How to Eliminate Chaos in Your Business
Successful Business Promotions Follow A Process
In order for your business to be successful, customers must know about it.
You may have a great business, but you still need people to know about it for it to be successful. Promoting it is very important! You can get some business from word of mouth, but how much are you missing because of the lack of promotion?
You’re already working to keep your business running to its peak. With the right information, you can significantly improve your profit.
In this chapter, I will be brief and deal with general concepts in promotions, because “A Touch of Business.com” is full of information and products for the promotion of your business.
Create Your Message:
Analyze the message you want to advertise. You may want to decide whether you are going to run a newspaper ad or a radio spot, but you’re getting ahead of yourself. First, concentrate on the message, then the medium you will use. Your message is the most important part of the ad.
Let’s take the following example: a representative approaches you from the local newspaper. The rep is trying to sell you a quarter-page ad. You’re thinking, “How much will it cost me? How many words can I put in the ad? Can I use graphics?”
If you buy the ad, you will be building the message around the advertising medium, therefore limiting your message. When you are planning to advertise, the first step is creating your message. What do you want to advertise? Then choose the medium.
Why are you putting time, effort and money into advertising in the first place? You want results. To get results, work on your message!
Clarify Your Message:
Have you ever driven down a highway, when a billboard caught your eye? You looked at it for a couple of seconds, but you couldn’t figure it out, or you couldn’t read the print, because it was too small or too long. (Wake up, marketers! This is a billboard!) You can’t just put any ad on a billboard. People are driving by and may only have a few seconds to catch the message. How about when you’re reading a magazine? You see an attractive ad, but can’t figure out the company name or the contact information because it’s in tiny print.
Your message should be interesting, clear, easy to understand, and to the point. After all, who reads ads for enjoyment? But always make sure that your message doesn’t get lost in the ad.
Your Target Audience:
Your audience must be right for your offer. Trying to sell the wrong product to the wrong person, or even trying to sell the right product to the right person the wrong way, can be a costly mistake. Your advertising dollars go to waste, and on top of that, you risk offending potential customers by showing that you don’t know anything about them.
People who receive advertising for products they have no interest in often feel that privacy had been invaded and their time has been wasted. Think of how, in the retail business, a woman walks into a department store; she chooses to look at the products that interest her. She is not bombarded by a salesperson, trying to sell her something that she doesn’t want. Advertising should work the same way.
With direct mail or email, sending your offer to the wrong, untargeted audience is a waste of your time, plus you will get a lot of angry and lost potential customers.
For example, let’s say you sell computer parts. Maybe you have a special price on laser printers. Would you send an offer to a computer illiterate senior citizen, who doesn’t own a computer and probably never will? The more you study and target your audience, the more responses you will get to your offer. That’s why bulk untargeted email is a waste of time.
You might buy a CD with 1 million addresses on it, and start emailing your offer to every address. You may think, “It’s a million people I’m reaching. So what if some of them aren’t interested?” But how many people appreciate your methods? Even if they were interested, they may not buy from you because of the way you delivered your offer.
Consider the example of the laser printers offer. How would you write your offer to a bulk mailing? You can’t say, “Dear PC Owner.” You don’t know if they own a PC! Target your audience. Find the audience that would be interested in your offer. When you find the right audience, you have won half the battle. Your next step is to make a compelling offer!
Institutional vs. Direct Response Advertising:
Institutional advertising is advertising that can’t be tracked and has no call to action. It is advertising that is costly and is accomplished by repetition. Large corporations that can afford it usually use institutional advertising.
Some examples of such advertising are the Pepsi commercials. Many of those commercials are well produced. But after running the commercial, does the sale of Pepsi go up? Can Pepsi track how many sales they made by running that commercial? After the viewers saw the commercial, did they run out and buy a Pepsi? Institutional advertising is a concept that uses techniques that link your feelings to their product.
For example, you see this commercial about two guys driving down a desert road. Suddenly, their car breaks down, and they are stranded in the desert’s crippling heat.
For hours no one drives by them. Near-death, the two see a Pepsi truck stop. Instead of getting a ride, they just get two Pepsi cans from the driver, then go back to sit in their car and drink the lifesaving Pepsi as they watch the driver pull away.
This commercial is repeated three times a day for two weeks. What happens the next time you are really thirsty? Do you go for the Coke or the Pepsi?
You will reach for Pepsi because of the commercial. You may not be aware of it, but that’s what happens. The Pepsi product has been linked to a relief of thirst. This link has been planted in your subconscious mind. That’s why you went for Pepsi, instead of Coke.
Direct response advertising is a concept in which your advertising can be tracked and your potential customer is asked to take action. With this type of advertising, you can fine-tune your promotions to maximize response rates.
For example, changing a headline from a bad one to a good one can be the difference between success and failure of a promotion.
An example of direct response advertising is an ad in the paper for sugar at a certain price: just bring in the coupon and receive your discount. With this example, the customer was called to take action and we can calculate how many coupons were brought in, and therefore determine if our advertising was profitable.