Are you looking to increase your base of customers or increase sales? Maybe you want to get more repeat clients or increase traffic to your website. Whether you have several marketing goals or wish to start with one, the key to a successful year is to make a plan and stick to it. It’s easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day tasks of running your own business, but by having a clear, well-thought out plan you can create a campaign worth noticing.

Plan Ahead

Avoid waiting for your ad rep to call with a special one-day only, buy-it-now offer. Frequent advertising with a consistent message based on seasonal highs and lows will pay off better than one-time shots when the newspaper has extra space. By creating an ad plan ahead of time, you can define the message while taking advantage of frequency discounts and bulk rate pricing. Translation: more bang for your buck.

Be Consistent

Think about how you respond to advertising. Everyday you hear radio and television commercials, see newspaper, magazine and outdoor advertising, even banner ads on the internet. But you don’t respond to every offer. You are much more likely to respond positively when you hear the message often, and in more than one venue. Imagine hearing an ad on the radio, seeing the ad in the paper, then having a friend tell you about it. A good ad plan is frequent, consistent and targeted.

Be Specific

The truth is that regardless of the offer, only a portion of the population is likely to respond. Target marketing allows us to increase the chances that our audience will respond to our call to action. It allows us to be more effective and efficient. Resist the temptation to be too general in the hopes of getting a larger slice of the market. Plan, target, and be successful.

Once you understand your marketing goals and your target market, you can start planning your program.

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