Marketing and PromotionProfessional business marketing and advertising agency personnel and media representatives can be a great source of marketing information and a big help in planning your promotional advertising campaign. Ad agencies earn a large portion of their profits in commissions from advertising media placed on behalf of their clients. The ads cost the client the same whether placed through an advertising agency or directly with the promotional media outlet. However, the agencies usually bill their clients for other services performed, such as marketing consultation, copy writing, custom printing, and advertising design artwork. A thorough knowledge of business marketing and advertising is essential to any businessperson.

Business Promotion

You need sales marketing promotion to attract new customers and hold present ones, to counteract competition, and to take advantage of opportunities revealed by your market research. Your promotional activities may include any or all of the following: advertising, publicity, public relations activities, special sales, (clearances, closeouts, Valentines Day, etc.), contests, promotional items, displays of products or printed marketing materials on the business premises and at any trade shows. Full color promotional flyers combined with email marketing strategies are a great way to announce a grand opening. This is a perfect example of a sales promotion activity. Promotion requires ongoing planning and execution to accomplish the following:

  • Establishment of clear policies, such as those outlining pricing procedures, returns and adjustment rules, policies regarding the servicing of product, salesperson compensation, and salesperson market responsibilities

  • Creation of a company image emphasizing the competitive distinctions of the company, such as better quality, faster service, lower prices, or convenience

Marketing Strategies

Plan your company marketing and promotional strategies at the beginning of each business year and revise them during the year. Base your advertising strategies on market opportunities indicated by reliable market research, telling you what to promote, where to promote, and when to promote. Determining what to promote by considering where the best profit opportunities lie and noting which market areas hold the greatest promise for development. Your promotion may also depend on products you want to move out of stock. A build-up of one product in inventory may indicate a need for a special clearance to reduce stock to normal levels. If your analysis of company sales shows that normal sales efforts are not penetrating certain areas, you may have to plan a special promotion to target market and open up those areas.

Branding Your Business

Although the name of your business and your logo on your business card and letterhead are part of branding, it is much more than that. Your brand is your business’ identity. A potent brand identity is a statement that says what it is that your business does, how you go about doing it, and who you are, along with establishing your significance and credibility to your customers.

Your brand also has some other indefinable attributes to it. It is the way customers perceive your business. If the brand name of a company is perceived as high value, it enjoys several advantages over its competitors, particularly related to pricing.

Perceived value is the reason why people pay top dollar for branded goods and clothing. How a brand is perceived comes about by highly effective promotion of the brand, product labels, and marketing which results in creating good awareness about it.

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custom business cardsOne of the most frequent requests I have heard throughout my career is “May I have your card?” Whether it’s a sales call or business-to-business (B2B) networking, the practice of swapping custom business cards is the most common way to make an introduction. So why do so many merchant level salespeople (MLSs) arrive at meetings and trade shows without them?

I’m always surprised when, during the “get to know you” part of a committee meeting, someone in the room announces they have “forgotten their cards.” Or when someone visits our booth at a trade show and is unable to leave a card because they don’t have any with them. In sales, forgetting your business cards is like forgetting your pants. (more…)