Each business is unique with individual goals so there is no one size fits all solution. Evaluating your marketing plan to streamline costs and increase profitability while making it a pleasant process for the client is a wonderfully challenging honor for me. Your marketing plan should include your advertising plan but also includes the entire customer experience as there are opportunities every step of the way to impact their choices. Every business can benefit from talking with an advertising professional and the first discussion is at no charge and process will save you time and money with CMR Inc. Below are points to consider in establishing your marketing plan.
Your goal in advertising is to brand your product or service as the number one choice for the consumer and build business which pays for that advertising and increases your profit margin. The problem with advertising for the general business person is where to place it and how to measure it first and secondary to decide what to advertise along with a reasonable budget.
First take your business and decide?
- Where will you pull your clients from? What is the client profile? Not their age, sex, and habits.
- Where do you feel the center of your market area is and where is the outside areas? What area would you prefer to saturate first?
- What is the profit margin for the product you are advertising and how many do you need to sell to recoup your advertising investment?
- What are your goals from your advertising? Do you want to sell a product today or build knowledge and desire for a new product or service?
- Do you need to establish branding preference in the market place and if so do you have a brand that is easily recognizable that is ready to launch?
- Do you have a regional market or local market as your advertising placement will depend on this as will your budget.
Who are you as a business?
- Your Products and Services offered? What is exceptional about them?
- Location can be key in determining your advertising placement and effectiveness.
- Traffic Count: What is your traffic count and is your current sign visual and effective? Can you enhance it with banners for specials? Is there any way to make it more visible?
- Parking lot and lighting: Once the customer comes to your location is parking a problem? For after dark shopping is the lighting good? If your traffic count is high are you taking advantage of your signage after dark with lighting?
- Floor Plan / Display: Are you taking advantage of your floor space well, how is your display system, are the products you advertised showcased with cross sell options for other like products nearby or are they hard to locate?
- What is the feel of your business when the customer comes in? Welcoming staff, clean display, customer service aspects, presentation of employees themselves?
- Hours of operation? Have you considered the times you are opened for optimum advantage? Are they hours you could or would shop for the same product or service? Are there any special events that you could take advantage of by opening special hours.
- What is your experience in the market and who are your competitors?
- Business Plan as a whole? Do you have any sales peaks or special events?
What is the current Top of Mind franchise? When the client thinks of your product or services who comes to mind first?
- Top 3 competitors for your product both locally and regionally?
- Where do they advertise? How often? What is their message of choice? What can you offer that is competitive? What sets you apart?
- Radio Stations: Establish listening audience, costs, range, preferential advertising buys, specials, added value available, (:30) second or (:60) second spots. Station Promotion interaction packages. Your production costs are generally included in the advertising buy.
- Radio Stations Online: Cost, Unique IP Addresses, growth statistics over past 12 months. Here you will usually need to provide your own graphics however, you can often use your radio media spot with some placements.
- Newspaper Print Product: Circulation, advertising costs, specials available, graphic talent, and look at their history of last 3 years circulation vs. cost per column inch to establish their readership.
- Newspaper Online Product: Cost, Unique IP Addresses, Placement, Creative, Pages Read Monthly and statistics for growth over past 12 months to establish if they are growing quickly or not.
- Area Sponsorships: Often your billboard or advertising sponsorship of a program will provide you with valuable real estate billboards or name recognition for your business.
- Television: Establish the local cable market, station selections vs. regional stations and costs which will be on all stations plus satellite television stations. With a long term contract production costs can be negotiated. Discuss special offers and sponsorships with tag lines during news programming.
- Network Programs such as HGTV, History Chanel, Discovery, and A&E are making great strides in gaining market share with such hot shows as Pawn Stars, Swamp People, House Hunters, Storage Wars, and other shows which have possible advertising options for your market area by network cable.
- Email Marketing: Do you have a current list of your client's email addresses? It is a valuable marketing tool if not over used to contact clients about "Special Events and Opportunities or Buying Tips" by email
- Point of Sale Marketing: Do you have cross marketing options such as flyers or product displays set up?
- Social Media Marketing: Have a business page set up and use it to market your business. If you have a website use it to feed your social media program with a Content Management System.
- Every Door Direct Mail EDDM: Postage is 14.5 cents per piece and production costs are affordable at $588 for 1,000 pieces and the best part of the program is it has to be over-sized mail postcards giving you the option to really make your mail piece pop. You can direct it to a specific address area, by route, business address or residential. This is one of my favorite ways for small business to market their business in a local area and exceptionally affordable. We can print the pieces and have them sent to you and determine the route numbers and area of coverage that is best for you. You then take the pieces and a check for 14.5 cents per piece to the local post office of record. Limitations at this time are that if you are a regional business it is not an option for you as you must bring
- Direct Mail: If you want to reach a larger market you will need the direct mail approach and here cost is standard for mailing, however, production costs can be streamlined. Consider the junk mail you have and what you do open and use those ideas to build your direct mail program. Postcards are easier to use and more visual. Using the same oversize approach as the EDDM will be effective but postage will be an issue. Either way quality is an important key as is visual graphics and message prominence.
Advertise consistently and with as much frequency as your budget allows Keep IT Simple……Simple…..Simple and tailor your message to the advertising medium you utilize and its clientele. Consider your shopping patterns and how often you have to stop and remember where you found something? You want to be the first option when a consumer needs your product or services? This is the published newspaper frequency statement.
1ST TIME you see or hear an advertisement….you do not see or hear it
2ND TIME you do not notice it.
3RD TIME you are conscious of its existence
4TH TIME you faintly remember having seen or heard it before.
5TH TIME you pay attention to it.
6TH TIME you turn your nose up at it.
7TH TIME you are tired of it and say “oh no”.
8TH TIME you say “not again”.
9TH TIME you wonder if it amounts to anything.
10TH TIME you ask the neighbors about it.
11TH TIME you wonder how the ad makes its pay.
12TH TIME you think it “may” be worth something.
13TH TIME you think it “could be” a good thing.
14TH TIME you remember how you've “always” wanted it.
15TH TIME you wish you could afford to buy it.
16TH TIME you think you will buy it someday.
17TH TIME you make a memo that you “will buy it”.
18TH TIME you complain about your poverty and why you can’t buy it now.
19TH TIME you start saving up for it.
20TH TIME you see it…hear it….BUY IT.
*STATISTICS REFERENCE THE 2000 NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING PLAN BOOK.
Such brands as Coke and McDonald have been doing so for years through their advertising and marketing frequency. How often have you put on the grocery list you need Coke but are buying their other brands or something similar? That is the goal for your advertising, to create the same type of Top of Mind Franchise. No marketing plan will work without continual repetition of message and to be effective it needs to be consistent across all your advertising placement. It will cost you more to establish a 2 week a month advertising run than it will to consistently advertise on that medium of onlchoice whether it be radio, TV, newspaper, weeklies, or billboards. When there is a large break in marketing you essentially start over as other products and services are taking your place. Set your goal for brand awareness and keep it consistent.You can see how if you establish the initial frequency, it will be more cost effective to continue your advertising on a scheduled basis.
Using social networks (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn) is not only one of today's hottest marketing tools, but utilizing social media to monitor and manage online reputations is essential for any business. The issue is keeping it manageable and making it work with your website and not independent of it. Your website is the center of your online marketing campaign and should be treated as such. Check your business with a search engine and you will often find that your Facebook page comes up before your website which is counterproductive and an easy - affordable fix.
Simply add a small Content Management Tool to your website and set the program to feed your news, specials, and information to your social media platforms.
Facebook offers the opportunity to customize your page and that is money well spent as the Facebook fans for your page will see that portion. Your first line of text should be the key offer or reason to read the rest of the information as it is where you catch their attention and with a CMT they will be directed straight to your website for the added information, specials, coupons, or helpful tips.
YouTube offers the option to customize a page and is a great way to enhance your website with real time clips of events and product tutorials that can be embedded in your website to feed to the social media programs. If you are not using it currently consider doing so.
Twitter is dependent on area, topic, and is a basic program that in some areas is catching on well but offers no customization. I recommend it as an additional feed, however, not as a pivotal point at this juncture.
LinkedIn is a program that all professionals should be using at this point to showcase their expertise and business links. It serves well and you will note we did use it on our website. It can be a major source of information and networking and is limited to business professionals.
Rates are generally very affordable with any advertising online and provide frequency plus the ability to direct the online user to a specific page or message on your website so you can get creative. You should be able to change your message to suit the events and needs of your business and use your online advertising as part of any campaign you are promoting with other media options. Your online website marketing plan can include the use photos, video, radio, and graphics that reflect what your other advertising. Remember this is not one dimensional, online marketing provides the opportunity for you to get a response from the potential customer and for them to find out more about a product or service you provide.You can use your website as a marketing toolto increase traffic to your website and your business itself. First as with all answers is your website one you want to market? You have to look at the website as a store front and you want traffic. You need Top of Mind Franchise for the consumer both locally and online to be effective and grow your business. Include your website online information in all your advertising to include billboards, radio, print, business cards, email signatures. Ensure your website has excellent Search Engine Optimization to allow for natural traffic growth.
Advertise with websites that have large traffic counts and keep in mind message, message, and message! Ask them what their traffic count is (Unique IP Address numbers, Pages Read). On website advertising your ad will have more views monthly and allow the potential client the opportunity to find out more and contact you so keep in mind your ad is 3 dimensional. The piece should be good graphically but simple as you will need to capture their attention in 4 to 8 seconds. You can often use two ads to rotate in that time frame.
Put your website on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin accounts. Build a Facebook and Twitter account for your business. If you are updating your site with a word press, blog, or joomla program then be sure it feeds TO your social media accounts and use it often. You have to create movement.
Google Ad Words, Facebook Ads are great for those who want to create traffic for their website and can be done on a pay-per-click basis where you decide the budget and tie in with key words or phrases if you do not have natural traffic or search results.
What are major factors to consider in determining my online marketing approach?
Business Growth: Where do you want your business to grow? What types of customers are the most profitable for you?
Goals for the Target Audience: Who should the website serve and what are the goals for each group?
Success Factors: What will be the measures of success of this project?
Return on Investment (ROI): Which post-launch services will effectively serve your website’s needs? Optimized Press Releases? Search Engine Optimization? Pay-Per-Click?
Existing Branding: Pull together all of your media pieces from print to radio and television and compare your message and branding of your business. Is it the same? Is the message clear? Does it provide the potential customer with a solution to their issue? Allow response from the potential customer?
Redesign Pitfalls: How do we avoid confusing your legacy clients or even the search engines with your new site if you decide a complete overhaul in look and layout are necessary?
Current Site Statistics: What is the current traffic results for your website? What pages or information are accessed most often? What key words are associated with your site? What is your site ranking with major search engines? Where do you want your rankings to be?
Online/Offline Marketing Strategies: Are your advertising and marketing efforts "Webcentric?" Or is it easy to follow and simply needs to be more results driven to suit your business goals?
What will a Marketing Professional Cost?
Actually a Marketing Professional will typically save you money as they can negotiate a marketing plan that will be efficient and increase your sales at an hourly rate cost here at CMR Inc at $59 which is much lower than the industry standard, however, we offer a "complete" marketing platform with commercial printing, logo wear, signage, and website design as well.
Your advertising placement itself is not hourly but at a negotiated Gross Agency Rate this is 15% of your advertising placement itself which is directly off the ad buy itself. A professional will either be able to negotiate a lower rate for you or more added value for your advertising dollars. You will also save time and have a more effective campaign that is consistant and effective across the board with analysis of your other marketing efforts available such as social media, online marketing, email campaigns, and point of sale analysis.
My policy is that the initial discussion will cost you nothing and you will come away from the conversation with a better understanding of your options and a few tips on how to streamline your marketing either way. I look forward to earning your business and hearing your other questions on marketing.
Marion M Miller, President | (270) 339-4176 Talk or Text |
CMR Inc a Madisonville Kentucky Marketing Firm
Complete Marketing Resources, Inc. (CMR) is a full service marketing and advertising firm specializing in online marketing and search engine optimization in Madisonville Kentucky. We deliver small town customer service and cutting edge website design, custom graphics, and high quality printing products to our clients across the states. Each job is exciting and our goal for each new customer is that we help grow their business and tearn their referral as they become part of our CMR Inc Family Network.
Our website deisgn, website online optimization, and signature custom programming are all designed to make your business marketing run smoother with measurable results while streamline your costs every time. I would love the opportunity to earn your business.