Advertising and promotion

June 4, 2009

I am a very hard person to sell advertising to as I will not spend hard-earned money on advertising that does not show a real rate of return. Promotion is the section of marketing relating to advertising and networking. Picking the right channels of communication is vital for any business. The first part of picking your channel is to define as accurately as possible your target market. The broader your message gets dispersed the more diluted it becomes. But if you can closely define your target customers then the more influential will be your message. This is the trick to cost-effective promotion. Always ask the question of any promotional opportunity of how targeted is this to my target markets.

Of course there is now a wide range of advertising media. The following is an arbitrary categorisation.
1. General Advertising. This is aimed at increasing your product or company’s general awareness in the publics eye. Posters campaigns and door to door leaflet drops are examples of this. Information stands for the general public is also included here. Again as this is a broad spectrum message the return on this communication medium can be extremely diluted.
2. Classified advertising. These are the lists of people engaged in particular sectors. The Golden Pages, Independent Directory and many smaller local publications exist. There are also industry specific listings available for specific issues. Again measure the cost effectiveness of these mediums. It may be necessary to be in the Golden Pages but it may not be necessary to have a large ad. Remember people tend to look for local businesses and if you are nearer than someone with a large ad then you may still get the business. So think out what you want from this medium and then measure its cost effectiveness.
3. Trade Fairs and Trade Magazines. The beauty of trade-specific promotion is that they are aimed exclusively at your target market. Specifically trade only fairs. But remember that there is also a high cost attaching to these events or publications. The more specific they are the higher the cost. So only engage with your eyes wide open. You are going to these events to sell not raise product awareness. But on the other hand you have to speculate to accumulate.
4. Direct Advertising. This is where you write to specific individuals and promote your product. Most direct mail is seen as ‘junk mail’ and is dispatched to the bin. But it depends on how you approach it. This is best used as part of a sales strategy where you are looking not to sell the product but get an appointment.
5. Networking. There are many business-to-business networks now in existence. These can range from social networking for business people (, more professionally-focused networking online ( and a wide range of event-driven networking organizations (Chambers of Commerce, BNI etc).
6. Word of Mouth. The most effective promotional method of all. Unfortunately, the one that you cannot control or direct. But also remember if it is bad news it can also kill your business. One useful method is personal recommendations. Here you ask a satisfied customer if they know anybody else who might benefit from your product. You can then go to the other prospect and say “ Mr. X suggested that I give you a call”. If you have the selling skills this is the best form of sales entry you can get.

Advertising and promotion cost time and money. So the general rules are target your customers directly, do a cost-benefit analysis on every method of promotion you use and get value for money and time.


2 Responses to “Advertising and promotion”

  1. That was an excellent post with some great information. We published some information on this topic too. You can see it here.

    • kengermaine Says:


      Thanks. Had a quick look at your website. Good luck with the network. Couldn’t sign up when I tried. Please keep in touch,


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