"Marketing Your Small Business Offline begins with Knowing Your customers"Marketing receives its share of criticism, with much of the anger directed at the perceived unsubtlety of the advertising we see today. Most of us have probably changed channels when an annoying advertisement comes on TV, or voiced our displeasure at that ad being on again. In fact, many of us tune out when a certain ad comes on and it is only on the 20th viewing that we stay alert enough to remember what the advertisement is for. If you are on a budget for marketing, this is exactly the kind of response you do not want.

Knowing your customer is an essential rule of marketing. Most businesses cannot claim to appeal to everyone equally. Think about it – does your product or service strike you as the kind of thing that a 79-year-old woman will find useful in exactly the same way that an 18-year-old boy will? If it does, then you have a sure-fire winner, and your marketing campaign should be a cakewalk. But most products and services appeal to a specific market, and it is to them that you need to reach out.

If you have a product that is perfect for young male professionals, then it is best not to run radio advertisements during office hours – see if you can get them during the afternoon “drive time” period. If it appeals to seniors, then you should probably avoid advertising it during a live rock show. It is about getting your message into the eye line of the largest number of people and getting value for money in doing so.