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Which Media is Right to Reach Your Target Market? 16 April 2008

That’s probably one of the most often-asked questions my clients put to me…

Well, the answer is, it depends on your ‘ideal customer‘. (If you haven’t a clue what that means or who that is, then my Stop Working With Deadbeats! Attract IDEAL Clients & Knock Out The Competition Instead will help you hone in on what is potentially one of the most important elements of running your business.)

In a nutshell, you need to know your target buyers like the back of your hand before you can target them appropriately. Until then, you are pretty much wasting your time, expense and effort trying to reach them.

OK, for the point of this post, let’s say you know exactly who your ideal client is. By now, you should know that a) targeting has suddenly become much easier, and b) you know where they ‘hang out’, which publications they read, and so on.

Assuming you decide to advertise in a given publication that they read, make a note of whether any of your competitors are advertising regularly there. If so, that’s a good sign…

Now, phone up the advertising department for that publication and tell them that you are thinking of placing an ad, and that you’re currently researching the results of ads in the same industry (ie, those of your competitors). 

You will be surprised as to how honest they’ll be with you.

If it all sounds good, arrange a multi-run ad deal – ie, where you place a similar-sized ad in that publication for a number of issues (ideally, seven, but at least three if you can push to that). Make sure you include some kind of code for tracking purposes, and then measure the response you get. If it’s good, repeat the ad – it is obviously extremely well targeted. If for some reason it bombs, consider your ad’s copywriting and/or offer. Could either be improved upon?

The key to ANY advertising and marketing is to test, track, tweak and test again and again until you get the response you want. I covered more on this in a recent issue of my newsletter Communiqué for Success

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When English is Bad For Business 25 March 2008

The March 2008 issue of ‘Communiqué for Success’ is ready for public viewing (for a limited time only). Subscribers get privileged, advanced notification and member offers and specials, so be sure to sign up for your free copy.

This issue of the much-talked-about newsletter answers such questions as:

• Why is old-school English damaging your sales?

• What is the future for CfS?

• How can you move your prospects beyond wanting to buying?

• What is the best way to avoid toxic clients?

• How can you grab your ad critique & consultation?

• Where can you get free online fax services? 

All the answers (and more) are in this month’s newsletter.

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Word count for this issue: 2,223

Approximate time to read: About 11 minutes    

Scanning Time: About 41 seconds

Suggested props: White Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
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You can see the current and some of the past newsletters by going towww.mediaminister.co.uk and clicking on the “F*REE stuff” link on the top menu.

And it’s all freeeeeeeeeeeee.

Enjoy!

 

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Reader Q&A: How Do I Get Free Publicity? 29 January 2008

Question:

“Do you have any tips on how to get some free public relations and media coverage for a friend’s business. Is there any way one can advertising their business within spending much cash?” 

–– Deville W, of Hampshire

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Answer:

There are a myriad of ways to generate publicity (which is a kind of ‘free’ advertising) without spending much cash. But advertising or promoting your buinsess through a combination of paid and non-paid-for means is key to surviving in the business jungle. 

Also, what works for one company might not work for another. For example, a standard tailor is not of much interest to the press, so a press release probably wouldn’t benefit that type of business as much as it would for, say, a new type of gourmet store. 

You might want to start with publicity – providing the media with news and other information on your friend’s business to get her media coverage. The thing is, when you do not pay for the coverage (‘free’ publicity), you basically have no real control over the timing or content of your publicity. And there’s no guarantee you will get that publicity. 

That said, there is one ‘free’ publicity tool that does the business – the humble press release. 

A properly formatted, professionally written press release will stand a much greater chance of grabbing that media attention for your friend and get her business/name in the newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and television. As a copywriter, editor and ex-journalist, I write or polish press releases on a regular basis, so I know what works and doesn’t. I’m currently writing a report on this and will let you know when it will be ready. 

A low-cost, highly effective option is postcard marketing. It’s a really great way of getting and keeping your name in front of your prospect list or target audience. I covered this in the first issue of Communiqué for Success! 

Another method is for your friend to form alliances with other entrepreneurs in his or her area. It doesn’t have to be a big network, a group of three can easily work. The point is for each person to agree to refer newspaper reporters to each other whenever they get approached about a topic on which you all could comment. 

Finally, online networking sites such as Ecademy and LinkedIn can be great promotion platforms. And they’re a fantastic way of searching for contacts. 

It all boils down to acting upon opportunities, effective communication, and building relationships and trust. 

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Advertising vs Direct Mail 18 January 2008

I received the following question recently, which sums up a lot of the emails I get from clients and prospects:

“I sell stress relieving and health giving ‘brainwave’ products, but seem to hit a brick wall with advertising. It’s really not paying off for me. Can you recommend any ways I can do better?”

––Kath Browning, via email

For small businesses, I don’t think advertising is necessarily the best form of marketing/promoting your products. Sure, you might well receive some response if your message is compelling enough and the desired target audience is reading the publication in which you advertise. Also, your product base is a niche one; one that is potentially difficult to explain and get across the benefits in the space of a typical advert.

In any event, I’d suggest using direct mail (sales letters, postcards, etc). It has a number of distinct advantages over advertising:

  1. You can target recipients much more precisely.  
  2. Costs are a lot more modest than advertising. The great thing with direct mail is that it allows for you to create a campaign to fit either large or small budgets.  
  3. You can see a response from direct mail very quickly. With a modest campaign to a known and targeted audience, you can acquire a mailing list, develop a compelling mailing (including a sales letter, flyer, reply card device, etc), launch that mailing and start to receive results in just a few weeks, if not months. This is faster than a typical advertising campaign (whereby you normally have to repeat adverts to get any result) – and a lot faster than waiting for the phone to ring.  
  4. You can test different appeals (called ‘offers’ in the trade) to determine which is the better message to run with for other campaigns. By making a different offer to randomly different portions of your mailing list, you can see which offer pulls best. As you try these different offers and different letters, you should find that one will do better than another. Use the better one, and then try to beat that in your next mailing. Eventually, you should get better and better response rates.   
  5. You can mail to the same list again with a slightly different mailing slant and still garner worthwhile results. Most direct-mail experts say that companies don’t get enough mileage out of their materials. Use them until they no longer produce any worthwhile results.  
  6. You can never run out of prospects. Use your imagination to find new niche direct-mail markets for your products, whether retail or business-to-business. Your list broker or direct-mail consultant should be able to suggest possible target markets that are worth trying.  
  7. When you place an advert, you have to be sure that your target audience will actually open up the publication and turn to the page where your ad appears. No one can predict or guarantee this. Because direct mail is (or should be) much more tightly targeted, then the likelihood is that your audience will want to read what you have to say. You have already identified these people as having a need for your products, so all you have to do is make sure your offer and outer-envelope message has a relevant appeal.

This is not a sell for my services! I just want to let you know that there are other, often easier ways of garnering the results you’re looking for.

If you do want to carry on with ads, the best way to achieve a better result is to:

  • Repeat your ad. You really do need to be consistent in your advertising (at least three consequent issues), whatever form of media you use.   
  • If you did your own design and layout, asking sales reps to help with that can really boost impact – it should be a free service when you purchase ad space.

I hope this helps, and I wish you success whichever direction you take.

Do let me know how it all goes.

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Your Best Year Yet + Win a Critique 16 January 2008

The all-new January 2008 edition of ‘Communiqué for Success’ is now online (subscribers get advanced notification). It answers such questions as:

 • How can you make 2008 your best year yet? • What’s the difference between PR and marketing? 
• How can you make a difference to this newsletter? 
• What do you need to do to WIN a website critique? 
• How long do you have to claim your gift from me? 
• How can you get a FREE virtual organiser? 
• What is the key to better online marketing?
 

All the answers (and more) are in this month’s newsletter.

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Word count for this issue: 2,550
Approximate time to read: About 12 minutes
Suggested props: White Hot Chocolate & a Blueberry Muffin – organic, of course
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You can see the current and most of the past newsletters by going towww.mediaminister.co.uk and clicking on the “F*REE stuff” link on the top menu.

You’ll also find direct links to my blog and other sites.

And it’s all freeeeeeeeeeeee.

Enjoy!

Tracey

 PS – The direct link to the January newsletter is —http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/cfs/8January2008.htm

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Reader Q&A: How to Find Time 14 January 2008

Reader Ian Denny of Multi Solutions wants to know how to find time for marketing his business…

Answer: You don’t ‘find’ time, you make time!

Whether you’re a service provider with too much work or not enough, or a retailer experiencing a boom in orders, your primary concern should ALWAYS be to make sure you never stop marketing.

It doesn’t matter how good (or bad) business is, you absolutely MUST make time to promote and market your products and services.

The worst position to be in is when you don’t have any clients, or projects, or sales because you didn’t think marketing was necessary. It IS. And no one is too busy to not market.

Look, regardless of where we are in our lives or business, we always make time to schedule doctor appointments and the like. Perhaps you have a system on your computer that helps you keep track of these and other details. All I’m saying is that in order to run a successful business you need to add marketing activities. 

Don’t know where to start?

Start right now – TODAY!

Block out a few hours, minutes even (at least 20, though) in your daily schedule to complete one or more marketing tasks. And while you’re at it, why not put together a marketing plan – a mini one will do? Come spring time, you’ll be far ahead of where you thought you’d be.

Remember, success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. A daily marketing system is your roadmap to success. So make time for it!

***Need to be accountable to someone, or need help with your marketing goals? My mentoring programme can help you start off – and keep – on the right track. 

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How Buttons Drive Up Sales 27 November 2007

The latest issue of Communiqué for Success is out. It answers such questions as:

• How do ‘hot buttons’ impact on your business?

• Which ultimate resource can increase your sales by as much as 70%?

• How can you make your business words magnetic?

• What is the easiest way to get free advertising?

• How can you ensure your networking pays off?

• What should you do when business slows down?

All the answers (and more) are in the latest newsletter.

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Word count for this issue: 1,911
Approximate time to read: About 8 1/2 minutes
Suggested props: Winter Detox Juice or Hot Chocolate

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You can see the current and most of the past newsletters in full colour on the web by clicking here To take advantage of subscriber specials, etc, I would highly recommend you sign up to receive your very own copy – which will be sent ahead of public notification. Simply go to www.mediaminister.co.ukand click on the “F*REE stuff” link on the top menu.

And it’s all freeeeeeeeeeeee.

Enjoy!

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Add my RSS feed to your reader now so you never have to miss a post.

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Want to use this in your ezine, blog or website? No problem! Just let me know. I’ll send you a short resource box/bio to include at the end of the article.

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