By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant
This post is part of a series taken from M. Dana Baldwin’s article Marketing: A Key to Long Term Success published in Compass Points February 2002. In Part One, we introduced the series and discussed What is marketing? In Part Two, we discussed taking the long view. In Part Three, we discussed What is included in the marketing effort? In Part Four we will discussed What Next? In Part Five we discussed What about longer term goals for marketing? In this final post for this series, we will discuss What role does advertising play in marketing?
What role does advertising play in marketing? Obviously, if people don’t know about you and what you have to sell, it will be most difficult to sell them anything. So you do need to get your name out there and keep it in front of your public. While the traditional press in some form is an appropriate vehicle for advertising, the ultimate tool for most companies can be advertising on the internet. In addition to the internet, if you can afford it, you should do typical trade advertising. You may want to advertise in local papers, local magazines, the regional trade press or even national trade magazines. These can be expensive, but depending on your market areas, may well be necessary. But there also are a large number of no or low cost things you can do which will keep your name out in front of the public. Volunteer for local charities and other activities.
Send birthday and anniversary greetings to your customers and prospects. Send personal notes to people who get recognition in local papers and trade journals. Be ingenious. Watch how other similar businesses advertise, and learn what works and what does not. Do some cold calling, but do it right. Just calling prospects out of the blue may yield some results, but calling them after doing some homework could lead to more effective outcomes. One principle that should be remembered is to smile while making the call. Sounds funny, but the smile usually comes through the phone to the prospect, even though the caller can’t be seen. Another tip is to write out a script and to practice it until you are comfortable with it. If there are words or phrases that you are not comfortable with, change them until you are comfortable. When you make the actual calls, don’t read from the script. It will usually come across as stilted and uncomfortable, and will not be as effective as your natural conversation. Your script should include a brief introduction and the purpose of your call. Don’t try to sell something on the first call, rather try to learn what your prospect’s needs are and how you might best serve them.
Obviously this series is not a complete treatise on marketing, but it is a good selection of ideas that can help you understand your customers’ needs and preferences. Included are a number of ideas which are no cost or low cost, but which will possibly help you gain insight into ways to better approach the task of marketing. The goal is to build your image so that when your customers need your products or services, you are the first one they think of. Marketing should help you learn your best approaches to your prospects and could help lead to improved results for your business.
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M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com
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