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    15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2008 8:14 PM by Designer08

    Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses

    hfbadvertisin Newbie
      What kind of marketing material, if any, do you use to attract new business?

      Do you think attractive brochure design helps you get new business? Why?

      How much does your business spend on marketing, if not, why?
        • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses.
          What kind of marketing material, if any, do you use to attract new business

          Start by knowing how the customer makes money.
          Learn the customers decision making policies.
          Build a relationship with the customer.
          Focus on the customers business needs

          How much does your business spend on marketing??.
          Whatever it takes to make the customer happy.

          • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
            Iwrite Pioneer
            I use a variety of things. Brochure, direct mail piece, business cards, and the like. But I am a freelance writer working on becoming my own advertising agency. And when I do, I am going to rock the world with how I market my agency!

            The key is for the brochure or any other marketing piece to be both attractive and relevant to the person you are talking to. The prettiest piece in the world is useless if it doesn't tell the target audience something they need or want to hear.

            The jury is still out on the budget amount, but it will be a good budget. I can't tell my clients to adhere to a standard I am not willing to myself.
            • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
              HotCocoa Wayfarer
              I would suggest looking at design annuals from HOW or even better Communication Arts. Look secifically under self-promotion. There are some really good starting points here. The idea behind self promotion is to showcase what makes you different. Use tha difference to stand out. Frankly, traditional brochures are a good follow up piece, but I would suggest doing something that really stands out as an initial introductory piece. I would offer suggestions, but I don't know enough about your company, services, or market.

              Me I send new/potential clients mugs and cocoa. But that ties into my branding.

              Jac - Hot Cocoa Creative
              • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                WWS_Creative Newbie
                What works best really varies by company. There are some types of marketing that work well for one demographic but not another. With each of my clients, we go through a discovery phase to reveal the target audience and then design based on our findings. Every time that a direct mail piece, for example, goes out we use two different messages and then analyze the results. Then we keep the better of the two and bring in a new second message. The key is to always continue testing - your message, your graphics, even the style (self mailer vs. #10 envelope).

                I can tell you that for my company I use self mailers with clean, catchy text and graphics along with a gift that compliments my message.

                If you want to discuss more, let me know!

                Worldwide Solutions
                • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                  MobileMktng Newbie

                  I'm not quite certain about the origin of the question, if I read your profile correctly, advertising, marketing and creative development is your agency's specialty. Assuming that the profile is actually the criteria of things you have an interest in finding more information about, would gladly lend my services.

                  I have own a company, that among other things, also helps with conducting adv/marketing/pr/creative/full service agency searches for small and medium size businesses. The service does not cost you anything, no contract, no obligation, the costs are paid by the utilized agency in the form of a referral fee.

                  If you'd like to discuss your situation, would gladly set a time to figure out exactly what the extent of the services would be. Below is my contact information.

                  Eric Lazar
                  • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                    aditijjoshi Newbie

                    As you are in the marketing/advertising /pr industry, you would be familiar with push and pull strategies for increasing market share. A sales brochues is an effective pulling tactic but its effectiveness is dependent on a multitude of variables.
                    The greatest cost effective marketing tool a small business has is the web.
                    Have you considered expanding your realm of activities to encompass emarketing?
                    • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                      Iwrite Pioneer
                      I don't want to pretend to speak for anyone but I thought HFB was asking this question to get a better feel for the attitudes and practices of those involved in the forum, not because they don't understand how it works.

                      That's how this forum works - most of us start posts like these to open a dialogue. For me, it sure beats those post where people just come right out and state what they do and how it can help me. Instead someone starts a discussion that helps to highlight how their services can be of a benefit to me.

                      Well, that's how I saw it, but I may be wrong.
                      • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                        I have written an article addressing this topic exactly. I believe it is so important to have marketing materials and invest in marketing and here's why

                        Feel free to contact me if you have any queries :)
                          • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                            Iwrite Pioneer
                            I actually like the Marketing and the most popular girl blog more!

                            I think you hit it on the head but I get the feeling that many of us think we know our business better than a marketer ever could, so we can do a better job. Unfortunately, that isn't always true. Marketers bring more to the table than most people realize. We are able to look at a business objectively and create a message that speaks to the consumer, not at them. You now your books better than anyone but you trust an accountant. And your lawyer. And your insurance agent.

                            We may not be licensed but nothing can kill a business quicker than poor marketing.
                              • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                                Agreed. We just have to get the word out on the importance!

                                Ahh everyone seems to like that one on my blog. Ive had a lot of people read it and even people link it. It is true though, many people want to be the most popular girl in school and many people want to do marketing but they are not necessarily cut out for it - it just seems glamourous and as I wrote: fun! fun! fun!
                                For those of us who do it and do it well, marketing is hard work!
                                  • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                                    Iwrite Pioneer
                                    Go check out the new post I just started. I was getting bored. It is titled: What is it exactly that you do?
                                      • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                                        HigherProfits Wayfarer
                                        You need to be extremely careful using institutional advertising (such as brochures...etc.). I've run dozens and dozens of tests with clients and the institutional ads proved to have the lowest ROI...

                                        You should stick with direct advertising which strikes a chord with the market. Boost your response rate from your advertising, spend less to get the same results because of the higher ROI.

                                        They key to knowing what you are doing with your advertising campaigns is to have all of your metrics done before hand:

                                        • What is the value of single prospect to your company?

                                        • How much is a single client/customer worth over their lifetime?

                                        • What's your retention rates for customers/clients?

                                        Get your metrics down and then you can say:

                                        "Ok for every prospect that contacts our company they are worth $xxxx because Y% of them become customers and each customer has a life-time value of $ZZZZ. So I know that I can spend _____ amount to attract a new prospect and turn ____ profit from each and every one of them."

                                        It's scientific, if you aren't looking at it that way you're losing money via profit leaks.

                                        To Higher Profits,
                                        Dave Ryan, Consultant
                                        Higher Profits Marketing
                                • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                                  intechspecial Ranger

                                  When it comes to marketing, no company is complete without Search Engine Marketing.


                                  • Re: Creative Services Agency for Small Businesses
                                    Designer08 Wayfarer
                                    I am in similar business as you are and when my clients want to do a direct mail campaign I always remind them that for every 100 pieces (brochures in your case) that you send out, 10 may actually be read. Of those ten 1 may contact you for a meeting.

                                    So like others have said you must guage what type of ROI you are expecting. And if you want a larger return your direct mail or sales technque better the best anyone has seen in a while.

                                    Networking, both online and in person, serves as the best promotional tool.