Home-Based Business: Advertising That Works and Costs Low
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Home-Based Business: Advertising That Works and Costs Low

Advertising is a crucial element of any successful marketing program. It is a powerful tool that helps forge your business identity and provides a direct line of communication to current and prospective customers. A good advertising campaign performs the following functions.
                                           home business advertising

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Advertising is a crucial element of any successful marketing program. It is a powerful tool that helps forge your business identity and provides a direct line of communication to current and prospective customers. A good advertising campaign performs the following functions:

  • Creates customer awareness of your product or service: Quite simply, if prospective customers don't know you exist, they won't be able to order your products or hire your services.
  • Convinces customers that your company's product or service is top quality: If the quality of your product or service does not match or exceed that of your competition, you won't be able to survive in the marketplace.
  • Creates a unique identity for your company: Not only are you selling a product or service, you are selling your company as well. Take care to avoid one of the cardinal mistakes of marketing: running an ad campaign that neglects to position the company in a positive light. Creating a positive public image is essential.
  • Creates and reinforce the desire for your service or product: In essence, it helps generate demand, both new and continuing.
  • Publicizes new products or services: Consumers cannot know about your company's products or services unless you inform them.

Before you plan your advertising program, you need to know who is most likely to buy from you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will buy my product or service? Am I selling to individual consumers or to business?
  • Why will they buy it?
  • Where and how do my competitors advertise?
  • Am I positioning my product or service correctly? (If you face a great deal of competition, you might want to look for a market niche.)

Keeping Advertising Costs Low

How can you cut costs wisely when advertising? To begin with, keep in mind that freelancers often cost much less than a professional full-service ad agency or marketing company. There are many sophisticated graphic designers, for example, who will create an ad or brochure for you at a fraction of the cost that a full-service ad agency would charge. These days, many designers advertise in the Yellow Pages or Business-to-Business telephone directories. If you do choose to hire an ad agency, consider using a smaller agency that will offer you the attention and services that you require while still staying within your budget.

Another avenue to consider is the business services center of such value-oriented office supply retailers as Office Depot and Staples, or full-service printing shops such as Kinko's or Copymat. These discount retailers and service houses offer greatly discounted business services that range from printing custom business cards to helping you create your own flyers and brochures. Many even offer design services at very reasonable prices.

You also can cut costs by engaging the chosen media by yourself. In this way, you won't have to pay the standard ad placement commission to an advertising agency. The commission is often 15 percent of the total media time and space cost, and 17 percent of the production cost. Offer to exchange your products or services for air time or ad space. Your chances for success with such trade-offs are greater with smaller media, such as community-based radio and television stations, than with larger stations. As a small business owner, you have a wealth of advertising options available to you.

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