Sunday, March 1, 2009

Offline Promotion Strategies 101

Copyright © Stone Evans, The Home Biz Guy

No business can survive the long run without some form ofconsistent advertising. As a result, most business owners willeventually consider using advertising to promote their business.

The toughest part of the advertising equation is in determiningwhere and how to spend your advertising dollars. If you do itwrong, you could plunk down your entire advertising budget andreceive absolutely no return on your investment. But, if you doit right, your advertising could continue to bring a nice returnfor years to come.


In order to make good decisions concerning how to spend youradvertising budget, you must first have a good understanding ofthe different types of advertising and promotion available andwhat can be expected to be achieved by each.

· You must understand which markets the different media`s canreach.· You must understand the demographics of the media`sconsumers.· You must understand the buying habits of the consumersreached through the media.


The media`s that people think of most often are television,radio, newspaper and magazine advertising. Of course, these arethe big boys that big businesses use regularly.

Other methods of promotion include trade shows, press releases,direct sales, telemarketing, word of mouth, branding andbillboard advertising.


The big boys of advertising media`s generally cost big bucks.Given certain circumstances, the big media`s can be bought forvery little money.

Take for example, television, radio and newspapers cost bigbucks during their prime times, but can be bought for pennies onthe dollar during non-primetime hours.

Television primetime is between 7pm and 10pm. Radio primetime isbetween 7am and 6pm. With newspapers, the primetime isWednesdays and Sundays.

If you intend to hit a media during prime time, get ready todrop some bucks. Primetime means that you will be able to hitmore consumers during these times. So, in most cases, aprimetime buy will enable you to reach more people with youradvertising.

Non-primetime hours can still deliver a lot of eyes and ears toyour message, and sometimes, these off-hours can be bought for abargain basement price.


Trade shows and press releases are more event-driven. The tradeshow is the event, while the press release generally exploits anevent.

Trade shows are an exceptional tool when you deal directly withpotential sellers of your products or services. Other shows aredirected at the consumer, and those can be very valuable avenuesfor sales as well.

The press release is aimed towards gaining attention for abusiness by distributing newsworthy information about thebusiness.

Sometimes the appearance of a business at a trade show or othershow can provide the necessary angle for a press release. Butmost often, a successful press release will actually requiremore noteworthy information than the appearance of a business ata show.

Yet, even the most mundane of information could be spiced up togive the real air of importance necessary to get your pressrelease read and printed.

The great thing about a press release is that might permit youto get relatively inexpensive promotion on television, radio,newspapers and magazines; for far less than what it would costyou to buy advertising in those same outlets.


Depending on what type of business you run and the consumers youare trying to reach, you might find direct sales andtelemarketing to be very lucrative ways to drive sales to yourbusiness.

Both are very similar in nature. Direct sales can be veryexpensive, as it requires a great investment of time toaccomodate. Telemarketing seeks to minimize the timeexpenditure, but it often leads to a smaller degree of respectand attention.

Depending on your product or service --- and always dependingupon the people you employ to the task --- each method will bemore suited to each business on an individual basis.


I grouped branding and billboard advertising together in myoriginal list for a reason. I did this because billboardadvertising serves most businesses best by helping to supportthe process of branding.

Branding is the process of establishing your business as thesupplier of a certain product or service, or in emphasizing acertain USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as it pertains to yourbusiness.

If branding and USP seems to be a confusing concept, think aboutWal-Mart and their tag line: "Always Low Prices, Always."

Think about Ford Motors, "Quality is Job One."

Think about the Visa Card, "It`s Everywhere You Want To Be."

You see, these top corporations have managed to make their USPpart of their branding.

Even if you are only competing in a local marketplace, your USPcan and should fit snugly into your branding strategy.


Whichever method or media you should choose to employ in youradvertising and promotion, you should become knowledgable aboutyour market, and the consumers reached by each media. It isimportant to understand which consumers can be reached by acertain media, and in what quantities.

However you choose to spend your advertising dollars, you shouldalways track the results of your promotional efforts. Failing totrack successes and failures will ultimately lead to the failureof a business.

When you know whom you are trying to reach and how you think youmight be able to reach them, you will begin to learn how to useadvertising and promotion to make your business successful. Thatis a good thing --- after all, that is why you got into thebusiness in the first place, isn`t it?

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1 comment:

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