Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Placement and Promotion

A good promotional strategy lets consumers know what your product is, what it does, why it's better than anyone else's, and how they can buy it.

A great promotional strategy communicates your brand identity and your values. It doesn't just tell consumers why they need your product; it inspires their goodwill, trust, admiration, respect and loyalty.

A common misconception here is that promotion simply means paid advertising. That is just one method, but it is not the only one. Public Relations, networking, and other low cost/ no cost promotional tools.

The Who, What, When and Where of effective advertising.

Who: The Right Audience: With your customer profile in hand, you should know the characteristics of your target market, and can analyse media choices to see which of them are most likely to reach this audience.

What: The Right Message
Regardless of the type of advertising, the message contains the following elements:
Offer: What are you trying to sell?
Benefit: what this product will do for your customer?
Proof: Evidence that the benefit is real (pictures, testimonials, surveys, awards)
Call to Action: Ask the customer to do something, and give the information needed to take that action.

The Right Message
It grabs people's attention and holds their interest.
The headline should get your immediate attention and holds their interest.
The illustration or photo should attract your interest
The text should clearly identify benefits to your customer
The close (logo, last line, etc.) should provide a call to action and all the information needed to make contract and buy.

When: The Right Time
Timing, frequency, and consistency are the rules of thumb for deciding when to advertise.

Timing:is essential, since the average person is hit with over 5,000 advertising impressions each day. You need to maximize the potential for the customer to be paying attention.

Frequency: According to advertising experts, a customer usually must hear or see an advertisement four to nine times before the message sinks in.

Consistency: It takes an average of six months for a new business to get noticed, for people to change their buying behavior, and for competition to react. For this reason, consistency in advertising is essential. All promotional material should have the same look and feel, in order to communicate the business's brand identity.

Where: The Right Place
Ask the question: Where will people who are interested in your products be most likely to look for your ad?
Knowing the customer helps you make these decisions intelligently. That is why market research is so important!! Your industry information can be big help here, telling you whether your prospective customers are more likely to listen to the radio, watch TV, read the newspaper, respond to flayers, and so on.

Types of Advertising: Your Media Choices

Word of Mouth
Print Advertising
Broadcast Advertising (Radio & TV)
How many signs do you see today?
Signage doesn't just advertise, it also gives directions, and provides other services.
ABC's of Signage:
Attracting new customers: Every year, a certain amount of your customers will move away or change their buying habits. That means you must restock your customers, just like you restock your inventory.
Branding your business: Signs are vital to branding. They trigger emotional responses. They make promises about quality and service. They either beckon or repel customers. Just as with dress, personal hygiene, and etiquette, FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!!!
Creating impulse sales: Studies show that impulse sales make up 68% of total sales. Signage must attract impulse buyers; only then can your service and value turn them into repeat customers.
Public Relations see previous Blog about Public Relations
Networking see previous Blog about networking
Sponsor events
Be a guest speaker
Trade Shows and Consumer Fairs
Cross Promotions