Originally created 09/10/04

Businesses get pointers on marketing



Just running an ad often isn't enough to sell a product.

Many successful businesses employ several marketing strategies at one time to maximize their exposure.

But for small businesses, this is a difficult task. The rigors of running the business often keep owners more occupied with doing the work than selling their business.

But with a properly focused marketing plan, small businesses can significantly increase their customers and sales, said Bryan Coan, owner of Action Business Advisors of Atlanta.

"There's no such thing as the market being down," he said. "It's a lack of effort by the business owner."

Mr. Coan, who was in Augusta on Thursday speaking to the Martinez-Evans Optimist Club, said that to be successful, businesses must actively work toward marketing their products by drawing attention to and interest in their product and catching the desires of consumers.

To do this, he suggests creating advertisements that catch the eye and draw interest by asking thoughtful questions.

In one example, he explained how a Web site developer more than quadrupled his sales by creating an ad with a silly picture of him and listed five questions a person should ask before hiring a Web site developer.

The U.S. Small Business Administration also encourages small businesses to market their products.

The administration suggests businesses begin by identifying and researching their market. With a small advertising budget, owners can target their efforts to a specific crowd, giving them the biggest bang for their buck.

Once a marketing campaign is begun, Mr. Coan said, business owners need to keep track of the campaign's effect. This means asking customers how they learned of the business or product. Knowing this information will allow a business owner to quit advertising campaigns that don't work.

Reach James Gallagher at (706) 823-3227 or james.gallagher@augustachronicle.com.

Marketing Tips

Here are some tips to help you sell your products better.

Branding: Your name is important, so be sure to let people know who you are.
Testimonials: Customer comments offer credibility.
Newsletter: This keeps past, current and potential customers informed of what you are doing.
TestING and measuring: With every marketing strategy, test to see if it is working and what the impact is on your business.
Source: Action Business Advisors