As I mentioned before when running your own business you often have to wear many different hats. The hat that I have been wearing the most lately is my marketing hat… specifically the advertising one. You might be thinking to yourself that marketing and advertising is the same thing. Although they are often thought to be two words that describe the same thing they are in fact different.
Before moving on let me quickly explain the difference as best as I understand it. Think of marketing as the whole pie, and advertising a slice of that pie. It is often the most expensive slice of the pie followed by public relations and market research, but it is still only a piece of the pie. Marketing consists of market research, public relations, sales strategy, media planning, and the general process of preparing your product or service for the marketplace while advertising is the part of making your product or service known to the marketplace.
If you are still not completely clear on the differences that is OK, and you are not alone. What is important is that advertising is a big part of any business’s marketing plan, and can be done through many different venues such as print, television, radio, and internet. Knowing which venues would be best comes from the other pie pieces such as market research.
Although, I’m still working on my overall market strategy I have started to focus on my advertising options. I first looked at how I was currently finding new clients which has mostly been relying on my website, and word of mouth. Looking at my options based on my target market, and what I can afford I can pretty much rule out radio and television. I think radio can be a good option for a lot of businesses, but might not be the most successful for my type of business right now. While I’m able to create my own commercials, airing them on TV would cost more then what I plan to spend right now. Similar to radio, with television I might be paying for an audience that is very general, and not targeted enough.
Print is one of the avenues I’m currently exploring. The business cards I had printed are a form of advertising, since it is a way of getting my company name and services out to potential clients. I upgraded from my home printed cards, since it was important for me to send the message that we are a professional company where quality is important to us.. They are printed in full color on both sides on a heavy card stock with a silky finish. I have attached an image of them, but you only really feel the quality when you hold one.
Also in the realm of print advertising I have been looking to get direct mail fliers printed that I could send to ad agencies. I will start by finding what ad agencies work in animation that don’t currently have an in-house animation group. I would then find who at the ad agencies is responsible for bringing in outside production services, so I could send it directly to them.
I have not looked into getting into printed magazines yet, but if I did I would focus on magazines that are targeted towards people in the marketing and advertising industries.
The last venue is internet. I have been focusing on this venue since it is often the least expensive, and is the best suited for targeting a specific market. I have been using my Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts to market, but I feel those are mostly for branding and public relations. The free services may get me a client or two, but once you start getting into target marketing is when you have to start paying. Which might be a good option for my business. I have already signed up for the free listing in the online YellowPages as well as looking into some other online listing services such as LA411 where they specifically list production companies.
Today I was looking at Google AdWords. I was a little surprised how difficult it was to get a price for what it would cost. They kept saying it only costs you when someone clicks on your ad. That’s nice and all, but how much does it cost me when someone does click on my ad? I finally got an average of what a click would cost. I guess it changes based on how much money Google wants to make off you that day, or something silly like that. I was told it would be around $4 a click for my business in the target markets that I’m looking at. I was expecting it to be a few cents per click, so I was a little shocked to hear that amount. If I did this I would have to include on the ad a message saying, “If you already know me, please don’t click this!” I can just see having over 100 clicks from my very proud parents. I love you Mom & Dad, but you just cost me $400!
Well, this all gives me some things to thank about, and a lot of decisions to make. I might try a few different approaches to see what works the best. I will set a monthly budget for what I can spend per month on marketing and advertising, and make sure I stick to that. I can easily see this getting out of control if you don’t watch it. Who knows, maybe I will learn that it is more cost effective to keep with word of mouth only. I feel like I might have to start with some marketing to get my brand out there, and then maybe I can rely strictly on word of mouth.
I would love to hear anyones feedback on marketing and advertising. If you have any suggestions of on this topic that you would be willing to share please leave them in the comments.
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