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Almost every business needs to promote itself, and new businesses in particular need to have a good marketing strategy to reach out to potential and existing customers, build confidence in their products and services and create demand. Before planning a marketing strategy ask yourself the following questions:

â?¢ Where do you see yourself in a niche market?
â?¢ What features are your competitors offering?
â?¢ Why did your existing customers choose you?
â?¢ What does your targeted market group value above all else?

Advertise Your Business

There are many ways you can advertise your business, and by monitoring the results of each advertisement, you will ensure that you are not wasting your precious financial resources on loss-making advertising. The normal advertising routes are:

â?¢ Media â?? the newspapers, magazines, posters, cinemas, radio and television
â?¢ Direct approach â?? using mail shots and/or telephone canvassing
â?¢ Internet
â?¢ Point of sale

The nature of your business will naturally dictate the best route. You might need just one of the above categories, or a combination of several to maximize the impact of your campaign. Whatever the media, your advertisement should tell a good story, with an interesting 'hook', or beginning, to draw people in and make them want to learn more about your products, an informative 'middle' describing what these products can do for them, and a convincing 'ending' which will make them rush to get the product, or at least enquire about it. Advertisement text need not be grammatically correct, but it should be engrossing, so just write as you think and concentrate on the headline. Advertisements with visual content are definitely far superior in effect than those with pure prose.

Stress Upon Your Unique Selling Point

While preparing the marketing strategy for your business, you need to find out your unique selling point, or USP. It could be a special feature of your business, or some appealing offer. Your customers need a reason to select one business over another and your USP should provide them with a reason to choose your business and not your rival's. It is vital that your USP is realistic and deliverable every time to every customer. Your USP need not be unique. It's all down to perception. You might be offering the same product and services as your competitors are offering, but maybe you can draw attention to a particular feature or product by putting more emphasis on its virtues. The secret of most successful entrepreneurs is that they dare to be different.

Point Of Sale Advertising

Point of sale advertising is always aimed at the impulse buyer. It can be in the form of a brochure or poster beside a cash register or alongside a special sale item to draw the customer's attention. A prerequisite of this kind of advertisement is to carry a money-off coupon or similar tempting inducement so the customer can purchase the product immediately.

Direct Mail, Sales Letters and Brochures

If you want to get your product before a selected section of buyers, then direct mail really helps. This is where customer profiling comes to the fore. This form of advertising is ideal for a new business as it is very cost-effective, and can be used by all types of firms, from retailing or business-to-business sales.

If you are designing a sales letter, you must realise that the most important part of a letter is its message, and the letter needs a headline emphasizing your product or services' unique selling point. When designing a brochure, take care to give it an eye-catching headline or visual on the cover and add a few key words that will urge the reader to turn the page. It should display your business logo, contact details and other important information adequately and intelligently.

Develop a Web Site

This form of media is helping numerous small businesses to reduce their dependence on the congested local market and reach out to a global audience. With the advent of broadband and much support from government and other agencies, adopting information and communication technology is much easier. There is nothing that cannot be sold using any other form of advertising that you can't sell online. E-commerce holds no boundaries and it should not be ignored.

Author Felix Irvingdate added 2009-08-25 16:25:35

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