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Advertising and Promotion

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


Your advertising and promotion campaign is how you communicate information about your product or service. This section should include a description of all advertising vehicles you plan to use - newspapers, magazines, radio & TV, Yellow Pages, etc. - as well as your public relations program, sales/promotional materials (such as brochures and product sheets), package design, trade show efforts, and the like. If you're using an advertising and/or a PR agency, be sure to discuss their talents and what efforts they are contracted to make on your behalf.

Tips

  • Make sure that your advertising and promotion tactics support your sales tactics. For example, if you use sales reps, you will probably need to discuss with them what kinds of promotional materials you will supply. If you use direct mail sales, what kind of direct mail packages will you be producing?
  • Think about using examples or samples to support your discussion of promotional tactics. If you have a copy of an ad you've run, or a mock-up of an ad you plan on running in the future, include it in your business plan. You can place these samples in a separate "Exhibits" section at the end of the plan.
  • Unique product packaging is also a key promotional tactic. You probably will want to discuss the benefits of your package design, and include a sample in your business plan.
  • If you have a public relations plan in place, include a copy of your press kit, and a list of targeted media in your business plan. This will further demonstrate that you know exactly how you plan to reach your target audience.
  • If trade shows will be an integral part of your marketing strategy, be sure to include a trade show schedule outlining at which expos you'll be exhibiting. And don't forget to explain why you've chosen those shows.
  • If you are providing a business-to-business service, some areas to cover in this section include: trade shows, trade magazine advertising, publicity, direct mailings, product sheets, and other promotional materials. For consumer products, you should also discuss the types of advertising and promotion you will do to introduce the product and what kinds of sales aids will be provided to dealers.
  • If advertising or promotion is a critical expense, you should include an exhibit showing how and when these costs will be incurred.

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