Reasons for promoting a business include: increasing visibility; adding credibility to you or your company; enhancing or improving your image; and bringing in new business. The key is to find the methods that are appropriate for your business, marketplace and professional style.
- CONTESTS. As one example, a cookware store decided to sponsor cooking contests. After sending out a press release announcing a competition for the best cookie or chocolate cake, a mailing went out to the stores customers soliciting entries. Food editors, professional chefs and cooking teachers were invited to be judges. Both the winners and the winning recipes were publicized.
- NEWSLETTERS. Another good way to promote, particularly for brokers, banks and business consultants, is through newsletters. They demonstrate how much you know about your field, and do it in a low-key, informative way. They help keep your company high in the consciousness of your prospects.
- DEMONSTRATIONS. Demonstrations are an option to attract people to your place of business, show them how to best use your product, and establish your credibility. A retail-wholesale fish outlet holds cooking demonstrations twice a week, featuring a different restaurant chef each time and attracting substantial crowds. Recipe cards are even given out. Wallpaper demonstrations, fashion shows, gift wrapping, refinishing and computer demonstrations have all worked well for retailers selling products associated with them.
- SEMINARS. Often more appropriate for business to business marketing, seminars are the commercial side of demonstrations. If you hold a seminar, follow these rules for success:
- Schedule the event at a time convenient to most attendees.
- Be specific in the invitation about when the event begins and ends, who will be there, and what the agenda is.
- Follow up the invitations with personal phone calls.
- Charge for the seminar to give it a higher perceived value.
- Follow up after the event to get people’s reactions.
- PREMIUMS. Also called an advertising specialty, a premium is a gift of some kind that reminds your customer of you and your service. There are thousands from which to choose: key chains, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, baseball caps, paperweights just about anything that can be engraved, imprinted, silk-screened or embroidered with your company name and phone number.
- SPEECHES. Depending on your topic and your market, you might want to speak before chambers of commerce, trade associations, parent groups, senior citizens or other local organizations.