Advertising to Your Market
Advertising is a great marketing tool. It allows you to promote your business through public communication. The goal of advertising is to develop innovative methods to persuade new customers to purchase your services, and old customers to increase or expand their utilization of your services.
What Are You Trying to Achieve?
In order for your advertising to send the right message to your potential customers, you must have clearly defined goals and objectives. What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your advertising campaign? If you are promoting sports-specific programs, your objective is to reach high school athletes. Your goal is to have them sign up for your sports-specific training packages. You now know the market you're going after (high school athletes), and where they are located (at the high school). Now, how do you make students and their parents aware of and willing to pay for your services? You could advertise at the games or run a promotion at a local restaurant often frequented after games. Your options are only limited by your creativity. The most important factor is being clear with your objectives.
The ultimate goal of advertising is creating more business. Every ad you place is a result of the desire to increase profits. You want to persuade potential customers to buy your services because your company is better than the competition. Whatever you do, do not lie about or embellish what you are offering. This will create a negative reputation and lead to loss of business. Do, however, be as creative as possible. The more creative your ads and your approach, the more you will be noticed.
Reaching Your Market or Niche
The goal in advertising for small business is not to reach as many people as possible. Instead, it is to reach and connect with your target market in the least-expensive way possible. The more information you can gather about your target market, the more successfully you will achieve this result. As a personal trainer or the owner of a studio, you will be dealing with many different people. Examine the current demographics of your clientele. Consider gender; occupation; age; the number of times per week they work with a trainer; what other services they purchase from you; the times of day they exercise; how long they have been with you; etc. This information will help you narrow your focus.
Once you have a specific idea of who you are marketing to, create the advertising campaign around that group of people. If, for example, you find that most of your business comes from housewives who range in age from thirty to forty-five, then that is where you want to focus your advertising efforts. Ask some of your clients where they shop and what publications they read. Consider placing ads in the most common ones. Find out what local businesses they frequent and post flyers or leave business cards at those locations. If they spend a great deal of time in the car, radio ads may be the way to go. Putting the time into researching your market will enable you to create a campaign that will yield positive results.
Remember, advertising costs money, and you want to receive the biggest possible return on your investment. You can only influence buying behavior if you know precisely who you are targeting and what they really want.