If you're still trying to figure out the right marketing idea for small business growth, this article should clarify where you should be allocating your small-business budget.
First, let me come right out in the open and tell you that most marketing, well...sucks.
And it all starts with spending money on advertising and, usually, it's too the wrong people...or not enough marketing to the RIGHT people.
That's problem number one.
Number two is you're branding instead of practicing direct response marketing...which is what all small businesses should be doing.
Getting their Attention (with a headline), creating interest (in what you have to say to them and how it's going to help them)...then creating a desire for your product or service...
And last but certainly not least...you've gotta get THEM TO TAKE ACTION.
Get them to fill out a form. Pick up the phone and call your office. Come buy your product.
This, what I just explained, is the direct marketing principles more businesses could be following.
And before I forget...advertising is sales. If you're advertising isn't making
And this means learning everything you can about direct mail (a very educational, free course on Direct Marketing is offered on Yanik Silver's Instant Sales Letters Website)
Now let me go over some of the marketing practices you're probably already thinking about...
Brochures and flyers
This is usually the first form of marketing that small business owners think they need. It's the thing FedEx Kinko's says we've gotta have.
Some are pretty.
Some are boring.
Some are flashy.
Some are slick.
But most -- no matter how they look -- aren't going to make a sale for you and more often than not cost you more than they're worth.
To clarify, a brochure is not a selling tool... but a branding tool.
What's the difference?
Well, brochures used as stand-alone's without a vehicle such as a sales letter or a face-to-face presentation can't do the job you need them to do.
As the old adage goes -- brocures "tell" and letters "sell."
In other words, you make the sale with a letter and back it up with a brochure. It's a "look at here" marketing tool.
Marketing with Postcards
Although postcards are inexpensive compared to most other forms of marketing, they're not effective for everything you do.
They can, however, give you recognition, but should almost always be used with a more powerful sales vehicle.
Best uses for postcards would be communication with existing customers and making an offer such as "$100 off your next piece of furniture!"
But if you need to do some selling and have some explaining to do about your new product or a new business, then I highly recommend you use a sales letter where you can get personal. I bet you're thinking "but nobody reads sales letters."
I thought that's what you were going to ask. Just keep reading.
Using the radio can be effective with repetition and can often be affordable in a smaller local market.
And it's all about exposure.
Statistics show that radio listeners need to hear your advertisement at least three times before it even begins to break through the clutter.
If you are planning to build your brand and make sure people remember who you are, promotional product advertising can be a very cost-effective marketing idea for small business branding.
Often for just pennies, you can build your brand and keep your name in front of your customer for the long haul.
Anytime you see a logo printed on an item -- such as a coffee cup or pen, t-shirt or even a clock with a logo printed on it -- it's the branding power of promotional product advertising at work.
Most of the greatest-of-all-time, winning direct marketing campaigns have a sales letter.
Using pursuasive psychology and being well written in your own tone of voice, a sales letter can more often than not do better for your business than any other form of direct marketing.
And if you find that hard to believe, then there's more to it.
You need to be able to takes the time to tell a story and explain in detail why your product or service is going to help your customer or prospect.
You can't do that with a postcard or a brochure or a 15 second radio spot.
Sales letters work.
All you have to do is follow a simple structure (headline, benefits, credibility, action)
If you don't have the time to learn how to write a good letter, there are products and templates like my highly recommended instant sales letters, which promise you a winning sales letter in a matter of seconds.