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Advertising Your Business Locally With an ROI Driven Approach

Jul 16, 2008
As a small business you have to ensure that your advertising is targeted towards people in your local area, and towards people that are likely to be interested in your services. However, most small businesses fail to advertise effectively. They either under-invest in marketing, or they fail to track and monitor the impact of their advertising spend on their sales.

Direct Mail Advertising

It's possible to target the area where your customers live through direct mail. As a local company, this can be one of the best ways to engage with your potential customers. However, one problem with direct mail is that it's hard to target intent. As a local plumber, it's possible to target customers that are within the territory where you do business, but it's hard to know if any of them actually require plumbing services.

With direct mail, you can track the success of your mailer through checking out what percentage of customers who received the letter buy from you. When you know where you sent the letters, it's not hard to track with a relatively degree of accuracy. Some areas might respond better than others and therefore should have more marketing material sent their way.

Business Directory Advertising

It's possible to advertise your business in directories that should, in theory, target consumers by intent and geography. Someone looking for an electrician in the Manchester Yellow Pages should be targeted in both ways. However, that doesn't mean the advertising opportunity will always deliver a return on investment. And, furthermore, it's hard to track the effectiveness of this method. You could, however, use a separate telephone number, website address or email address to see how much attention the advert attracts. But to be sure it's truly effective; you will need to measure the effectiveness of the lead all the way through the sales cycle. However, when you're only investing in a £400 media buy, you have to question whether it's worthwhile setting up the tracking in the first place.

When advertising in online directories, it is much easier to gauge return on investment through your website analytics. Used correctly your analytics tools should be able to tell you exactly how much traffic came from which source and then you can monitor the sales that you achieved from this traffic.

Promotional Gifts

Promotional gifts are rarely used as a direct marketing tool by big business. They tend to use this method for branding purposes. However, more so with local companies, you have unique opportunities that many larger companies don't have.
For example, as a taxi business, imagine if you could give someone a gift, like a key ring, that they had in their pocket at all times. A take-away business could advertise through giving their customers a fridge magnet. The opportunities are endless, and the methods can be extremely effective.

Other Local Businesses

One highly effective advertising strategy can be to get another local business to advertise for you. If you're a gardener, you could have a fencer that you always recommend. And he could always recommend you for gardening services. Both of you don't have to charge each other anything, and you both get more business.
About the Author
Naz Daud is the founder of CityLocal Franchises. UK Business Directory Business Franchise Opportunity
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