Tanner Friedman
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Thinking Outside The Ad

By Matt Friedman and Don Tanner When a CEO or business owner considers means by which to promote their company or services, advertising is often the first tactic that comes to mind. While buying ads can be effective, employing a larger "toolbox" comprised of a range of marketing components designed to drive business and positive attention to your company, is far more prudent and effective-from a cost and tactical standpoint. Looking to market your company? Consider the following:
  • Collateral Materials - First impressions are vital. Often, that initial impression comes via your business card or brochure. The same goes for your website, CD-ROM, DVD, etc. All should be cohesive in appearance and content, portraying your brand as you want it to be represented.
  • Direct (E)Mail - The 39-cent stamp is an underrated yet powerful tool. Throughout the year, send notes, announcements and other correspondence to your customers and contacts to inform them of new, noteworthy, company developments, while also reiterating key brand messages. Similarly, brief email notes, including those with links to a media story of interest or articles featuring you or your company also offers an avenue for staying in touch.
  • Media Relations - The third-party credibility and exposure generated by positive media coverage on your company can be invaluable. A strategic media plan can assure consistent results. An ad is one thing; a positive newspaper article or magazine profile on you or your enterprise is quite another.
  • Strategic Networking - People do business with other people, not companies. As such, it is important to network and connect with potential customers through appropriate organizations that host regular mixers and events, such as the Detroit Regional Chamber.
The best marketing strategies involve a number of rock-solid initiatives designed to work over time; there is no "quick fix" or "silver bullet." By employing such tools, you will build a strong foundation from which your business can grow. This article originally appeared in the Detroiter magazine.

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