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Branding Strategy PR – Personal, Product, Corporate Marketing for Promotional Brand Marketing Ads

This ole phrase as been around quite a while – “You are one in a million!”

It is usually a complimentary phrase we use to express how unusual someone is.

But in today’s world, being KNOWN as “one in a million” is a profound statement that few have achieved.

Very few people are recognized in our over-crowded, bland, same-o/same-o sea of faces as “one in a million.”

Oh sure, there’s Oprah. We know who is the current President of the United States. We know the news anchor of our favorite evening newscast.

But to rise to the top of the heap in your own business or profession is a gigantic leap requiring unprecedented ability!

Very few ever become branded so they are known by “a million” people in their town or in the nation. Very few even comprehend the

magnitude of being branded among so many people for what they do in their business or profession. Very few ever give it a thought, because it seems so impossible.

And even fewer think of the phenomenal financial rewards attached to this accomplishment!

But with the advent of the Internet – with it’s low operational cost and creative back-bone…

the Internet can be harnessed for the first time with the most powerful branding venue the world has ever known – - – television – - -

and now, almost-instantly, name recognition can be achieved for any person in virtually any business, profession or entrepreneurial activity…

at such a measly, cheesy, negligible, piddling cost that the most stingy person including Scrooge can afford it!

IF they have the know-how!

Produce your first-class Show (about whatever you do as a business or profession) in a $30 million studio with a camera crew and director who has won Emmy recognition…

and proliferate it across the Internet at video sites, your own web sites, Web 2.0 social sites, and in email broadcasts, auto-responders, and affiliate marketing…

and then inter-connect the World Wide Web with television branding in prime-time network, cable and FCC mandated “lease access” stations at rates so low…

that each exposure is less than the cost of a newspaper classified ad!

You can now blanket a major city with your own professionally-produced Show!

And this is possible (and accomplished by others right now) in Los Angeles (the 2nd largest city in the US) with a professionally-produced, 30 minute Show – every day, for an entire month…

for only $1500 a month!

Or, tell your story in your own home town, using prime-time TV each time, for 100 bucks!

That’s less than the cost of a newspaper classified ad.

If you only have the know-how!

It’s all now possible today in our contemporary age as an unbelievable feat with the combination of TV branding and the Internet!

How Small Businesses Use Promotion Strategies to Increase Customer Awareness and Boost Sales

Small businesses (SMEs) with limited budgets and resources have to make strategic choices on promotion – that is, how to raise customer awareness of their products and services. Advertising, sales promotions, direct marketing, personal selling are all methods to raise brand and product familiarity within a target market.

Promotion activity involves using advertising and other marketing techniques to sell products. This article looks at how SMEs put together an effective promotional mix by combining these methods to spread their message and provide a reasonable return on investment (ROI).

Advertising (called an “above the line” form of promotion) can be used to increase brand awareness as part of a general publicity campaign. General advertising is non-segmented (i.e. visible to a wide audience, not a specific niche or demographic segment), non-personal, and non-discriminatory. We live in an age of overt advertising -from billboards, internet banners, television and newspapers, businesses pay for these general messages in the hope that the mass coverage will convert to sales.

For SMEs, advertising ROI is an important consideration. While advertising always leads to an increase in businesses’ costs, a corresponding level of increase in revenue and profits isn’t guaranteed. As adverts are seen or heard by a wide number of people, many of whom have no need or interest in your product or services, the ROI can be relatively low.

For SMEs owners and managers, local advertising (radio, newspapers, or community website) will have a greater impact if the messages are tightly controlled and targeted to a group who is likely to be listening, reading or browsing. Knowing when their target market is listening to local radio, or what page of the local newspaper they are likely to read, or whether they are internet savvy enough to visit the community website, will help craft an advertisement which has stronger impact than a more generic message.

Many SMEs prefer to use direct marketing to reach their markets as it can be highly targeted to reach specific niches and segments. Using methods such as mail shots or emails, businesses can provide individuals with opportunities to take up sales promotions or other calls-to-action.

Sales promotions encourage customers to buy based on a series of prompts which are usually emotional. Using deadlines encourages prompt action as people are afraid to miss out on a good deal. Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) or 2-for-1 offers, gifts, free samples, and discount coupons stimulate a sense of getting good value or getting something for nothing (at someone else’s expense). Competitions appeal to customers’ gambling instincts which put hope & faith in imminent good fortune.

As with all businesses, SMEs need to cost their promotions properly – many are tempted to offer sales promotions to draw in customers or to keep up with their competitors without considering the impact on their margins. They also need to ensure that their offer is of relevance and value to their target market. If the product or service doesn’t align with their target markets desires or needs, the sales promotion will not be of taken up however generous the incentive.

Sales promotion messages are distributed in a variety of channels and formats from point-of-sale displays, advertising or direct marketing. These prompts are also used in personal selling, which is another component of the marketing mix. Personal selling or 1:1 selling relies on face-to-face communication as opposed to indirect methods like advertising.

1:1 selling is one of the most effective ways of closing a sales and generating an income. Using the other elements of the promotional mix to raise awareness and drive prospective customers to sales personnel can offer the best ROI for SMEs. Using staff who are trained to convert queries into sales, source new markets and develop them, or to develop long-term relationships with clients, can offer a far higher return than other promotional elements.

The higher the value of the product or service being offered, the greater the need for employing a sales person or agent to make direct contact with customers. Before people are willing to invest their money in high-ticket purchases, they need to feel the “know, like, and trust” factor. They need to know more of the business’ integrity and reputation, they need to know what other buyers feel about it (social proof), and they need to have their objections and queries answered.

Ultimately there is no “one-size-fits-all” combination of the promotional mix. What will suit one SME business will not necessary reflect the needs or direction of another. The combination of promotional elements selected needs to take into account several factors including: available resources and skills, type of product or services, the mind-set, demographics, and life-style of the target market, and the size of the market.

For example, larger businesses might consider national advertising as affordable and appropriate. Smaller firms with limited resources and a local market may instead decide to advertise on local radios and community websites, run an advertorial piece or inserts through a local paper, use door-to-door leaflet drops, posters, and social media platforms to promote their services.

Social media marketing is increasingly used by SMEs to reach their target niche. While the upfront costs might be low, SMEs should always remember the main cost factor in social media marketing is time. Following the principle, “time is money”, small businesses need to apply the same strategic and businesses considerations to online marketing as they do for all other elements of the promotional mix.

Why Search Engine Optmization Needs To Be Part Of Your Promotion Strategy

A lot of website owners are content to buy PPC ads, run affiliate programs, and buy banners ads as their sole forms of advertising. They completely shun search engine optimization because they think that it’s too hard to keep up with and that the returns aren’t predictable.

There’s a major flaw in that style of thinking. They’re missing out on large portion of potential customers by not being highly visible in the organic search engine listings.

I have a friend who uses Google everyday, he buys a lot of items, but he doesn’t respond well to advertising, especially PPC advertising. He’s never clicked on a pay per click ad in his life. He’s highly skeptical of marketing, and will ignore it.

While he’s probably the exception rather than the rule, there are a certain percentage of people who will ignore the ads no matter how good your ad copy is. You may be thinking that these people make bad customers anyway, but if we use my friend as an example, you’d be wrong. He’s always buying himself new gadgets and “toys.”

However, reaching him as a customer is a lot trickier because traditional advertising methods simply aren’t going to work.

This is where implementing search engine optimization as a strategy comes in. My friend can easily be reached by showing up on the first page of Google for whatever he typed in as long as you’re found in the regular listings, but if you’re not easy to find in the regular listings, you’re not going to get his business.

So what’s a business to do? While the finer details of search engine optimization could easily exceed 1000 pages, there are two basic things you need to rank well in the search engines – content and links.

You need enough content (articles, videos, pics, etc) on your website to thoroughly cover your topic. For example, a site about real estate that only has ten pages is woefully inadequate, but those ten pages would likely able to cover how to care for a golden retriever fairly well.

And once you have the content on your website taken care of, you need to get links to your website. In general, the more links you have, the better rankings you’ll get.

I’m not saying that SEO should be your only strategy for driving traffic to your website, but you should certainly give it a chance, and when you do, you’ll find that it will help you get new customers you weren’t able to get previously.