Promotion includes everything you do to sell your product or service. Advertising is one traditional form of promotion. There are many venues for advertising—television, radio, daily newspapers, alternative newspapers, newsletters, billboards, flyers, etc.—each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of media should depend on your target audience, budget, and goals. You can also use other options, such as direct mail, public relations, telemarketing sales, guerrilla marketing, and Internet marketing.
Approach promotion as you do other aspects of your business: set objectives and goals. Know what you want to accomplish with your promotional strategy and set up a program for doing it.
Next, set a budget. Most promotion options cost money, and it can add up fast. Since money and time are limited, make sure you are choosing the most effective approach for your business. When money is scarce, you may choose to use less traditional forms of promotion. Some examples include offering to write articles for local newspapers or trade publications, or giving a presentation at a local club. Pass out flyers at events or walk around with a sandwich board. Let your creativity flow.
Defining your target customer is important in choosing the best form(s) of promotion for your business. For example, rather than advertise on television to the world at large, it may be more cost effective to advertise in a trade magazine, which reaches your customers directly. Many businesses choose a mix of promotion strategies to reach different segments of their market.