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by Nicole Shields



No matter what kind of business you own or manage, you are faced with selecting mediums or methods of advertising or promoting your business.  It doesnít matter if you are a retailer or a consultant working from a home based business.  Every business markets themselves in some manner.  Some businesses use traditional advertising mediums such as the newspaper, and others use less obvious means such as word of mouth.


Knowing what how best to spend time, money and energy will help you grow your business quickly.  In order to select the most effective medium or method of promoting your business, you must evaluate your sales process.  Here are 4 things to ask yourself about your unique sales process:


  1. Do my customers seek out my product or service?  In other words, do they know they need it?


  1. How well is your company and product/service category known?


  1. How easy is it for a prospect to buy and use your product/service?


  1. Can the prospect receive the benefits immediately?


Understanding where your prospect is prior to your contact as well as understanding the process they must go through in order to receive the benefits of your product or service will dictate the mediums and advertising style that will work best for your business.  There is no need for a consultant to take out expensive ads in the newspaper, which would be unlikely to produce any response.  However, for a retailer, the newspaper will likely generate considerable response. 


All too often I see small business owners taking ads in the newspaper simply because itís their local paper and they think thatís what they have to do to generate sales.  For some businesses yes, but for many others, no.  By taking the time to evaluate your sales cycle, your brand/industry recognition, and the prospect/customer experience you will be able to select the marketing mix which will generate new customers and increased sales for the smallest marketing expenditure.



Nicole Shields is the author of the 7 Step Marketing Plan manual, a complete system, including a digital file of forms and spreadsheets, which makes it easy for business owners and managers to write, implement and manage a profit-producing marketing plan.  To learn more or to sign up for the FREE 7 part marketing lesson visit: