Bring in the business using the six types of advertising

Mistakes in advertising can be costly to small business. For this reason, many businesses decide either not to advertise at all, or to be very conservative with their ads. However, using the right "type" of advertising, with the right message, can cut the cost of advertising by making it more effective.

Not every business will use all six types of advertising. Which type you use will depend on what your message is and the end result you wish to accomplish.

The six types of advertising are:

How to Advertise Your Company Image

Which is more important, the company or its products, or individuals? In a small town or market, this can be a very important question. For example, your insurance agent might be a personal friend. You will buy your insurance from him/her regardless of the company they represent. In another example, you may purchase a lot of goods at your local Wal-Mart, instead of local merchants, because of their low-price advertising message.

If you are a new company you may want to begin by establishing the company name first and the products and services later. This also works for company name changes. In the 1980's I worked with a video chain in San Diego, California called Video Library. Our advertising strategy was to promote the company name rather than promote the movies we rented. We placed small box ads (about 1.05"x 1.5") throughout the San Diego daily paper that simply said, "Video Library - xx Locations" We started in 1980 with four stores and by 1985 we had 43. Video Library was the most recognized name in video in San Diego at that time.

How to Advertise Name Brands

If there is one company in operation today that understands the importance of brand names, it has to be Procter and Gamble. Tide laundry detergent is far and away a number one best seller and has been for several years. When the dishwasher appeared on the scene they could have very easily created "Tide For Dishes." Capitalizing on a winning product name. But as we all know, that thinking doesn't work.

Instead of using the established name "Tide", they created a new name that became just as strong in dish washing, "Cascade." When you hear the name “Ivory Soap” alone, you know the product. Kraft, on the other hand, has many products, but only one true winner. “Philadelphia Cream Cheese” has about 70% of that market. Also notice, the Kraft name is hardly noticeable on the package. Their “Velveeta” brand of cheese might be another winner. Kraft makes jams and jellies; “Smuckers” is number one. Kraft makes their own brand of mayonnaise but “Hellman's” is number one. Are you starting to get the picture? Kraft also makes another successful brand name, "Miracle Whip."

A brand name creates a perception in the customer’s mind that becomes very strong. It's that strong perception every advertiser strives for. Would you buy “Pennzoil Cake Mix?” Why not? They're a good company aren't they?

Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? It flies in the face of our perception of Pennzoil as an oil product. It's dramatically out of place as a cake mix. There is nothing stronger than a good brand name. If you develop one, put is everywhere you can afford to.

How to Advertise A Service Instead Of A Product

Advertising services is one of the most difficult types of advertising. You don't have a tangible product you can put in someone's hand. They can't touch it, feel it, see it or smell it. It must often be explained as well as demonstrated.

One of the best examples of service advertising is a carpet cleaner. They come in, run some machinery over your carpets and leave. Nothing tangible is left behind — Except clean carpets.

Service advertising is most often emotional advertising. Carpet cleaners don't sell clean carpets. They sell health to the infant crawling on the floor. They sell pride that people can visit your beautiful clean home.

Business-To-Business Advertising

Many businesses never have the need to deal with the public at all. For these businesses, advertising in the newspaper, radio or TV would be a waste of time and money. You will find these companies using direct mail or placing ads in trade magazines.

For a complete listing of trade magazines ask for the "Encyclopedia or Periodicals" at your local library. Also ask to see the "Standard Rates and Data Service" directory. These will have listings and rates of trade and industry publications you can advertise in.

Build Your Business With Co-Op Advertising

Co-Op advertising in one of the best ways for the small business owner to get their message out. In this type of advertising the manufacturer absorbs a portion of the cost and can also supply all the artwork for the ads.

Their are some pitfalls to be careful of when dealing with co-op advertising. Every company wants their business portrayed in the best possible light. To that end, they will be very strict about how and where you place your advertising. Before they OK the co-op money, they will want to approve all ad copy, pictures, size, placement and use of logos. If you place an ad without approval you run the risk of violating one of the guidelines and absorbing the entire cost of the ad.

The media you choose will want payment for the ad within a month at the most. You may not receive your co-op money for several months. Make sure you get reimbursement procedures in writing and can live with them.

An alternative to teaming up with a manufacturer is to team up with another local business. You can share production costs for brochures or other printed materials and put each other’s coupons in your respective businesses.

Public Service Advertising (PSA's)

If your company can sponsor a charity event, PSA's are a great way to promote your company in a positive light. Most media are required by licensing agreements to provide a certain amount of time or space for the good of their local communities.

Some of the downsides of PSA's. Don't expect to see your ad on some prime time show. PSA's are often placed in off times. I don't want to paint everyone with a broad brush here. Some media are better than others. Just because you request a PSA, doesn't mean you'll get it. Media has a limited amount of space or time for PSA's. The best you can hope for is to be put in a rotation.

You might get a break if you are currently advertising in the media of choice. It might also help if your organization buys a small amount of time or space to run with your PSA's.

Some Final Thoughts

The type of message and your target market will often dictate which type of advertising to use. Some companies will use more than one. Some will use several depending on the situation. Let's also keep in mind the pros and cons of advertising.

There are two basic advantages to advertising. One, it's the best way to get a message out about a new or existing product or service. Two, it can actually lower the cost of a product to the consumer by increasing sales which can result in reduced production costs.

The bad side of advertising is that it can create an artificial need for unnecessary products and services. Every Christmas the media creates the hot toy of the season.

The point is to keep an eye on the message you want your target market to receive. If you can, test some of the six types of advertising with various offers and messages. Find the type, or types, that works best for you, and work it.

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