Free Gift Basket Business Online Learning Guide

Business Advertising, Marketing and Promotion

How to plan your Business Advertising, Marketing and Promotion for a work from home Gift Basket Business.

 

The purpose of advertising is simple: to make potential buyers aware of products or services – and to get them to act! That act may be inquiring for more information, calling for an appointment, coming by your store, sending in an order by mail or making an online order from a website. The outcome of these actions should, of course, eventually be a sale.

Gift Baskets do not sell themselves without some form of promotion. As your business grows – your best advertising will be “word of mouth” referrals. But for a new business, it’s essential to allocate funds for an advertising and marketing budget.

 

How to plan your Marketing and Advertising for a work from home Gift Basket Business.Rules of Thumb for Marketing & Promotion Costs

Rule of thumb is to funnel 20% of your monthly Gross sales back into advertising and promotion.

Advertising is uniquely able to deliver consistent messages reliably, quickly and efficiently. Unlike other marketing communication tactics, such as public relations, advertising allows you to control the message, the placement and the frequency. In other words, you call the shots.

Through advertising, you deliver a message about your product or service. Additionally, advertising can:

  • establish and maintain an awareness and positive image of your company, products or services
  • develop a need for products or services
  • develop sales leads
  • persuade customers that your products or services are the best
  • promote events

 

Setting Advertising Goals

Spending money on advertising without first establishing goals not only wastes money, time and effort, but could do more harm for your business than good by sending the wrong message. Even advertising with a specific plan in mind is still no guarantee of success. Advertising is much more of an art than a science.

Several elements to consider when setting goals for your business advertising strategy:

  • What target market do you want to reach?
  • What image do you want to portray?
  • What product or service do you want to emphasize?
  • What sales volume do you expect?
  • How much money can you spend?
  • When is the right time to advertise?

When setting goals, remember to make them specific. A general goal is nearly as detrimental as no goal at all. An example of a general goal is, “We want to increase sales.” Making that same goal specific would be, “Our goal is to increase sales revenue by $20,000 during the first half of the year.”

Your goal for every ad campaign may not be directly related to sales. For example, you may develop a campaign to enhance your company’s name recognition, or to spread community awareness of a specific program your business is involved with, such as a charity.

 

Market Research and Advertising

The heart of an ad is its message or the primary benefit you want your target audience to understand about your product or service. Your message can address one or more of the following:

  • Why prospects should buy your product and not your competitors
  • Why customers should buy your product again
  • Why anyone should buy your product at all

Messages may be implied and subtle (mouthwash that gives you fresh breath will help you attract a mate, be successful at your job, etc.) or quite literal (purchases during a sale will cost less than at other times).

Advertising messages are different from slogans. A slogan is a catchy phrase such as Nike’s “Just Do It,” or Coca-Cola’s “It’s the Real Thing.” You don’t have to have a slogan to have a successful ad. But you do have to have a message.

A message is what’s behind the slogan. You could surmise from Nike’s slogan that their message might be: Physical activity is part of a satisfying life – Nike products will help you exercise and achieve a satisfying life.

 

Where to Advertise and Promotion Methods

 

Offline methods of advertising:
Yellow Pages
Radio
Direct Mail
Newspaper Display Ads
Classified Advertising
Flyers
Business and Organization Publications

 

Free advertising:
There are many avenues you can pursue that will produce excellent advertising results. As your business grows, the best advertising, will be advertising you can’t pay for: WORD OF MOUTH.

  • Donate your gift baskets to charitable events and for auctions. Once your business is open, you will have many requests for donations, but be selective. Choose the events providing the highest profile for your target market and commit to them on an annual basis.
  • The week prior to your opening, distribute inexpensive but impressive gift baskets to all of your area business customers. Let them know you will be opening soon and invite them to stop by for a visit.

This networking will lead to possible outlets for promotion in the future. Even if you have your own place of operation, other non-competing businesses may be interested or willing to display your business cards and brochures in their stores. Definitely target every Florist in your area. You could sell gift baskets to them for a reduced amount. Florists want to carry gift baskets in their shops, but both the floral industry and the business of gift baskets are both very labor intensive businesses. Setting up a monthly buying program with your area Florists will ensure another avenue of consistent income for your business.

  • Issue Press Releases Regularly

Use your imagination and make a list of every function, special event and organization in your area that could be a spring board for getting the word out for your business. Watch you local newspapers for upcoming events.

 

Selling Your Product and Services

Promote Other Companies
Market your gift basket services to food and beverage manufacturers, food marketing board and other businesses. Offer to promote their products in your baskets and to make up their baskets for their promotions. Target mineral water producers, marketing boards that promote fruit, cheese and seafood, publishing companies promoting new cookbooks and gourmet food manufacturers. Contact them during the summer months to establish a plan for the holiday season. Many gourmet food producers want to promote their products but don’t have the time to assemble their own displays. Put together a gift basket program for them. You’ll generate free publicity and positive exposure for your company by teaming up with other businesses.


Promotion Materials – Your “Marketing Kit”

  • Brochure, color with photos
  • High-Gloss Stickers, peel off
  • Gift Tags, fold over
  • Price List
  • Company Information Card
  • Postcards, photo
  • Business Cards
  • Letterhead and Envelopes

 

Sales Brochure
The single most important item you’ll invest in is your sales brochure and marketing kit. Use a professional graphic artist, photographer, and printer to put your marketing materials together. You’ll get a better price break if you have one company do the work for each element of your marketing kit.

Collect other company’s brochures and sale pieces that have good design and photography. Contact the company’s sales and marketing department and find out who did the work for them. Ask if the designer was
on time and within budget.

Obtain quotes from three different design firms. If know of an excellent photographer, have the photos done yourself. If not, let the design firm be responsible for them. An excellent brochure layout is worth zero, if the photos are not of the highest quality.

Photos
Set up the photography session and determine how many designs you want featured alone and which ones will be in groupings. Bring any props you want in the photos to enhance the gift baskets. Make sure your price quote is in writing and that you retain ownership of the negatives.

Meet with the Designers
Bring examples of brochures that appeal to you. Ask to look through their portfolio and review which style you want. Let the designer know how many photos will be in the brochure and bring them with you, in case they need to view them. Discuss size of each product they will be designing for you. Make sure your price quote is in writing and has a set due date for completion. Proof the materials and sign off on it before anything goes to the printer.

Printers
You’ll need two different types of printers. One who can do one and two-color work. This would be for letterhead, envelopes, brochure, postcards, business cards, gift tags, etc. Find someone who has a short turn around time.

The second type of printer you’ll need, is someone who handles three and four-color printing for photos. Interview several printers as you will receive different price quotes for the same job. Try and locate one printer capable of processing both one and two-color printing AND three and four-color printing.

Make sure your price quotes include color separation and camera ready art. Your graphic designer will need to work with your printer and photographer. Always get separate quotes to avoid having the work marked up several times over.

When looking at paper stock, ask to see what it looks like with both four-color and one or two-color printing. Ask for sample letterhead stock to see how it works in your computer printer. Most brochures are printed on hi-gloss stock. Ask the printer for options.

Ask for quotes based on running several different quantities. Often, the extra cost of having larger quantities printed, will save you money in the long term.

 

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