Marketing & Sales

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Advertising and Promotions

Advertising is a way of letting your customers know what your business is and about the products and services that you offer. You can use it to encourage customers to buy from your business rather than from your competitors.

Most small businesses only have limited advertising budgets, so it is important to develop a campaign that suits your business and will be effective in reaching your customers. Prior to deciding on an advertising campaign, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it going to put me in front of my target market?
  • What will it cost and what other options do I have?
  • Does this have the potential to harm my business' image?
  • Is it likely to generate sales or increase my profile?
  • Is it promoting features and benefits that are relevant to my target customers?Advertising and promotions

Some of the common advertising and promotional options available to small businesses include:

  • Direct mail - an easily accessible direct marketing method that involves sending printed material directly to customers to inform them of special offers or new products. Direct mail can be used in the form of newsletters, brochures or magazine inserts.

  • Personal selling - a face-to-face sales activity that occurs directly between the buyer and the seller. The aim is to develop a relationship (short or long term) with the customer so that you can sell the benefits of your products and services to them.

  • Sales promotions - short term campaigns designed to quickly stimulate demand and encourage customers to make purchases. These can include coupons, free samples, contests, demonstrations and temporary price reductions.

  • Public relations - often referred to as PR, this involves managing communication between your business and any individuals or groups that are connected to it or affected by it in some way. This includes your customers, suppliers, employees, the government and the general public.

  • Internet marketing - this can be a great way to do business, especially with the increase in the number of people who frequently access online material. Online advertising is similar to print advertising in that it offers a visual message, however, it provides additional advantages over traditional forms of advertising.

You can find out more about ‘advertising and promotions' in the marketing module.