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How do I know where to advertise my business?

Often, the solution is both simple and obvious. You'll want to identify your target audience, and then decide how best to advertise your business to it. Defining your target market and figuring out how to reach it are crucial to spending your advertising dollars effectively.

Here are a few suggestions to help you determine where you should advertise your business:

  • Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Where would you go to look for your business?
  • Look to see where your competitors are advertising--they might have done some market research. But don't feel compelled to advertise somewhere just because someone else is.
  • Identify publications or advertising media that most accurately portray your customer base. For example, some products become synonymous with a specific area, age, or gender group.
  • If you're unsure of your target audience, try to narrow your advertising by geographic area, consumer group, or both. This can help you determine where you should advertise.
  • Put your ad where customers will find it easily and logically (e.g., plumbing in the yellow pages or a local directory).
  • Be sure to consider different forms of media when advertising. You can advertise in the newspapers, on radio or television, in magazines or directories, or by direct marketing. Each allows you to target different audiences.
  • If appropriate to your target market, consider advertising on the Internet. You can have your own website or have banner ads placed on other websites (e.g., the local newspaper's website).