75 Marketing Tactics Every Entrepreneur Should Know

75 Marketing Tactics Every Entrepreneur Should Know to Get More Leads, Make More Sales and Grow Their Business

Half the battle when marketing is understanding what is required in order to be successful. Marketers fail more than they succeed. So, if we try only one tactic, we most likely will not move the needle. Therefore, we need to develop a marketing plan which consists of several campaigns. These campaigns will utilize “media” in order to get the message out about your company and your products and services.

The Difference Between Media and Tactics

The following guide identifies the 75 marketing media that you can use and gives ideas and clues on how you can use them tactically.

To most, the term “media” is incoherent, whereas tactics are commonplace. Media is essentially what this list is, yet these media can be used tactically and strategically in your marketing.

The following list would most likely be called marketing “tactics,” “methods,” or simply “marketing” by marketers and business owners, but I have come to call them marketing media / tactics. I use the term “media” to represent the place you can convey a message to your target audience. Some things, like networking, sound like tactics. However, I like to think of them as media, because I define tactics as differences in the way I deliver my message. I may attend a leads group meeting, which is considered networking, but the tactic I’m going to use when I go there is to have a specialized business card with a message that engages that audience on the back and an elevator speech that matches the message on the card.

That example shows that media / tactics can be combined to develop marketing strategies designed to get attention, create interest, build desire, and persuade prospects to become leads, and convince leads to take action.

Before we get into the 75 marketing media, let me explain how I use this list. I choose marketing media and tactic options for a marketing plan by looking at the goals, expectations, and budget of the client, and matching them with the media and tactics that fits their needs. I’ve found that it’s important to rank media by several criteria. Doing this makes it easy to choose media, and tactics that fit your needs in the moment. We’ll get to the ranking bit in a second.

To recap, I define” media” as the place in which you can convey your message, and I define “tactics” as the way you deliver your message.

Media = Place / Where

Tactic = Way / How

How to Choose Media and Tactics

We want to know several things before we invest in media:

  1. Who is the target market they serve?
  2. Will our company, product, or services resonate with that target market?
  3. What is the media’s circulation or subscriber base?
  4. What is the cost to advertise in total? (What is the cost of each subscriber?)
  5. What will interest the target market?
  6. How will we track and measure the effectiveness of the ad? (offer)
  7. How effective is the media for the other advertisers? Are they seeing results?
  8. How long until we see results? How long will it take to see ROI?
  9. How much time will it take to implement?
  10. How much skill and knowledge is required to implement successfully in this media?

For each media we choose we have to understand the answers to each of the above 10 questions. However, I have found a way to ease the burden of identifying media, developing marketing campaigns, and creating marketing plans.

The following list of 75 media and marketing tactics gives simple explanations, and helps you identify:

  1. How long it will take to implement, and once implemented
  2. How long until you start making a profit
  3. An estimation of the amount of new clients this media can potentially bring
  4. The cost to implement the media
  5. The skill and knowledge required. Additionally, I have included tactic examples where pertinent

Choosing Marketing Media and Tactics

To make this list even more useful, I have included rankings of each media by the following five criteria:

Ranking Criteria:

TI = Time to Implement: the estimated length of time it typically takes to implement a tactic in this media. On a scale from 1 to 5. One being the shortest time, five being the longest.

TR = Time to ROI: the estimated length of time it typically takes to begin to receive a return on your marketing investment. On a scale from 1 to 5. One being the shortest time, five being the longest.

E = Effectiveness: There are two meanings for effectiveness: first is the overall ability of tactics using this media to drive volumes of prospects to you. (In this case, effectiveness ranks the ability to generate traffic to your offers.) On a scale from 1 to 5. One being the least amount, five being the largest. Second, is the ability of the media to convert prospects into leads, and leads into customers. On a scale from 1 to 5, one being ineffective, five being extremely effective. I’ll make note in the comments if speaking about effectiveness in the second case. Always assume the effectiveness rating means the ability to drive traffic.

C = Cost: an estimation of the money required to invest in order to utilize tactics in this media. On a scale from 1 to 5. One being the least amount, five being the largest.

S = Skill/Knowledge Required: represents the knowledge or resources you need to have in order to implement tactics in this media. On a scale from 1 to 5. One representing general knowledge, five representing advanced skills/mastery or the need to hire it out.

Primary Media and Secondary Media

In order to make sense of marketing, I have organized “media” into two types: primary media, and secondary media. With primary media you are attempting to make a sale or acquire a lead directly. Secondary media takes leads and converts them into sales. Examples of secondary media are webinars, seminars, email auto responders and broadcasts, newsletters, special events and more.

Primary media’s purpose is to either make the sale directly or generate a lead that exchanges their contact information for some type of lead magnet, while secondary media is focused on providing the education and information that turns a lead into a sale.

Primary media is the initial contact with a prospect. Secondary media is every other form of interaction with the lead or customer you ever have.

When advertising, you have to understand which type of media you are using. Some media are inexpensive and highly effective, yet they are secondary media and require a significant investment in primary media to be effective. So keep that in mind.

NOTE: You can navigate by clicking the “back to top” link at the end of each media/tactic and choosing from the menu on the right.

The BIG List of Marketing Tactics

Affiliate Marketing Effectiveness ScoreAffiliates are excellent tools for many small businesses to utilize.

Essentially, affiliates are commissioned sales representatives. When they sell your product, they get a commission.

The commissions vary depending upon the cost of the product being sold.

It takes some skill and time to set up an affiliate network, because you have to find the people who would benefit from selling your product to their lists.

If the affiliates have a responsive list, the profits can start rolling in fairly quickly in significant numbers.

The main investment to build an affiliate network is time, however you will also have to create marketing collateral for your affiliates to use, some of which has to be quite sophisticated, so there is a capital outlay of a couple thousand dollars or more required unless your skill set includes the ability to create the marketing collateral for them.

Articles (Published):
Article Marketing Effectiveness ScoreArticles are much easier to produce and market than books obviously, but they require moderate skill and knowledge to produce, as well as the time and desire to make connections with reporters and editors.

They do have the ability to bring a fair amount of leads in with repetition, but generally, the time to ROI is one to four months depending upon what you sell.

Banner Advertisements:
Banner Ad Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBanner advertisements are nice way to build awareness and branding for your products and services.

They can also be adapted for use in direct response marketing.

Generally, banner ads are not very effective at bringing in customers, however they will create leads at a decent rate.

The newest form of banner ads, which has a very nice conversion rate, is retargeted ads.

Retargeted ads work like this: a visitor comes to your website and your website places a piece of code in their browser memory. When that visitor leaves your website and visits other sites that use an ad retargeting network, your advertisement will display on those websites.

The net effect is making your company, products, and services much more visible. In fact, it will appear as if you are advertising on almost every website they visit.

Blogs / Blogging / Content Marketing:
Blogging and Content Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBlogs are a primary and a secondary form of media.

They are fast to implement, but are a long-term play because they are your primary tool for implementing a content marketing program (See search engine optimization).

Blogs don’t require a large capital expenditure, however they require a significant time investment.

Also, the skills to create a constant stream of content are mandatory when using a blog as a marketing vehicle.

If consistently worked on, and added to, blogs become very effective at attracting prospects from high search engine rankings on a wide variety of keywords.

Books / Authorship:
Book Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBeing an author is potentially the most powerful marketing tool there is.

I say potentially because marketing the book itself is not only difficult, it will determine how much expertise and authority you will develop in the mind of the consumer.

If no one reads the book, it’s a waste of time.

Being published by major publisher doesn’t determine success.

Being an author, means being able to market and sell your work.

While that seems like an insurmountable hurdle, for those authors who have learned the secrets to mass attention and acceptance, the sky is the limit.

Empires have been built on the backs of books.

There are ways to shortcut the time required to write, edit, publish, and market a book, however the time investment required is still significant and if there is any return on investment, it will occur in 12 to 18 months after the book proposal has been accepted by a publisher.

If however, you decide to self publish using Amazon for instance, there is a potential for consumers to find your book on their own, but in order to see significant sales volume you will have to market the book yourself.

Brochures and Electronic Brochures:
Brochure Effectiveness ScoreBrochures and electronic brochures are the standby marketing materials that you deliver when someone asks you to send them something.

Many companies have opted to develop electronic brochures instead of printed brochures because the effectiveness of brochures is low, and printing costs of these pieces are high.

The most effective use of brochures as a marketing device is at trade shows.

Still, a brochure is a nice piece to have when you want to support your message, your value, and your vision for your products and company.

Bulletin Boards (Community and Internet):
Bulletin Board Marketing Effectiveness ScoreCommunity bulletin boards are included in most marketing books however, they are difficult to find.

Starbucks has one in every store, but the only advertisements they allow are community events, like plays or shows, and sometimes guitar or piano lessons.

Online however, you have Craigslist, which is essentially a community bulletin board.

Your results will vary depending upon the type of business you have and the offer you make. There’s no good way to pre-judge the effectiveness.

If you can find a bulletin board, you have to test it.

Business Cards:
Business Card Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBusiness cards are primary media tactic that are inexpensive and quick to implement.

Unfortunately, most business people have stacks of business cards collecting dust.

The effectiveness of business cards can vary based upon the intended purpose of the card.

Every business card is designed to easily hand someone your contact information. Some cards have blank backs so that notes can be written on them, others are branded with logos and four-color processing and others still may have calendars printed on them (this is popular with insurance agents).

While some people make their business cards oversize, undersized, or cut them in the shape of a Rolodex card, the best business card tactic is to create a specific message on the back, which is tailored to a specific audience, and leads them to a special page on your website.

Business Directory:
Business Directory Effectiveness ScoreBusiness directories fall into two types: online and off-line.

Off-line directories are typically printed once per year and require a fee for inclusion.

Currently, the most popular business directories are online directories, such as business.com and yahoo.com.

While there are some business directories online that are free, you get what you pay for. I’ve only seen traffic come from business.com and yahoo.com. These services cost approximately $250 and may pay for themselves.

The importance of these business directories actually comes from the links that you get from their website to your website – because Google sees that and might rank you higher because of it.

That said, because of the penguin update, they may no longer have any benefit, because buying links is against Googles guidelines — and these are typically paid links.

Catalog Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSome businesses are catalog businesses.

Meaning, they typically do not have brick and mortar stores, they put the investment that would typically be used for a brick-and-mortar store into creating and marketing their catalog.

This catalog can take the form of an actual mailed piece to a home or business, or it can be an e-commerce site, which is the most common version of the catalog business now.

Catalog businesses are difficult to run — not impossible, just advanced.

Catalogs are typically thought of as a media, but they are more likely a business model.

If you sell a product or two that can be retailed, you may be better off contacting the catalog, or e-commerce store owners and either asking for inclusion in their catalogs for a drop shipping opportunity, to place products in their warehouse and in their catalog on consignment, or wholesale your product to them directly.

This is a long and complicated road, therefore, the time to implement and receive a return on your investment is long and the cost is high.

Classified Ads:
Classified Ad Marketing Effectiveness ScoreNewspaper and magazine classified ads are a primary media that are fast to implement with low effectiveness.

Any prospects that convert to leads or sales will happen quickly, and will be inexpensive to attain, however it takes a lot of skill to develop a classified ad that pulls.

The best use of classified ads is as a test ground for your message in the form of a headline.

When you find a headline that converts in a classified ad, you should use that in all your marketing collateral.

Clubs and Association Memberships:
Clubs and Associations Marketing ScoreWith Club and Association memberships, you can introduce more marketing tactics into your networking activities.

For instance, you can have special business card that you give out at these functions.

The business card can have a special message that encourages them to visit a special page on your website.

That page can make a special offer just for them. This tactic increases the effectiveness of these meetings and your time investment.

There are also other tactics that you can employee, like sponsoring the snacks and drinks, etc. but it will depend on the specifics of each group to determine how you can best make use of this media.

Cold Calling / Canvassing (Face-to-Face Selling):
Cold Calling Effectiveness ScoreCold calling and canvassing is a thankless job that is extremely ineffective, especially since 9/11.

If you are focusing on businesses, you will find either the doors locked or reception areas with no receptionist that require a pass card or a code to gain entry.

For homes, only Girl Scouts selling cookies would be accepted because people don’t like it, or respond to it. People still try it, but it’s highly ineffective and costly.

Community Involvement:
Community Involvement Marketing ScoreCommunity involvement covers many different things; from joining the Rotary, the PTA, etc.

It gives you the ability to get in front of others and network, but the audience is typically a general audience.

Succeeding with community involvement requires a long-term view and the commitment to remain in a community for 5 to 10 years at a minimum.

There are no real tactics that can be used here, because it’s not a forum where marketing tactics are appreciated. Your goal with community involvement is simply to be active, have conversations with others, and make friends who know people and can connect you with them.

Contests and Sweepstakes:
Contests and Sweepstakes Effectiveness ScoreContests and sweepstakes are secondary media which are primarily used in front end marketing campaigns.

Because most businesses don’t utilize them, they will attract more attention to your business than a standard campaign.

Since they are expensive and require quite a bit of time to see a return on investment, they are typically used for branding and awareness.

The most common use of contests and sweepstakes in a small business is during a tradeshow.

Course Marketing Effectiveness ScoreCourses come in several forms.

Like Internet training that can be delivered in a variety of ways, and teaching adult education classes at your local college or university.

It can take quite some time to put together a course, and see a profit.

Off-line, when teaching at a college or university, they will help you market your course.

Online, in order to be effective, you will have to use pay per click advertising, banner ads, and develop a large network of affiliates to drive traffic to your course.

As to skills, it depends.

The skills to create a course are different from the skills that are taught in the course.

Still, the skills are learnable and your success will depend upon the demand the skill you are teaching has in the marketplace.

Demonstration Effectiveness ScoreDemonstrations are another form of secondary media.

Once you drive traffic to them, in whatever form they take, they are extremely effective in converting leads into clients.

Think of an infomercial, which is largely a demonstration followed by testimonials.

Demonstrations show the benefits the customer will receive from your product and service.

As such, demonstrations should be used as much as possible; they are inexpensive to produce and highly effective at converting leads to clients.

Direct Mail:
Direct Mail Marketing Effectiveness ScoreDirect mail can be extremely effective and can be used as a primary and secondary media.

It is relatively fast to implement, which means you can get a return on your investment relatively quickly, and the cost is reasonable.

When sending direct mail to prospects, you can expect 1% to 3% response rate.

I have achieved 15% response rates on sales letters to cold prospects, but they were sent to a well-targeted list.

Direct mail requires expert copywriting skills.

The mistake most people make is to try to get a sales message on one page.

The old adage “the more you tell, the more you sell” is true when using direct mail.

You absolutely must target your list before you send sales letters.

As legendary copywriter Gary Halbert said, people open their mail over the trash bin and separate it into two piles: the A pile and the B pile.

The A pile is read and the B pile is tossed in the trash.

The most opened letters are the ones that look like your family wrote them.

That means a postage stamp, and hand addressing.

While there are many choices available, if you do not make your letters look like aunt Sally wrote it and mailed it, your only other choices are: 1) put the offer in bold font on the outside and give them a reason to open the envelope, or 2) put something in the envelope that is inexpensive, but creates lumps, and creates curiosity in the prospect causing them to open it.

Direct mail can include announcement cards and letters, nice to meet you notes, thank you notes, etc.

You can also tie direct mail in with email broadcasts if you have their email address.

Think about sending articles, links or extending invitations to maintain the business relationship.

Door Hangers / Flyers:
Door Hangers and Flyers Marketing Effectiveness ScoreDoor hangers or flyers, even postcards that you put on cars in parking lots are relatively ineffective.

It depends upon the skill of the copywriter.

You can get door hangers and flyers printed easily, and cheaply, and are the only option for canvassing businesses and neighborhoods.

However, with businesses, the only ones that will accept them are retail stores and restaurants.

E-book Marketing Effectiveness ScoreE-books inform, educate and build authority for you as a business owner.

Typically e-books are a form of secondary media, although if you can figure out a way to make them a primary media, it will enhance your authority with that prospect.

Remember, authority is important because you don’t just want customers, you want customers who then become fans, who then become advocates.

Advocates refer others to your business. The more authority you have, the quicker the process of converting a customer to an advocate.

E-books are typically used as lead generation magnet’s on a website.

You exchange them for the contact information of a visitor to your website.

The e-book, therefore, should contain important information about your product and service that has been focused on solving one major problem of your target market.

So, when you identify the number one issue that your product or service solves, you should create an e-book to educate the visitor on all the reasons why your product and service is unique, different, better, more effective, a better value, etc.

To provide value, an e-book requires time and attention to put together.

The time to results and the effectiveness of e-books depend on the amount and kind of traffic you are sending to the page where visitors sign up to receive your e-book, and the title of the e-book.

While they are cheap to produce, they do require a fair amount of skill with printed communications.

Elevator Pitch:
Elevator Pitch Marketing Effectiveness ScoreYour elevator pitch is an important part of your message.

You should be able to tell people why they should buy from you and be extremely persuasive when you do so.

This is something you can implement today, and potentially make money on immediately.

However, because an elevator pitch is delivered in one-to-one settings, it won’t be effective at bringing in large amounts of buyers.

This is a MUST for every business!

Email (Broadcast):
Email Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBroadcast email messages are typically sent to notify leads and customers of new blog posts, upcoming webinars, and special offers.

They are a form of secondary media, and should be used primarily to get leads back to your website.

Email AutoResponders:
Email Autoresponder Marketing Effectiveness ScoreEmail auto responders are form of secondary media.

They are used in the follow-up phase of a marketing funnel.

For example, in a typical Google ad words campaign the visitor would come from the Google search engine results page to your landing page.

Once there, they would be given the offer to download a free report, or receive a mini course which is delivered over several days through email.

This course, or the automated follow-up emails sent after the visitor has downloaded a free guide, is known as an auto responder.

You can use the auto responder to develop a funnel which educates, informs and markets to the web visitor who has become a lead.

Because email auto responders require some work to set up, they are not quick to implement.

Also, they are not set and forget.

Traffic has to be continually sent to the landing page in order to create a stream of leads to sign up for the auto responder.

Email Signature:
Email Signature Marketing Effectiveness ScoreEmail signatures are quick and inexpensive to create.

They function just like your business card, except once you create one, you won’t likely need to create another.

Every business owner, and every employee of that business, should make use of email signatures.

E-zine Advertisements:
E-Zine Marketing Effectiveness ScoreE-zine advertisements are a quick and easy way to get targeted prospects to your website’s landing pages.

By choosing to advertise in a broadcast email of someone who serves the same market as you, you are shortcutting the process of selecting a list, and it’s relatively inexpensive.

Every business should seek out e-zine publishers in their niche or industry and test e-zine advertisements.

Forum Boards:
Forum Board Marketing Effectiveness ScoreForum boards are an excellent tool for marketing, both as a primary and secondary media.

Forum boards are useful for two reasons.

First as you engage and interact with other members, if you give them good advice or information, you will build a name for yourself.

As when networking, you will become known for your expertise — just make sure it’s a Forum woirth investing your time in.

You can encourage members to contact you for your products and services by putting a signature at the bottom of every post that you make.

It used to be true that as a bonus, Google would see the link and boost your Google rankings.

Now, however, Google views Forum Boards as spammy, and may penalize your site for links to it from Forum Boards

The second way forum boards are useful is in market research.

You should only invest your time in forum boards that serve your target market. As you interact and engage with other members, you will read all about their problems, challenges and needs. Since your business serves that market, all you have to do is speak about how you’re product solves their problems and fills their needs.

Free Consultations:
Free Consultations Marketing Effectiveness ScoreFree consultations are easy to implement, you just have to advertise them because they are form of secondary media.

Since the prospects, or leads, are interested enough to invest their time on a consultation either over the phone or in person, they should convert at a decent rate.

Their effectiveness at converting to clients is high.

There is no additional cost required, other than time, if you incorporate the free consultation message into your existing advertising.

You do need to be able to identify issues, make recommendations, and sell.

Guest Posting:
Guest Posting Marketing Effectiveness ScoreGuest posting is an excellent way to get in front of other bloggers audiences, and direct some traffic back to you.

Your effectiveness will depend upon the site that picks up your article.

Some of the major sites who have hundreds of thousands of people viewing them each day will send you a lot of traffic.

Sometimes, enough to crash your Web server.

With most sites however, the traffic they generate is just a trickle. That said, many trickles equal flow.

I’ve seen people who don’t have websites use guest posting effectively.

Yet, the best use of guest posting is to get traffic back to your website where the visitor can interact with the content on your website, and download your free guides, free reports (e-books), and see your special offers.

Typically, you want your guest posts to be your best content. If the content is not phenomenal, you won’t get visitors.

Internet Video Marketing:
Internet Video Marketing Effectiveness ScoreCreating Internet video for sites such as YouTube is a great way to get in front of potential customers – if you create videos that are entertaining, and informative, using keywords that someone would search on to find information about the products or services you sell.

A single video will produce close to zero results.

Video marketing success is judged in aggregate. Consistently frequent submissions are required in order to build the following, because it is social media after all, but once you do, they can be very effective in driving a significant amount of visitors to your website.

Joint Ventures:
Joint Venture Marketing Effectiveness ScoreI don’t use the term joint venture the way most academics use it.

In fact, I think it’s more correct to say “joint venture campaigns,” but the term joint venture fits as well.

Joint ventures give you the ability to get in front of the audience of another business in exchange for allowing that business access to your audience.

This can realize itself in several ways.

You can do list swap’s, cosponsored events, or purchase the rights to use someone else’s brand to help sell your product.

There are all kinds of things that you can do, but what you actually do will depend upon your ability to persuade another business owner who serves the same market you do to work with you.

That takes skill, and determination.

Finding these business partners will take some time, but typically, once you implement you can get a return on your investment very quickly.

Joint ventures don’t have to cost anything, but depending upon your industry or market, they may take some time to set up. That said, they are typically very effective.

Some businesses only get new customers from joint venture arrangements and partnerships.

Landing Pages:
Landing Pages Marketing Effectiveness ScoreA landing page is a specific page on your website designed to engage visitors who come from specific marketing channels like pay per click ads, social media, or other forms of advertising.

As such, it’s a form of secondary media.

Landing pages are relatively quick to develop and can be very effective in converting prospects to leads.

Every website should utilize landing pages when advertising on the web and off-line, because they make it easy to test, track and measure different factors in order to increase response and conversion rates.

Leads Group Meetings:
Leads Group Meetings Marketing Effectiveness ScoreLeads group meetings have become fairly ubiquitous as a primary media for business.

The problem is that most leads group meetings are populated by salespeople.

Salespeople can sell, but they can’t buy, unless they are using their personal funds.

If you sell to salespeople, these are an ideal place to market.

If you don’t, they are largely a waste of time. Out of the hundreds of people I know who utilize leads group meetings, a handful have figured out how to leverage them and make them profitable.

In each case, however, they sell to salespeople.

Lectures / Speaking Engagements:
Lectures and Speaking Engagement Marketing Effectiveness ScoreLectures and speaking engagements are a relatively quick way to get in front of your target market and make a sale.

If you target your audience correctly, and you have a persuasive argument, you can expect one inquiry, or lead, for each lecture you give.

The most important tactic with public speaking is stage presence and content.

The more comfortable you are, and the more entertaining you are, the more effective you will be.

List Swap:
List Swap Marketing Effectiveness ScoreOnce you have built a list of email subscribers, you can swap lists with other businesses who serve the same market as you.

Instead of spamming their list however, they would send an email to their subscribers on your behalf, and you would send an email to your subscribers on their behalf.

List swaps are a quick and easy way to get leads and customers, however, they require some set up on the front end in order to have some content or lead magnet offer that would be valuable to the members of the other businesses list.

Therefore the time to implement is in the midrange.

However, if you already had this content available, it would be as simple as finding a willing business owner to swap lists with.

Magazine Ads:
Magazine Ad Marketing Effectiveness ScoreMagazine ads are primary media that, like newspaper ads can be used for branding and awareness campaigns, and direct marketing.

However, whereas newspapers are local focused and general, most magazines serve a smaller subscriber base over a larger geographic area.

If you focus on a specific niche, you may find that magazines are your best source for advertising.

Think of a knitting, or woodworking magazine.

If you sold products in these niches, you would be advertising directly to prospects who are interested in, and want the benefit of your products.

As with newspaper ads, the most effective advertisements look like articles and have offers that ask the prospect to take some action.

You will have to run ads consistently to see results.

Media Expert / Authority:
Media Expert/Authority Marketing Effectiveness ScoreBeing a subject matter expert on a specific topic puts you in an enviable position.

Both television and radio talk shows and news programs may be interested in interviewing you, or getting your opinion on something timely, relevant, and in the news.

Being seen as a subject matter expert can be considered a primary and secondary form of media.

While it takes time to build the relationships necessary with the producers of the programs, it’s very effective – especially if you can be seen as a regular contributor to a specific program, or a channel.

That said, if your target market does not engage with that channel or station, it’s a waste of time.

Merchandise Displays / Inside Signage:
Merchandise Display/Inside Signage Marketing Effectiveness ScoreMerchandise displays and inside signage are easy to create.

All you need is an offer.

Your effectiveness will depend upon the offer, the attractiveness of the displays and signage, and the amount of foot traffic your store gets.

There are plenty of sign companies that can make the signage for you, and that competition reduces the cost of the signage.

If you have a retail store, you MUST have attractive window displays, merchandise displays and inside signage that change monthly to reflect the sales and special offers you are running.

What this means is you absolutely have to have monthly sales and special offers – like Ace Hardware.

If you have enough foot traffic, or have multiple locations, you may be able to charge product manufacturers for shelf space in highly visible locations.

Movie Ads:
Movie Ads Marketing Effectiveness ScoreMovie ads stroke the ego of every business owner who employs them.

They take a long time to implement, and while you can ensure that almost everyone in the movie theater will see it, they are there to watch a movie.

It is unlikely they will rush to their smart phones to look you up.

It is highly likely they will forget about you.

Therefore, the only use for movie ads is awareness and branding as an adjunct to other advertising you are doing.

Networking Marketing ScoreNetworking includes many different methods of getting in front of others in your local community and online.

Clients who come from networking will generally be your best clients, however you won’t get a lot of clients without utilizing special tactics that make you stand out.

There will be a significant time investment, but if you have no money to invest in marketing, this may be your primary method of developing awareness of you and your business.

Networking includes attending meetings and seminars; lunch or coffee with prospects, clients and referral partners; staying in touch with former clients; sharing information and resources; swapping contacts; collaborations and alliances.

Newsletter / E-newsletter:
Newsletter/E-newsletter Marketing Effectiveness ScoreNewsletters and e-news letters are a form of secondary media that every business should utilize.

It’s a way to not only educate and inform your consumers, but also to stay in front of them and keep the relationship going.

If you print a newsletter and mail it, your costs will be higher, yet so will your readership rate.

Even though e-news letters are cheaper to produce and send – remember, if no one reads it, no one is influenced.

Newsletters and e-news letters are long-term play, but they soften your audience to you and encourage initial and repeat purchases.

The best tactic with newsletters is to make them entertaining.

This means using funny pictures, recipes, and having surveys for your readers to engage with.

Remember, they have to read it in order to be influenced.

Newspaper Ads:
Newspaper Ads Marketing Effectiveness ScoreNewspaper ads are a primary media that can be used for branding, awareness campaigns and to announce retail sales and special offers.

The newspaper will attract varying audiences depending upon the specific target market they seek to influence.

Therefore, your results will vary.

Cost for advertising is in the mid-range, and it requires a skilled copywriter to create the ads, because the most effective ads look like articles.

You will have to run ads consistently to see results.

Newspaper or Magazine Columns:
Newspaper and Magazine Marketing Effectiveness ScoreAs you work with editors in your public relations efforts, you may find that they have the need for a contributor with your expertise.

If so, you should jump at the chance.

While you will have to produce content regularly, depending upon the publication, if you’re articles or columns are interesting you will develop a following.

This following, or fan base, will not appear overnight. However, once it does, you can expect regular leads and referrals who are not only interested, they are ready to buy.

Writing newspaper or magazine columns requires a little bit more skill than writing a book, because it has to be formatted in a specific way and it has to be a specific word count.

As Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf said, “If you want me to speak for a couple hours, I can do that this week. If you want me to speak for 30 minutes, I’ll need several weeks to prepare.”

On Hold Marketing:
On Hold Marketing Effectiveness ScoreOn hold marketing is an interesting form of secondary media.

It’s a branding play.

The time to implement is long and the cost is medium-high because the business needs to have a telephony system that can accommodate this type of marketing.

Once you have a solid marketing plan in place, and a steady stream of leads and customers, on hold marketing can be used to good effect.

I’ve seen on hold systems increase lead to sales conversion by less than 1% to 4%.

Online Marketplaces (EBay / Amazon / Etc.):
ALT-TAG Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSites like eBay and Amazon can be great places to get your business going.

The idea is, there is enough traffic on these sites searching for the product you sell to be able to sell it.

A fair number of small business owners have eBay and Amazon sites.

I’d say that 60% of my clients have these sites.

In every case, these sites make some sales for my clients, but not actually enough to make a profit.

Therefore, my clients never invest too much time in these sites.

I’ve experimented with them enough to learn that they are a world unto themselves, and while they may be effective in the long term, there’s a steep learning curve.

Open House or Reception:
Open House Marketing Effectiveness ScoreReal estate agents know the value of a good open house.

Open houses and receptions give you a chance to make a good impression on, and start to build a relationship with, the prospects who attend.

While they are fairly easy to set up, you have to market an open house or reception.

They aren’t extremely effective at converting prospects into clients, however they do work and are easy to do.

When you enhance the fun and entertaining atmosphere, and move sales into the background, you get better results.

Many real estate agents have learned how to subconsciously influence open house participants by baking cookies, or cooking meals in the home prior to the arrival of the guests, and by staging the environment and tailoring it to the tastes of the attendees.

Outdoor Advertising (Billboards):
Outdoor Advertising and Billboard Marketing Effectiveness ScoreOutdoor advertising, or billboards, just like movie ads, stroke the ego of the business owner who uses them.

The only effective use of a Billboard is to advertise the restaurant that is located underneath the Billboard.

Since you cannot create the Billboard yourself, the cost is high and the skill level is high.

While billboards are effective at awareness campaigns and branding, they will not drive traffic directly to your business.

Their best use is to complement your main marketing campaign.

Outside Signage:
Outside Signage Marketing Effectiveness ScoreFor retail stores and restaurants, outside signage is mandatory.

In this case, it should be large enough so that prospects driving by, or walking by, can see it.

Outside signage is another area of marketing that the larger companies, like the Fortune 500, have perfected.

You cannot scrimp on outside signage.

If you do, it’s obvious, and it will affect your walk-in traffic.

On the other hand, an expensive, high quality sign will intrigue people, get their attention, and urge them to come in.

As a matter of fact, I think tax preparation offices would be better served by a nice sign, than a cheap sign that says “TAX.”

I believe it would eliminate the need for Uncle Sam spinning a sign outside it to get attention.

That said, their sales would probably increase even more if they did both.

Pay Per Click:
Pay Per Click Marketing Effectiveness ScorePay per click advertising, such as Google ad words and Facebook advertisements, can be used as primary and secondary media.

The mistake frequently made with pay per click advertising is quickly creating an ad and then sending the visitor to the company’s home page.

Instead, the company should create an entire marketing campaign and funnel first, and then send traffic from Google or Facebook to the landing page on their website that serves as the opening of the funnel.

Due to this, there is a long time to implement, yet once implemented the time to results and return on investment is short – assuming the person writing the content for the ads and each step of the funnel is an expert at building these types of campaigns.

If not, pay per click advertising will prove to be very expensive and have a steep learning curve.

When you look at pay per click advertisers overall, the odds of success are low.

For those who know what they are doing however, their success is virtually certain.

Personalized Letters and Email Messages:
Personalized Letters and Email Messages Marketing Effectiveness ScorePersonalized letters and email messages are excellent to use with existing clients, or contacts from another source such as an association, or even a referral.

Some personalized letters and email messages designed for marketing purposes can take an hour or more to write, due to their personalized nature, but can be very persuasive and convert leads to prospects at a high rate.

Their only drawback is that their overall effectiveness is low because there is no way to streamline, or shortcut, writing a personalized message.

If you have referrals, or contacts that would be open to receiving marketing messages from you, you should utilize personalized letters and email messages as much as possible.

Personal Meetings:
Personal Meetings Marketing Effectiveness ScorePersonal meetings are secondary media, in which your goal is to maintain, and grow a business relationship with your client.

This follow-up, or client maintenance, should be in the job description of every salesperson and your company.

They are useful in moving a client into being a fan of your brand, and then into being a brand advocate.

It’s a long-term play with significant long-term benefits.

Podcasting Marketing Effectiveness ScoreAccording to several experts, podcasting is beginning to come into its own.

Podcasting takes some skill to set up, because getting the sound right requires some knowledge of audio engineering and quite a bit of testing.

While it’s relatively inexpensive to create a podcast, it requires marketing campaigns to get listeners.

This makes podcasting a secondary form of media once removed.

The upside is that when listeners engage with your content over and over again, it’s easy to condition them to think like you want them to think, and to respond the way you want them to respond.

The effectiveness of podcasts depends upon the size of your audience and the number of times a listener engages with your content per week or month on average.

Postcard Deck / ValPak:
Postcard Deck/ValPak Marketing Effectiveness ScorePostcard deck’s or Val Pak are form of primary media that shares the cost of delivering your message to every home across many advertisers.

In that way, it is cheaper to get your message out to every home, but the problem that occurs in the Yellow Pages occurs here as well.

Which is, typically the ValPak designers will design your ad and use bullet points.

Then, if your business type matches the types of businesses that are successful in ValPak, your competitors will also be using it.

While there is a reason to have visibility in that media too, you will be in an environment where your competitors are competing for attention as well.

That’s the least effective environment to be in as an advertiser.

Postcard Marketing Effectiveness ScorePostcards are a self-serve form of primary media that you can deliver in as much volume as you like.

Postcards are most effective for local businesses who are advertising within a 1 to 2 miles radius.

They are quick to implement, and if you get the message right can convert prospects into clients at a moderate rate.

A targeted list can have conversion rates up to 20%, while an untargeted list converts at approximately 1%.

The cost of postcards, as with all direct mail, varies because you are not required to send a specific amount.

You can send as little as one and as many as you like.

Just be sure to use an actual stamp and do not send it bulk.

The skill to develop a postcard is high because the message has to be right.

Even then, the design has to compliment the message in order to get attention and get read.

In addition to sales messages, doctors offices, service providers, and hair salons can use them as reminders.

Any business that provides maintenance on people or things can use postcards as reminders.

Press Releases:
Press Releases Marketing Effectiveness ScorePress releases have the potential to be very effective, overall however, only one out of 10 will be picked up by a media that will deliver a significant amount of traffic.

While press releases are generally inexpensive to produce (around $75 to publish on PRWeb.com and the time to create), you do have to understand how to write a press release and know how to market it in order to get attention.

Product Placement:
Product Placement Marketing Effectiveness ScoreProduct placement is a branding play.

As such it’s only useful as a secondary media.

It involves getting your logo or your products logo into movies, TV shows, or mentioned on the radio.

While small businesses can be mentioned, or included in these media, it requires fore-knowledge and fore-acceptance of your business and products (brand) by consumers to be effective.

Radio Advertisements:
Radio Advertisements Marketing Effectiveness ScoreRadio ads are form of primary media that requires some planning in order to use effectively.

Because of this, the time to get a return on your investment out of it is extended.

Effectiveness can be hard to judge.

The number of listeners is estimated, and even if your offer is attractive, your phone may not ring off the hook.

Even though we have cell phone nowadays, most people don’t pick up the phone and call the numbers in the advertisements.

Radio seems best suited to branding and awareness campaigns.

Even for the nightclubs that utilize radio ads, the gains seem to be in branding and not in advertising $1 shots and beers.

Referrals / Word-of-Mouth:
Referrals and Word of Mouth Marketing Effectiveness ScoreReferrals and word-of-mouth campaigns are the fastest and easiest marketing campaigns to implement.

However, they depend upon your willingness to ask for referrals.

That’s an important point because most people are not willing to ask for referrals.

They feel it is annoying to their customer.

The truth is, the businesses that use a system to obtain referrals grow the fastest and are more profitable.

Clients who are referred to you are less likely to negotiate price.

Additionally, you can expect to convert around 80% of the leads referred to you.

Every business should use a referral system.

How you set it up is up to you. You can choose to collect names and contact information, or you can request that the referrals call you directly.

Whatever you choose, you should implement a referral system immediately.

Sales Presentations:
Sales Presentations Effectiveness ScoreSales presentations are a form of secondary media that are moderately effective in converting prospects or leads into clients.

While free consultations deliver value and are usually scheduled because the prospect, or lead, has a specific question, sales presentations are usually solicited by the salesperson, and are therefore, less effective at converting leads into clients.

Sales presentations and the conversion rates achieved during these presentations comprise the major KPI’s (key performance indicators) for outside sales representatives.

The skill required for sales presentations includes the ability to entertain, educate, persuade and sell.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search Engine Optimization, SEO Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSearch engine optimization, like websites, are long-term play.

In order to get a website to the top of the search engines, you need to have a lot of content on your website, and you need a lot of other websites linking back to your content.

The term search engine optimization is somewhat of a remnant from the early 2000’s.

Now, search engine optimization requires utilizing content marketing.

Content marketing is a method of creating volumes of content and delivering it for free to your target market.

This does two things: first, it helps your search engine rankings; second, it helps you convert prospects into leads because they (your target market) will enjoy, and interact with your content.

Search engine optimization requires an understanding of the keywords that a prospect would search on in order to find your business.

Content marketing uses those keywords as a basis for content creation.

Seminars, Tele-Seminars and Workshops:
Seminar, Tele-Seminar, and Workshop Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSeminars and workshops, similar to lectures and all speaking engagements, are relatively easy to implement, except you need to find partners who will help you get the word out, because seminars are simultaneously products and a sales presentations.

Just like webinars, they are a form of secondary media.

There are two types of seminars and workshops: paid and free.

Because paid seminars and workshops are a product in and of themselves, they are effective at converting those existing clients into upsell purchases of backend products.

Free seminars and workshops however, won’t be as effective.

Their conversion rates will be similar to any other speaking engagement.

Shipping and Billing Inserts:
Shipping and Billing Inserts Marketing Effectiveness ScoreShipping and billing inserts are secondary media that are directed specifically at customers and clients.

Think of a package from Amazon that ships to you.

When you open it, there is a note inside that says thank you and offers you some other product or benefit.

And think of your cable providers bills.

They may have an offer from another vendor who is an affiliate partner or announce other services they offer.

Messages using this media don’t typically convert at high levels, unless the offer is amazing, but they do build brand and educate the consumer.

Since they are cheap and fast to implement, you should make use of them.

Shoppers / Circulars:
Shoppers/Circulars Marketing Effectiveness ScoreShoppers and circulars are quick and dirty primary media for retail establishments and restaurants seeking a local customer.

The ways to stand out in this media is through images.

The best examples are the major brands like Procter & Gamble.

While most mass advertising is ineffective and costly and should not be copied by small businesses: if you are going to advertise in the shopper or circular, follow what the Fortune 500 do here.

This is where companies like Procter & Gamble and Lever make most of their money on their advertising.

Social Media:
Social Media Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSocial media is used as a primary and secondary media that is inexpensive to implement quickly.

However, a good-sized following is necessary in order to see any results using social media.

That requires time to develop.

It takes skill to create offers that appeal to your social media followers.

However, due to the length of time it takes to build your list of followers, you will develop the skills you need.

I’m classifying the cost of social media as inexpensive, but I’m using out-of-pocket cost as the determinator.

If I determined the cost using time, it would be a five.

This is a long-term play that requires creative marketing campaigns to leverage effectively.

Special Events:
Special Events Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSpecial events are a unique type of marketing most commonly used by PR agencies.

They are expensive, but can be effective.

You can host a special forum with industry experts, or you can throw an outrageous party for VIPs at a tradeshow.

Whatever you do, you must identify yourself as the sponsor, and show your products and services in an entertaining light.

You should use every opportunity at your special events to entertain, educate, and inform your prospects or leads and tell them why they should do business with you and your company.

NOTE: while special events can be used as a media, they have to be advertised in some way to attract attention.

They are similar to webinars in that they are a form of secondary media which actually does the selling.

The purpose of the primary media is to drive traffic to the event.

Sponsorship Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSponsorships can include sponsoring anything from sports teams, to a tradeshow, and an event.

Typically, your logo is placed in a visible position so that it’s obvious you are a sponsor of the event.

Sponsorships can also be used with civic groups, Little League baseball teams, Pop Warner football teams, etc., charities, nonprofits, and more.

Sponsorships are easy, and quick to employ: all that’s required is writing a check.

They are effective in the long term, as they are ideally suited for building brand recognition and community awareness.

Advertisements in high school yearbooks, event programs, on conference swag bags, and magazine and television charity drives are the most effective types of sponsorships.

Surveys / Research Studies:
Surveys/Research Study Marketing Effectiveness ScoreSurveys and research studies are a quick and easy way to get in front of cold prospects.

The idea is to come up with a research study you could perform either online, or over the telephone.

For example, let’s say you want to know how people choose a plumber, and you identify three questions that you would like to know how people respond to.

It’s easy to get a list of homeowners in a specific area, or community.

Call them, tell them you’re putting together a research paper on “How suburbanite homeowners choose a plumber,” which you will be submitting to the large newspaper in your city for publishing.

Also, tell them that you can send them a copy of the report if they would like.

Doing this does several things. First, it is pure market research; it is your opportunity to find out everything you can about your market.

Second, it gives you the ability to create awareness for your business with cold prospects in a way that is unobtrusive and maintains your authority.

Third, you confirm their contact information and identify if they are in fact a prospect.

Telemarketing Marketing Effectiveness ScoreTelemarketing is a primary media that is easy to implement and will achieve some results in a short time-frame, however it’s not very effective at generating a lot of sales or converting prospects to leads.

Since 9/11, business people have become more insular.

Most companies no longer have receptionists who greet people walking through the door or operators who direct your call.

Nowadays, it’s customary to get an automated attendant when you call, who will direct you to sales, billing, and customer service, or to a specific person if you know your party’s extension.

In order to telemarket with any degree of effectiveness, you will need to make scripts and practice them.

When calling, it’s extremely helpful to have a mirror that you can look into and smile at as you are reading the script.

Television Commercials and Infomercials:
Television Commercials and Infomercial Marketing Effectiveness ScoreTelevision commercials are the Cadillac of advertising options.

They are a primary advertising media which require a lot of preparation and forethought, and utilize the talents of many skilled individuals.

Because of this, they are expensive.

To achieve success using television commercials you can either frequently advertise during a specific show your target market is interested in, or develop infomercials.

Television advertisement should be last on the list of marketing tactics for most small businesses.

Testimonials / Case Studies:
Testimonials and Case Studies Marketing Effectiveness ScoreTestimonials and case studies are probably your most effective form of secondary media.

They are fast to implement an extremely effective at getting leads to say “yes.”

Testimonials and case studies combined with a rock solid guarantee will increase your conversion rate dramatically.

Every business should have testimonials and/or case studies.

The two things to remember — it takes some skill to either persuade the client to write a testimonial for you, or write one for them and have them approve it; and they are secondary media which has to be read in order for it to be effective.

Text Messages – (Mobile — Includes IMs and Social Media):
Text Messages Marketing Effectiveness ScoreMobile is the next generation of marketing. Currently companies are sending text messages to consumers in order to get them to purchase.

The most popular versions of this utilize mobile apps that deliver text messages which contain offers based on the proximity of the consumer to the business.

For instance, if I was walking down the street, a local restaurant might try to entice me in with an offer for a discount meal or drink special.

This can also work well for retail businesses.

It requires some skill, but is quick to implement and get a return on your investment.

The cost is relatively low.

If your business serves a techie crowd, this may be very effective for you.

If you don’t serve a techie crowd, it might be a complete waste of money.

Trade Shows:
Trade Shows Marketing Effectiveness ScoreTrade shows can be effective, most often however, they are not.

Trade show booths are expensive to rent and build.

That’s why if you choose to get in front of your target market using a tradeshow, you must be visible.

That means, hiring attractive models to wear as little clothes as possible, having games to play, providing entertainment, raffling off expensive prizes, having elaborate and attractive booths and signage, etc.

Most companies will not do what is required to be seen at a tradeshow.

Which is good for you if you are willing to do what’s necessary.

If you utilize all of the above tactical suggestions to make your business and your booth stand out: you will get a ton of leads.

If you want to take the effectiveness of a tradeshow to the next level, then have the attractive models walk around through the tradeshow so they can hand out invitations to a VIP party extravaganza.

The biggest mistake that companies make after trade shows, is not following up on the leads that are generated.

Every lead that you get from a tradeshow should be worked with as much passion and dedication as you can muster, because these leads will be some of the most expensive to acquire.

 Webinar Marketing Effectiveness ScoreWebinars, as a media, are designed to sell your courses or products.

Similar to lectures and speaking engagements, webinars require you to be entertaining, comfortable, and engaging in order to be persuasive and make sales.

Webinar tactics include giving away valuable information, or valuable content, and making an offer in the last five minutes of the webinar.

We can assume that if a person has come to the webinar, they are interested in the topic.

Since you have given away such valuable information for free, they will believe that your paid course will be a goldmine of information, and will help them achieve the success, results, and value they desire.

If your offer is persuasive, you can expect several sales.

NOTE: webinars can also be used as the product.

For instance, you can hold the webinar that sells training to be delivered by webinar over the next 12 weeks.

Each week, you will hold a webinar that teaches a portion of your information.

You can record each webinar, and the recordings can become a future product.

Website Marketing Effectiveness ScoreA website has become a necessary piece of marketing collateral for every business.

The website can perform in the primary and secondary media role.

Websites require time to produce, and can take a long time to see results from because they require lots of content, and links from other websites in order to be ranked highly on search engines like Google.

This makes websites expensive.

The biggest mistake business owners make is trying to purchase a website as inexpensively as possible, and buying into the mistaken belief that the website will automatically bring customers to their door.

Like any other marketing media, it must be worked.

While websites can be developed to make it easy for administrative personnel to update them, they still require some specialized knowledge to achieve the result most people want.

Window Displays:
Window Displays Marketing Effectiveness ScoreWindow displays have the ability to entice people into the store, but generally, there’s no way to judge their effectiveness without creating a special offer that would be displayed in the window displays and on the signage in the store.

It doesn’t require a lot of skill to create attractive window displays and they can be done at minimal cost.

Yellow Pages:
Yellow Page Marketing Effectiveness ScoreYellow Pages are a form of primary media that only work for specific types of companies now – specifically home services companies.

Readership of Yellow Pages has reduced dramatically since the mass adoption of personal computers and the Internet.

If you are an electrician, plumber, or garage door installer, you might need to be in the Yellow Pages in order to get business from consumers who have emergencies.

Otherwise, you will find the Yellow Pages to be extremely ineffective and rather expensive.

Some Yellow Page companies have begun to offer pay for performance arrangements if you engage them for their other services, like search engine optimization, but if your business doesn’t have 24 hour emergency service you are wasting your time.

Besides, what do yellow page companies know about search engine optimization?

If you do decide to get a Yellow Page ad, have a professional copywriter write it for you.

Create an ad that stands out with copy.

If you let the Yellow Page designers design the ad for you, you will get bullet points.

Then, you will be placed next to all of your competitors who have exact same bullet points.

It would be better to use an article based ad with a headline such as, “The five dangerous trends you need to know about…”