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Friday, July 21, 2006

SECTION 1 - ADVERTISING SECRETS

Since Advertising is a backbone of any business, it is essential that one is completely familiar with all the loopholes of advertising. In the next few articles, I shall be discussing about various aspects of advertising. First and foremost thing is to develop marketing and advertising strategy. The article below discusses this.
DEVELOPING A MARKETING AND ADVERTISING STRATEGY
For your business to prosper you need customers. People will come to buy your product only if they know you exist. You need to advertise your product, so that customers can come and have a look at your online store. Then you need to develop some kind of plan or an advertising strategy. Make sure you stick to your plan. If you don’t plan your advertising in the beginning, your business might later land in some serious trouble. You must always remember that,
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".

The IPSOS study indicated that one of the top challenges faced by online business owners was creating awareness of their site. With million of websites on the Internet, your website can easily get lost if you don’t invest enough time or money in promoting your site. To make your advertising stand out, you’ve got to have a plan. One of the greatest mistakes newcomers make is to invest money blindly in all kinds of advertising without first charting out a marketing and advertising strategy. They do not employ any testinging or trackinging system. So they are totally unaware about which of their ads are working and which ones are not. They keep investing money without any effective results. Then when the business does not seem to work they get frustrated and give up. Many experts say a new business should allocate about 4% to 5% of projected gross sales for advertising. Setting up an advertising and marketing strategy is therefore really important before you actually start your business. A comprehensive and well planned marketing and advertising strategy must comprise the following components:

Setting up a budget for marketing and advertising:
Before you start your business try to gather as much money as possible for your advertising campaign. It is true that you can start your online business by investing just 50-100$ per month but this holds true for small online business only. Larger businesses need more investment. The larger is your advertising budget, nearer you are to success. However with an opportunity like SFI you can start with a budget of about 50$ or even less per month. If you invest more, you are likely to succeed sooner. Give your business time to ripen. For a year don’t eat from your business, keep on investing and re-investing. One day, the business will be strong enough to support itself and its owner. No business can survive for long without some form of consistent advertising.
other components which form a part of marketing and advertising strategy are:

Tracking and testing your advertising

Never sacrifice your advertising budget

Writing an eye catching advertisement

Maintain Consistency in your advertising efforts:
You must be consistent in your advertising efforts. Even if your business is not doing well, don’t try to cut down on advertising. Even though you might get inclined to cut down the advertising budget to decrease your expenses, try not to do it. At least don't cut it down completely. If absolutely necessary, reduce your budget but definitely don't eliminate it completely.

Time allocation:
deciding how much time you are going to devote towards advertising. For any business to grow you need to put in some time and money for advertising. Decide how much time you can give to business and how to squeeze in your business around your existing schedule , so that you can devote maximum time to your business.
Divide your advertising budget for diverse types of advertising:
Consider diverse types of advertising methods, both online and offline. Divide your advertising budget into diverse types of advertising. Don’t invest all your money into a particular type of advertising or invest all money at once into many types of advertising.
Draw out a step by step plan: Go slowly and step by step. You must start advertising slowly. Decide which method of advertising you would use first and how much money you would invest in it. Then after repeated tracking and testing see which ads work and which don't. Then go on to the next method and repeat the same procedure.
There is no sudden leap into the stratosphere...There is only advancing step by step, slowly and tortuously, up the pyramid toward your goals... -Ben Stein

Checking and re-checking your advertising plan regularly:
Once you have set up your advertising and marketing strategy, you must keep checking its various elements from time to time. One reason is that in today’s world, things are changing at a very fast pace. New methods come up every day and older ones become obsolete.
When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal”Napolean Hill
If your business is not doing well, you must specially re-check your advertising plan. Don't blame your failure on luck. Chances are high that there is some deficiency in your marketing plan or you are not executing it properly. May be your budget is not adequate, you need to increase it. Maybe your advertisements are not good enough, maybe your methods of advertising have become obsolete and you need to adopt newer ways or you are not maintaining a proper track of your advertising campaign.