Marketing Strategies for the Small Business Owner

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Marketing Strategies for the Small Business Owner

Some of my favorite local businesses have been around since before I was born. Sadly, a few years ago, a favorite clothing retailer in my hometown went out of business. After a large famous discount retailer opened a store in this town, the small clothing business couldn’t successfully compete with it. So, this local business was forced to shut its doors. Whenever I see the vacant building this store once occupied, I think about the importance of advertising. If this business had launched a smart advertising campaign after the large retail chain came into the area, it might have survived. Do you own a small business? If you’re a proud entrepreneur, you need to determine several outlets to successfully market your brand. On this blog, you will discover the best strategies to advertise a small business.

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4 Must-Ask Questions For A Prospective Advertising Agency

Whether you run a small business large, a large corporation, or anything in between, there's a good chance that you'll want to hire an advertising agency at some point. Ad agencies can help your company gain greater exposure through Internet marketing, content production, search engine optimization, and more. Before you hire just any ad agency for your business, however, there are a few important questions you'll want to ask during an interview with a prospective ad agency.    

How is Client-Agent Communication Handled?

Find out exactly how you will be able to get in touch with the agents assigned to your account, as this can vary greatly from one agency to the next. Ideally, you'll want to have direct access--either by phone, email, or regular meetings--to your agents. Unfortunately, with some larger ad agencies, you may not have a direct line of contact to each member and will instead have to work your way through the hierarchy to get your questions answered or concerns addressed.

Do You Have Minimums on Billed Time?

With most ad agencies, each position within the agency will have a designated billing rate. For example, your SEO agent may have one rate whereas your creative director may charge a different rate. In addition to finding out the rate for each position assigned to your account, you'll also want to find out if there are any minimums required. For instance, if they're charging by the hour, will your contract require you to pay for a minimum number of hours each week or month?

How Will You Appeal to the Target Audience?

Of course, your business has its own unique audience that will need to be targeted by your ad agency. Your ad budget will only pay off if your agency truly understands your target audience and what appeals to them. During your interview, ask for specific ideas regarding how they would advertise to your target audience and be on the lookout for "cookie cutter" answers. They should have a variety of creative tools at their disposal to tailor their marketing efforts to any age group, gender, or other demographic.

Are Any of Your Ad Services Outsourced?

Last but not least, check to make sure that none of the agency's services are being outsourced. For example, are they hiring an outside agency to assist with your SEO efforts? If so, then you're probably going to end up paying more than you need to in addition to having a less direct line of communication with the outsourced agents.

For further assistance, contact a local advertising agency, such as ICON Advertising & Design, Inc.