Summary: This article brings the overview of the most common means of promoting your products. After reading this, you should be able to reevaluate your promotion and broaden it by means of advertising you have not used so far.
Choosing suitable means of promotion and advertising is important marketing decision within any company. What is the best way to communicate with your existing and future customers? Well, you will not find a clear answer here. However, this article may help you a lot with the initial choice of media. Please note, that the list is not exhaustive.
It is also necessary to keep in mind, that this article may help only with the choice of media for your communication. In marketing, the communication is only the means, not the goal itself. Before choosing, you should have a clear idea about what message you want to send. If you were to receive 10 million € for your campaign right now, would you now what you'd like to say to all the people you could reach? If you are not sure about this, take your time first to think about what is so special about you that could interest people. You may find my earlier simple guide to advertising management helpful. Also, before you advertise, you should already have an accessible product that is able to compete.
Though probably the newest medium, Internet has been getting more and more used and widespread. With growing computer literacy, it is becoming a first-choice place for getting information and choosing a supplier or business partners. How to make yourself visible here?
Note: The activities to improve your position in search engines (Google, Yahoo etc.) are generally called Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Though the rise of electronic media is often mentioned with the decline of classic press, it remains a significant means of promotion. Because the price of national press tends to be too high, you may be more interested in using regional or vocational media.
Radio is another of the traditional media. Compared with the print, it is usually cheaper (regarding the amount of listeners) then the press, but you need to repeat the ad several times for listeners to remember it. There is often only a limited amount of traditional radio stations – each with a licence for certain frequency. Next to these, there are numbers of Internet radio stations.
I will skip over the ads in television. Those of you who will want to pay for TV ads will probably not do so on the basis of an Internet article. However, smaller advertisers may consider using a regional or cable TV channel. The rise of Internet video sites such as video.google.com or www.youtube.com may also represent alternatives for advertising.
By outdoor advertising I mean mostly ways how to reach people while they are both out of work and out of home – basically, they are outside.
There exist specialised companies, which are able to sell you contacts for your desired target audience. You may also get the contacts yourself with the use of the Internet. However, this form of marketing is often regulated by law and is sensitively perceived by customer. Therefore, extra care is advised in order to not to make people angry and intrude their privacy.
Branded gifts (items) are a suitable way to help forming a long-term bond between you and the beneficiary. Ideally, the gift would be for a long-lasting and useful. The price of such an item may vary greatly depending on the importance of the beneficiary.
Many smaller companies are used to communicate only with their customers. But the opinion of general public is also very important. Negative publicity may damage your image while positive perception of your company can bring you new loyal customers. Even a monopoly corporations do promote themselves to improve their image, have more satisfied employees and to get public support for possible change of laws etc. Next to this, positive recommendations and free positive publicity may in certain conditions replace paid advertisement.
The categories outlined above are not to be taken very seriously. They are used mostly just to make the list well-arranged. The following items are a bit difficult to sort into the categories.
As I mentioned before, the list is not exhaustive. It is because of its nature. You can always invent something new. On the other hand, a new fancy name for a currently hyped category of marketing does not necessarily guarantee success for your business. In my point of view, it is mostly consistency in marketing and a strong vision and mission that works well for your promotion.
The article omits namely this:
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