The goal of a small business marketing plan is to grow your business. The first rule of advertising is target your customer. Let your customer know your company plans to meet and exceed their needs and desires. Focus on what is unique about your product and service, what you provide that your competitors are lacking. Always be on the lookout for additional products or services to offer your clients.
The best advertising will include a way to measure the results by requiring a direct response. Direct response advertising is marketing that encourages a direct action such as a coupon to cut and return, a number to call, or a website to visit to receive free information, a special discounted price, or a free gift. A deadline for the offer is usually attached to create urgency. Almost any advertising media can be converted to direct response allowing results to be measured.
Phone books, magazines, and daily and weekly newspapers are advertising tools that take a message into a lot of homes. Circulars printed for a specific community are a good choice for a small business providing a personal and local service. Add a coupon, or a code that a caller or online buyer must enter to qualify for a limited time offer. Now you can measure the effectiveness and the efficiency of your advertising strategy.
Many potential customers will use the internet to search for a business. A website is needed to capture this market. Reward your customers for referring their Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Internet advertisers can make date sensitive special offers. A customer clicks on a particular link to receive free information, a free give, or complete a discounted purchase.
Telemarketing, radio advertising, and cable TV are advertising strategies that reach thousands of potential customers. To track the efficiency of a telemarketing program, the call should set up a sales appointment or ask for a purchase decision. Radio and TV advertising can require the customer to give the call letters of the station to receive a special offer. Infomercials reach a large audience with demonstrations that stimulate desire. Add a special limited time offer for a quick response.
Offer your customers discounted services for referring new customers. Remind them by leaving extra business cards and fliers they can pass on to friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Cross advertise with businesses offering related services. Let them leave brochures marketing their services that you pass on to your clients and ask them to do the same for you. With a coupon included in the brochure you encourage quick action and can track responses.
Track the effectiveness of your direct mail advertising by including a coupon, or list a phone number with a code the caller provides. The code should identify to what advertisement the caller is responding. Catalogs can print a code to be requested when placing an order. Your customer is most likely to include the code in their order if a special offer is attached. Use this information to track customers preferred media for obtaining information.
Clear and concise advertisement focuses on the needs and wants of the customer. Solve a problem and create desire. Keep abreast of market trends and price your service or product competitively. An effective small business marketing plan uses direct response methods that allow the business to qualify and quantify the responses to their advertising strategy. With this information define and target your customer base. Expand your customer base while spending your advertising dollars wisely.