Marketing 101 for Small Business Owners
By Lisa Gullette, CreatiVisibility, January 2009
The 4th “P”
Use these 5 facets of marketing to promote your business:
• Branding: Logo and Corporate Identity
• Print Pieces
• Web Presence
• Promotional Items
• Advertising and Other Communications
The cost of a 30-second spot of advertising for Super Bowl I in 1967 was $42,500. Twenty years and 20 games later, the cost rocketed to $600,000. This year, each 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLIII will cost an estimated $3 million – that’s a breathtaking $100,000 a second! Your business probably doesn’t have a multi-million dollar advertising budget (or maybe you do!) but you can still put together a dynamite marketing plan.
It’s common to consider marketing and advertising as being one and the same, yet successful marketing isn’t just merchandising or placing ads, it is figuring out who you want to sell your product or service to and who is most likely to need or purchase it, a group known as your “target audience”.
Large companies set a budget for marketing and use resources to research and create their ideal marketing plan. Small or new businesses tend to have one business owner with a one page marketing plan, if one at all, with a budget that doesn’t cover research. The owner is then left to the time-intensive task of studying the market, reading about trends, and tracking the type of buyer or client his business is attracting and then deciding on what market to expand to. Traditionally, marketing follows the “4 P’s” - product, pricing, placement, and promotion (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing.) New businesses generally have product, pricing, and placement in order before they launch their product line, storefront, or service offering but often end up leaving promotion as an afterthought. How will you get the word out about your product or service if you neglect to promote it? It is very important to launch your business or a marketing campaign with promotion at the same time or you could be out of business before you know it.
CreatiVisibility can help with promotion using a marketing-faceted approach to print and Web design. The five facets CreatiVisibility employs are:
- Branding: Logo and Corporate Identity - Your business needs a visual identity. Name your business and stick with that name. Have a logo designed for your business and be happy with the logo before you brand your business with it (see article “Don't Judge a Book by its Cover…or Should You?”, in the articles section of our Web site.
- Print Pieces - Once you’ve branded your company, it’s time to market your business with printed pieces. Brand your business using a cohesive campaign over all visual aspects of your business. Pick one company, such as CreatiVisibility, to create all of your visual designs so you will have one standard look - one set of colors, one set of graphics, and one constant visual identity. Don’t confuse your audience with more than one look. It will appear like two different businesses, or one that doesn’t know what they are doing in the business world.
Examples of printed pieces are: stationary, business cards, invoices, fax sheets, brochures, rack cards, banners, posters, programs, postcards and other direct mail pieces, event notices, flyers, note pads, and newsletters.
- Web Presence - It is common to see a new business or small business have a “do it yourself” Web site and little on that site visually matches the printed pieces the business uses to brand itself. Today, the Web is one of the biggest promotional items your business has, working for you 24 hours a day handing out information to people looking for your type of business. Your Web site isn’t a place to diverge from your branding campaign.
Again, it is important to stick with one creative service to handle your design campaign. CreatiVisibility carries your design through all facets of visual marketing for you. Same colors, same logo, same fonts, same message, same tag lines, same campaign. No accidental changes in colors or changing the font because it wasn’t available on the computer.
- Promotional Items - Participation in trade shows, visiting potential clients, and give-a-ways at events are all components of promotional items. CreatiVisibility can develop promotional needs that stay consistent with your brand and can design everything from trade show displays to pens. We are partnered with great promotional item printing companies and will do all the pre-press work for you, including working to set up artwork, proofing, and arranging delivery to you or your event location.
- Advertising and Other Communications - Advertising is a big factor in the visual promotion of your company and should include extensive research before an advertising market is chosen. Consider your audience:
- Are you trying to reach your networking list or town newcomers? Advertise in a local Chamber of Commerce directory or relocation guide.
- Have a business-to-business service? Advertise in periodicals specific to that profession, or at events for that profession.
- Don’t forget advertising on the Web! Do you want your business to be listed on Web searches as a sponsored link? Do you want to reach those reading the news on the Web? Consider a banner ad. CreatiVisibility can design banner ads for your advertising campaign, even if the host site has its own art department.
- Newspapers, magazines, and phone books all have art departments that will design your ad for you, but in order to maintain a consistent branding campaign, have one company do all the design work. CreatiVisibility will work with your advertising sales representative to make sure all technical specs for size and color are adjusted for a print or Web medium. Generally, advertising representatives do not require you to work with their department if you have your own professional graphic designer on retainer.
CreatiVisibility specializes in creating long-term relationships with clients by developing visual marketing campaigns that are professional, consistent, and optimized for small business marketing. Utilizing all the resources the CreatiVisibility team has to offer will result in a win-win situation for you, your marketing plan and your business.
For more information about CreatiVisibility and how it can help you start a marketing campaign, visit: www.CreatiVisibility.com.