time.  So, which of the advertising mediums are best?

As indicated in the marketing overview section of our site --"all media have their place". It is important to determine your specific advertising requirements and consult with representatives from those media that you believe are appropriate to your needs.

For the small to medium sized business, the major three mediums are generally going to be the most effective, unless of course you're marketing on a global basis.  However, the Internet is becoming an increasingly effective tool in the battle for market share even at local market levels.  If you haven't already done so, you can learn about these mediums by accessing the four links below.

The Internet is quickly becoming a major player in the battle for your advertising dollars. As I stated  previously, the Internet (WWW) is showing tremendous growth! By most advertising standards, it is a cost efficient medium and should definitely be investigated.  While the Internet still in it's infancy, business-to-business action has been highly successful, but business-to-consumer is moving a little slower.  Expect the explosion to be well underway by the end of 2001.



Part II of Getting Your Business Noticed  deals with a number of the other media that can be utilized by you to increase awareness for your business and to increase market share.

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