Free Marketing & Advertising information designed to get your business noticed offline and online!

Getting Your Business Noticed - On and Off the Internet

With the media(s) chosen, here is a pretty simple formula for creating your advertising copy:

  • Include the promise of a specific benefit your idea, product or service offers.
  • Expand or amplify on the benefit.
  • Prove the benefit you say you offer.
  • Make a call for action - "find out for yourself how good our product/service is."   This formula is good for virtually every medium.

Other forms of advertising are also applicable in your search for the right "media mix". Yellow Pages: Good. However, don't over do the ad size. Remember once purchased, it can't be changed for 12 to 18 months. Therefore, the message must not be time sensitive. And you must state it succinctly.

Magazines: If you want your message to work longer. To obtain a certain demographic segment - specifically if it is local or regional. To gain maximum exposure due to pass-along. You wish an editorial approach specifically aligned with your product, service or idea. Remember, you generally need longer lead time to prepare the ad.

Billboards: Outside & Transportation. Message must be brief - one or two quick lines or slogans. Needs pictures or solid graphic with a obvious message. Can be expensive. Positioning/Location is vital. If your financial resources are solid, worth some consideration.


DIRECT MARKETING: Chart

Many use direct marketing to sell their business, products services and ideas. Many mail order houses and fund-raising groups use it extensively. Others use it in conjunction with their regular marketing mix.

Direct marketing is a way of using advertising media to bring measurable and immediate response to a specific offer or message you've made. It is getting the message direct to prospective customers and expecting those people to get back to your business in some manner.

It uses many media, generally at the same time: Radio, television, newspaper, magazines, direct mail etc. Direct marketing's advantage is it gives you the ability to measure the success, or failure, of your marketing efforts to the penny. The number of responses - calls, returned cards or coupons - received tells you how much money was collected, and how much profit was made. It allows you to determine which of the different techniques worked best. The photo -vs- the graphic, the blue paper -vs- the red paper etc.

For the most part direct marketing consists of three areas. They are as follows:

  • Direct Mail: Using a mailing to reach prospects at home or office with a message enticing them to reply - by phone, mail or drop-in - to a specific offer.
  • Mail Order: Advertising in several mediums, in addition to direct mail, to get a direct response. It's called mail order because your products are shipped only by mail, parcel post, or sometimes courier services.
  • Direct Response Advertising: This is the method of advertising used in direct marketing.  It usually requires: 
      1. Making a specific offer or statement that motivates an immediate response, directly to your business.
      2. Give the prospect specific information about your business, product or service - since no salesperson is there to answer inquiries. Direct response print advertising usually contains a lot of information/ad copy. This should include some way for the prospective customer to respond - a reply card, a coupon to mail or bring in, a phone number to call etc.

Remember: The offer often can make or break the campaign. The offer must be strong enough to get the prospect to respond. The offer can be: a free trial, a free gift for ordering, a free sample, a good discount, an unlimited money back guarantee, a new/charter subscription etc. You can even include more than one offer.

In direct mailing promotions, the mailing list is generally the most important component. If you send your offer to the wrong group, the exercise won't be very successful.

Check the database (lists). Are they logical prospects - have they responded to mail-outs previously? How recently did they respond? Lists from directories are not very useful because there's no guarantee they'll respond. If the lists are old the people may have moved, or may no longer be interested in such offers. Determine the amounts of money these people on the lists have spent in the past. A $250 product won't generally fly with someone who traditionally has only responded to $50 offers in the past.

Many direct marketers rent lists from other advertisers through "list brokers". Many others use their databases to sell additional products and services. The advantage here is that the respondents in the database respect and trust the company, and tend to reply in good numbers. You should try to turn these customers into profitable, long term buyers. Some databases offered can be broken down according to demographics and psychographics, allowing contact on a more personal basis with special benefits and offers.


TELEMARKETING: Chart

Telemarketing has come under the gun recently. A number of disreputable telemarketing companies have created a negative impact on this industry. Calling at strange hours, harassing people with incessant calling, making phony offers, using high pressure sales techniques etc. So...make certain the telemarketing firm you deal with is reputable. Most are.

    Telemarketing is essentially:

    • Order solicitation and order taking. Now however, state-of-the-art electronic techniques are being used by many telemarketers to take orders.

    • Sales support is being used for basic market research. It is also used to set up personal sales call appointments, to follow-up on sales calls and even purchases.

    • Customer service is used to resolve and track product/service complaints, and to sell more customers who need service.

    • Total sales and service for smaller accounts and those a good distance away from your business, can be handled completely by telephone.

Telemarketing will probably continue to grow in may companies as the cost of advertising continues to increase. Due to the competition in the telephone industry, cost of long distance and the increase of toll-free lines have made telemarketing activities cost efficient, and even profitable for small businesses. As customers grow more comfortable buying by phone, telemarketing programs will continue to exist and even grow as a way in which to keep sales and service costs to a minimum.

All employees are telemarketers. Nearly all employees use the telephone as part of their work schedule everyday. What they say to customers and how they say it, has a tremendous impact on the success of a business and the company's marketing efforts. Employees need to know that calls from clients and customers are not nuisances to be dealt with. Proper telephone etiquette and usage is important. Most telephone companies offer "free" pamphlets and information on proper and effective telephone usage. Contact your telephone company today.


SALES PROMOTION: Chart

Sales promotion is a term that covers a vast array of activities. With the exception of personal one-on-one selling, advertising, public relations, publicity - it is anything that is considered a push towards the sale. The others are pull strategies that pull potential customers closer to the sale

Sales promotion includes any marketing tool - apart from those already referred to - that delivers a boost for sales. It operates at three distinct levels.

    1. Internal promotions - where a companies employees are rewarded for performance via: bonuses, contests, special perks or trips.
    2. Trade or retailer promotions that are executed outside the company. These are designed to have positive impact on sales. They can be: quality discounts, Special rates on trips for purchase, damaged goods allowances or special conditions and terms related to sales.
    3. Consumer promotions where the customer is rewarded through special rebates, discount or special purchase coupons, contests etc.

While sales promotions can be diverse - there is one common denominator that is associated with them all: they have a start date and an end date.

Today one very effective method of Getting Your Business and Products Noticed is Event Sponsorship. It integrates aspects of advertising, public relations, sales promotion and merchandising. Involvement can be way of concerts or special theater productions in conjunction with other parties - radio & television stations, newspapers, record and motion picture companies.

Whether it's a sporting event, concert, special conference or unique lifestyle event - good sponsorships need good events. Association with a chosen sponsorship event must be credible. The best results occur when there is a direct and logical link between the event program and brand. When the event and sponsor fall into the same lifestyle - you have a functional and profitable link.

Expenditures on sales promotions have risen over the last decade or two. This is because media costs have been increasing, making advertising more expensive. Sales promotions help to establish a difference between similar products and services. And, there has been an increase in the educational level of many buyers. Better educated and informed consumers have a tendency to discount the traditional emotional appeal associated with advertising. More and more they utilize rational reasons to purchase products and services today. And more than ever they look for added value.


MEDIA TERMS: Chart

Don't be intimidated by the industry jargon that a few media sales representatives use as part of their sales pitch. Once explained, they are easy to understand. The next time you hear terms like CPM's, GRP's, Reach and Gross Impressions - stop the salesperson and ask for an explanation of each terms precise meaning.

By the way: CPM is Cost Per Thousand (the dollar value for that media to 1000 people). GRP is Gross Rating Points (simply measure the total volume of your ad campaign's delivered target audience). Reach is how many prospects are actually exposed to to your advertising message over a given period of time. Gross Impressions are kind of like gross rating points - a prospect is counted each time they are exposed to your advertisement.

We hope this material has been of some assistance to you.  If you have a specific query, please feel free to contact us at the e-mail address below.  We will endeavour to respond quickly, usually within 48 to 72 hours.  You can contact us by telephone at (905) 820-5413, by fax at (905) 820-7218 or e-mail at info@BMCommunications.com.  For a detailed list of services we can provide, please click here.