The one overriding goal of your small business’s marketing efforts, especially during a start-up phase, is to be noticed, is to be memorable in the eyes of customers or potential customers. You achieve being memorable by finding something your customers or potential customers can identify with, an image that you can own. Then you deliver that image --- your marketing message --- in a unique and memorable way, that is, in a way that is different from your competitors.
One way you can present your marketing message in a unique way is to have a “stand-out” visual look. With its use of intense color backgrounds, usually red, and its recurring circle motifs you would recognize a Target ad even if the logo were somehow left off.
How can you standout? Maybe you produce your TV ads only in black and white, instead of color. Or you could use only photographs instead of moving images. If no one else in your marketplace is using MTV-like quick cuts, with no image lasting more than two or three seconds, why don’t you? Maybe you could do all of your ads as cartoons, instead of using live people, or only use your employees and real customers, instead of a professional spokesperson.
These techniques can also be applied to your print ads. Give your newspaper or magazine ads a distinct and consistent look by using the same unique border treatment, or a certain style of visuals (only photographs or only sketch-like drawings), or the same unusual typeface, or the same general layout (with the same amount of white space from ad to ad).
What you’re after is a “stand out” look that people will immediately recognize as yours.(Dave Ramacitti is co-founder and chief content developer for Marketing Over Easy, a new website dedicated to helping small businesses be smarter marketers. To receive a free copy of our special report "58 Free and Low Cost Ways to Promote Your New Small Business" visit us at www.marketingovereasy.com/signup © 2010 by David F. Ramacitti. Excerpted from The All-Important Stuff You Gotta Do First to Effectively Market Your Small Business © 2009 by David F. Ramacitti)