Most business owners do not explore new marketing strategies until they experience a sharp decline in their revenue. Advertising campaigns are not evergreen. They evolve and grow, improve and degenerate. Most work at home, or small business owners shell out a substantial amount of money for a good ad campaign and then let it run dry.
The first strategy for success is found in the way you view the advertising campaign’s purpose. A good advertising campaign needs to do three things. First, it needs to collect data on the market. Who is buying. What is hot, and what is not.
Second, it needs to collect vital information about the people who make a purchase from your website. This can be compiled into a profile that helps you determine how to best reach your target market. It is a market research tool that helps determine what types of advertising works, at what times of the year.
Third, it should ‘brand’ your name and logo. A successful advertising campaign will imprint the company name and logo onto people’s subconscious. This increase their ‘decision to buy’ response when they visit the website
For example, online shopping increases dramatically just before Christmas, but only if the payment gateway is fast and easy to use. However, if the user must leave the website to use the payment gateway, like paypal.com uses, then the statistics do not change. However, the payment gateway does not effect sales in the summer.
You’ll notice that no aspect of an advertising campaign is to sell the product – that is your website’s job. A successful marketing campaign manager never measures an advertising campaign’s success based on sales.
Large corporations will tell you that a successful advertising campaign may run for months before the results appear on the income statement.
The advertising campaign should be reviewed often, and compared to new methods, in the hunt for new ‘hot markets.’ However, hot markets burn out very quickly. The whirlwind of change that continuously sweeps through the marketplace is a powerful balancer. It gives small businesses an edge over the elephants that move slow and react to change in months, not weeks.
This is true, but there needs to be balance. Always keep 80% of the marketing budget in the tried and true marketing methods – even if they do not offer the big rewards. The other 20% of the marketing budget is free for exploration of new advertising mediums. Don’t discount anything. Look at the fortunes made when youtube.com and myspace.com skyrocketed to fame. For a few months, advertisers were raking in millions.
It is also important to keep a finger on the pulse of the population. There is a time to brand your company, and a time to break away from the pack and create a new image for yourself.
The important thing to remember is to focus. Work at home and small business owners need to learn this lesson – niche marketing is the secret to making millions.
The potential is expansive. Clever competition and new technology should be seen as marketing tools, not threats. Staying on the cutting edge is all about innovation and creativity. Money is no longer the #1 element to success. Many small businesses are becoming international on small budgets.