Marketing VS Advertising
Sometimes it feels like advertising money is just pouring out of the bank account when you’re trying to start something off.
Advertising is usually a very expensive way to promote your small business and it can be really hard to find out if it is working.
But there is an alternative – clever marketing. Yes, there is a cost most of the time but it can be far more cost effective than paid advertising.
Marketing is a term that is often used to capture advertising initiatives, public relations and direct communication with customers and potential customers.
Personally I use the term marketing as something that is separate to paid advertising and that promotes my business.
When I was meeting with a business mentor last year I talked with him about a paid advertising space in a targeted magazine which would cost about $1000 per edition. It was a small space (anything for $1000 would be small) and in amongst other advertisers.
Although the publication was targeted I still didn’t have much control about the audience – it would be a broad shot.
Instead he suggested spending the same advertising budget, $1000, on direct marketing selected shops from a carefully constructed list. The budget would be spent on postage, brochure and pictures. This made so much more sense.
Communicating (marketing) directly with selected customers on a one to one basis could take more time but could also deliver a better result than a blanket advertisement.
So where do you find your carefully selected customers? Through networks of friends, industry colleagues and associations, white/yellow pages, walking around selected areas and finding the businesses – all manner of ways.
How do you come up with more ideas? How about putting the word out there to your friends and associates?
How about having some friends come over and have a brainstorming session? See if they’ll let you tape it so you don’t have to be making notes all the time but still capture the value of it all.
Another great way to get marketing ideas is to check out marketing books and magazines, sign up for marketing idea newsletters, explore the Internet Marketing Centre’s course and remember the key is in the follow through.
If you follow up with customers, even just to say hello, you’ll be ahead of the pack already and you’ll most likely get additional sales for putting in the effort.
So think twice about spending money on advertising – explore cheaper and more effective marketing options that make you money.