Types of Marketing Tools

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Decide what marketing tools best fit your type of business.
Decide what marketing tools best fit your type of business. (Image: business woman. businesswoman. image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com)

Businesses have many different marketing tools at their disposal. Some marketing tools are designed to drive sales and customer traffic, while other tools are used for gathering customer data. The key is deciding which marketing tools you need to accomplish your primary objectives. Often, you will use several different marketing tools simultaneously.

Classified Ads

Classified ads are an effective marketing tools for generating leads. You can then direct people to your website, or have people send for more information. Mail out a sales letter, brochure and order form when people write for more information. You can also mail catalogs to people. The key to successful classified ads is advertising in the right publications, according to Entrepreneur online magazine. For example, advertise in cooking-related publications if you sell cookware by mail or via the Internet. Identify your target audience or customers you want to reach in your classified ad headline. For example, write a headline like "New Sleeping Device Prevents Snoring" to reach people with snoring problems. Include key consumer benefits of your products in the body of your classified ad. However, keep your classified ads brief so you can keep your costs down.

Surveys

Surveys are a marketing tool you can use to garner feedback from customers. For example, you can ask customers to rate various attributes of your restaurant on a scale of 1 to 5, including hospitality, cleanliness, food quality and speed of service. One would be the lowest rating and 5 the highest. There are different types of surveys you can use, including phone, Internet, mail and in-person surveys. Internet surveys may work best if you run an online business. Add a pop-up questionnaire to gather information from your visitors or customers. Use phone surveys if you need to get information relatively quickly. You can ask more questions with mail and -in-person surveys, as people cannot hang up on you.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail is a highly targeted marketing tool because you are mailing offers to people who buy your type of product. Start your direct mail campaign by purchasing a mailing list from the Direct Marketing Association or Mega Media Associates, who specialize in mailing list distribution. For example, buy 5,000 names of people who purchase women's clothing, if you sell women's clothing by mail. Write a sales letter that describes the benefits of buying your clothing versus competitive brands, or from retail outlets. Create a brochure that describes the features and price of some of your main products. Include an order form that makes it easy for the customer to send in an order.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are designed to help you retain customers. The best way to set up a customer loyalty program is to pass out cards to customers. Stamp the cards each time a customer makes a purchase at your store or restaurant. Reward customers according to how much money they spend. For example, give customers a $1 dollar coupon after three visits, a $5 coupon after six visits, and one free product on the seventh visit, for example. Make your rewards attractive to the customer.

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