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Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you in this guide is this: Dont restrict your
advertising and promotional efforts to the Web. Online stores often rely too heavily on online advertising
at the expense of more traditional advertising vehicles that may actually produce better results.
Its important not to get too dependent on online marketing for your success.
Think about the types of customers you are trying to attract and what the best methods would be to reach
those customers. Rather than spending your money advertising on the Web, you may find that a
more effective strategy would be to place advertisements in a couple of well-targeted magazines.
For example, Noggintops ( www.noggintops.com ), an online hat retailer, has spent very little on
Internet advertising. Instead, the company did some marketing research and identified a number of
magazines that appealed to the companys target market: outdoorsmen. Ads featuring the companys
Web site address were then placed in those magazines. In fact, the bulk of Noggintops marketing
budget has been spent on offline ads. The point is that you shouldnt ignore traditional advertising
vehicles. Think about how you can use both print (e.g. newspapers, magazines, journals) and
broadcast media (radio and television stations) to reach your target audience. Be realistic with your
expectations. In years past, many Internet companies invested millions in television ads with often
disappointing results. Many companies quickly learned that brands cant be built overnight. It can
take years to build a successful and recognized brand name.
That being said, if you develop any print or broadcast advertising, make sure that your Web address
is featured prominently in your ads. You may want to even consider purchasing advertising for the
sole purpose of promoting your Web site.
It is important to use your imagination when looking for ways to raise awareness of your Web site.
Dont limit yourself to radio, television, and print media. Why not advertise your Web address in
buses or subways, or on the transfers handed out by your local transit authority? How about on
newspaper polybags (the plastic bags that newspapers are wrapped in when they are delivered to
your front door)? Or in movie theatres? Some organizations have even gone so far as to include
their Internet addresses on bananas! The possibilities are endless.
In many respects, as with any product or service, the challenge is to find innovative ways to get
the word out!