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Business Operations

Marketing Strategies for a New Generation

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John Wanamaker, considered by manyto be one of the fathers of modern advertising, once said: “Half the money Ispend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is that I don’t know which half.”Well, I hate to break it to you, Johnny, but things have gotten even worse.

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We live in a world saturated bymass-media coverage. Hundreds of channels offer us the widest selection ofprogramming – and advertisements – ever available, and marketers pay well tocompete for the attention of consumers. The average cost of a 30-second adduring this year’s SuperBowl XL was $2.5 million. And, long after that moneyhas been spent, SuperBowl advertisers will still be wondering if that massiveinvestment actually produced an effect on their bottom lines. Couple thegrowing cost of producing, pitching, and running advertisements with the factthat, oftentimes, business owners find it nearly impossible to track theresults of television advertisements, and these types of traditional advertisingbegin to seem less like smart business decisions and more like a quick route tobankruptcy.

So what is a small business ownerto do? Make low-budget television advertisements that are more frequently metwith criticism and laughter than genuine consumer interest and will never beable to deliver measurable results? Absolutely not.

Where Wanamaker had it wrong wasthat he believed advertising was some sort of ethereal concept incapable ofbeing tracked, measured, and managed. In reality, your business’s marketingdollars are as easily tracked and measured as your inventory levels or profitmargins. All you have to do to take your marketing activities to a higher levelis implement marketing plans that have been designed to deliver results thatcan be measured in quantifiable terms.

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In the upcoming months, I willpresent a number of different marketing tactics that can be employed by smallbusiness owners just like you. These tactics can dramatically improve sales,customer retention rates, and overall profitability. They are based on the ideathat if you can’t measure your marketing dollars, you will never be able tomanage them. And, unmanageable marketing activities almost always result inwasted dollars.

Until then, remember that toachieve business success, you must: 1. Expand your customer base; 2. Increaserepeat purchases among existing customers; and 3. Boost the value of individualticket sales.

We’ll begin next month withtactics that address the first point: expanding your customer base.

– By Jay Siff, CEO and founder ofMoving Targets and Loyal Rewards

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