Promotional Ideas – DO’s and DON’Ts in 2011

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If you’re running a business, there will come a time when you want to step up your marketing campaign in order to grow your business. Promotional ideas come thick and fast but how do you know which is best for your company and your market?

The Old and the New

Social media is the new wave to hit marketing techniques and it’s certainly worked to the advantage of some small businesses. Many people still ponder whether it’s worth the time and effort to join the social media bandwagon and indeed if it’s suitable for their business. While the answer to this should always be ‘yes’, we must not forget: for many businesses there will always be a need for a physical message, it’s up to you to make the them work together.

While we would always advocate the use of new technologies (social media included) you need to be clear on the goals of your business and how best to reach that market. Your target audience, time, resources and marketing strategy are all factors that need to be considered. Sometimes this means using tried and tested methods, sometimes something unique and original. Ultimately objective will always remain the same: Spread the word about your business and encourage the use of your services.

As a small business it’s more crucial to see an immediate return on money spent. Big companies have the resources to throw huge sums of money on digital marketing and can weather storms and losses if it doesn’t work as planned. Small businesses need some degree of certainty that their money and effort will produce the right results.

What’s best for my company?

There are several factors to consider in deciding which is the most appropriate promotion to your business. Minimise risks by assessing your market and investing in a solution that will work for you.

  • What are the aims of your campaign? Are you selling product or service?
  • Does your customer hold high value? Can you afford to giveaway items?
  • Resources available? What is a responsible and realistic advertising budget?
  • What are your long and short-term goals? You can’t afford to slip behind the times!

Right promotion for the right business

Looking at the car and automotive industries shows a great example of using the right product for the right occasion. In terms of promotional ideas the ‘Ad Loop’ keyring is a fairly simple one, but none the less it provides a unique solution to a fairly common problem.

‘How do you make sure YOUR customer has YOUR number in that time of need’?

For garages most trade is based around when something goes wrong with an existing product. The same can be said for any trade of repairs business. The simple answer to increase business is to make sure your number is the first number available when that car or washing machine breaks down. For this there is nothing better than an Ad Loop keyring or that magical sticker that reappears on your car after every MOT.

The Ad Loop is a free giveaway that most garages will attach to their customers keys after working on their vehicle. It’s association with keys (after all it is a keyring) and therefore car garages in invaluable, but above all it is a simple method of making sure your number is the one they call first. It is a simple but highly successful promotion that guarantees an increase in sales and profit through return custom.

The Answer: Don’t put all your Eggs in one Basket!!

Such a guaranteed return makes the Ad Loop a promotional item without equal. However, as with all marketing techniques it’s just one step in a thousand that can benefit your business. In our modern world of techno savvy kids and marketing evolutions you would be doomed to failure if you were to ignore new marketing techniques. Social media can complement orthodox marketing techniques and there will always be a place for billboard and TV advertising. There is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy to business marketing. The key to success is understanding why something will work for you and more importantly how to make the best use out of it.

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