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Archive for June, 2009

When people make a decision to make a purchase they go through a series of steps in their minds. For some products, like a can of soda, those steps only take a few seconds to occur. For other products, like a car, that process can develop over months. Regardless of the product or service, the decision-making steps exist.

To state it simply, small business advertising is about offering a solution for a particular target audience’s problem, convincing them that your solution will solve their problem, demonstrating to them you are trustworthy and preferable to other options and getting them to purchase.

As a marketer of your business, your job is to help people through this decision process. This can be done by developing a “marketing machine” of sorts. Here’s a simplified path for creating your marketing machine:

1) Every time you reach out to a new prospect, capture their contact information. When you’re doing low cost advertising, capturing email addresses is an easy and inexpensive way to go about it.

2) Now that you have a list of email addresses of people who are aware of your business product or service, now work on instilling trust, preference and a purchase. Email them on an ongoing basis with news and information about your business.

3) As people make purchases from you, move their email address to another group where you send out a different set of emails that encourage loyalty, repeat purchases and referrals.

In concert this marketing machine of yours will create great efficiencies and effectiveness in your marketing endeavors.

Small Business Advertising Ideas © 2009 Glynns Thomas and Advertising Spark. All rights reserved.

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From Alibaba.com in partnership with Inc. the Newpreneur(TM) of the year contest.

Small Business Advertising Ideas © 2009 Glynns Thomas and Advertising Spark. All rights reserved.

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If you’re on LinkedIn, how well have you optimized your profile? Check out these articles for great tips:

Six Elements of a Great LinkedIn Profile

What recruiters look for in a LinkedIn profile: 8 tips

How to Improve LinkedIn Profile

There are lots of reasons why people use LinkedIn. Check out this list of resources to find articles on how you might improve your usage of LinkedIn.

Small Business Advertising Ideas © 2009 Glynns Thomas and Advertising Spark. All rights reserved.

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Personalizing a marketing message is a powerful way to connect and increase trust among your prospects. Someone is more apt to take notice when spoken to directly. It says you’ve taken a little effort to address me individually.

When I worked on a project to increase United Way charity donations among employees of a particular company, we took a different approach from the prior year. We gathered the names of all employees and, where applicable their prior year donation amounts. We wrote a marketing letter where we merged their names into the letter and, where applicable provided a reminder of last year’s donation amount and a new suggested donation amount that was 10% higher than the previous year.

The result was significant. We saw a 235% increase in the number of pledges over the prior year and a 23% increase in dollars raised–making this company the area leader in United Way pledges that year.

Think about where and how you can start to personalize your communications with leads, customers and past clients. You can do it in your direct mail efforts and email. Some companies even provide their leads with their own personalized pages on their web site as they take them through the online selling process.

Personalization is a proven method of increasing marketing effectiveness.

Small Business Advertising Ideas © 2009 Glynns Thomas and Advertising Spark. All rights reserved.

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Here are my new favorite FREE tools for checking on how well I’m optimizing my website, creating SEO friendly press releases, utilizing Facebook, twitter and more. Not only do you get free analysis but you learn how to improve what you’re doing. These are all from HubSpot.

Apparently I need to work on my “Personality” Grade. Man that hurts! (And a great April Fools release)

http://grader.com/

Small Business Advertising Ideas © 2009 Glynns Thomas and Advertising Spark. All rights reserved.

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