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Best and Most Effective Form of Advertising?

JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
edited May 2007 in Marketing
Hi! My name is Janet and I`m new here...but not really new to the business world.
My husband owns an on-site computer repair business similar to the popular companies that I`m sure just popped into your head. We have had moderate to borderline good success, but have only been in business for almost a year. So far I have us listed with a larger, attractive ad in the Dex Yellow Pages (the largest phone book here in the Denver area) and Echo Pages (a smaller community phone book for the suburbs). I also have passed out flyers with coupons on them. In addition, we have signs on our car with business card holders attached to each side. Recently we also were listed as a sponsor at a local community event and had coupons put in bags that people took home. Lastly, I have a nice ad on Craigslist, but that place is swamped with computer repair companies and independent people. I doubt the Craigslist ad helps that much. I can`t remember a single service call coming from Craigslist yet.
My question for everyone here is - what is the most effective form of advertising for this type of business (even consider options if money were not a problem)? If I were approaching you about computer repair, which type of advertising would you respond best to? The flyers have not worked out well for me at all...basically no response.
I appreciate and will seriously consider any ideas you can come up with.
Thanks and good day!


  • nevadasculnevadascul subscriber Posts: 3 Member
    Hi Janet,
    If you do not have a web site, I would suggest setting one up.  You can pay a professional web designer or use one of the many free web design sites.  I went with Yahoo SiteBuilder because it is offered free if you have Yahoo host your site.  Yahoo also offers several ways to market your site.  You can see your options at Yahoo Small Business web site.  I preferred to set my own site up.  This way I can add to or change the site without going back to a professional site designer.  But, you can have a pro do your site and still host it on yahoo.
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi Steve,
    I was in Boulder today for my business actually...  
    Our clients have been a wide range of people from residential to home offices to businesses and medical offices. We have visited a lot of check cashing places lately.
    Our target audience? I`m still trying to figure that out. All types of clients have been profitable. If I had to choose, it would probably be businesses and medical offices since they are more likely to purchase annual service agreements and need service more often. If their computer isn`t working, neither is their business. It`s usually urgent.
    The magnets might be a good idea. My mom also gave me the idea of sending out those little plastic things that clean computer monitors or the little brushes that clean keyboards. http://www.epromos.com/product/8816405.html</A> 
    It just seems like people don`t pay attention to flyers, door hangers, and postcards that I send through the mail. Everytime I buy these I feel like I`m wasting money since the return is so small.
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Yeah I`ve been thinking about getting a website up and running, but it hasn`t been at the top of my list simply because our business is strictly local right now. When most people come across one of our ads on Westword or in the phone book, they want to talk to someone immediately to get service ASAP. They seem to not really care if we have a website.
    As we expand out of Denver, I will inevitably need to get moving on the website. What is anyone else`s take on this?
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    I was also thinking calendar magnets like real estate agents and brokers send out all the time. What do you think? Does anyone actually keep those when you receive them in the mail???
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I really appreciate your expertise. Keep the responses coming if you wish.
    I will definitely implement some (if not all) of your suggestions. There are a lot of things mentioned that I haven`t tried or even thought about yet!
    About the mention of a billboard... I have actually considered this option when we get a bit more money for advertising. Has anyone used this medium? How effective was it? How much did/does it cost each month?
    I have also been considering doing advertising on the side of buses. This, according to my research, is around $25,000/mo for 50 buses. Same questions as with the billboard... Has anyone used this medium? How effective was it? 
    Craig, regarding your response, we do have a logo that we use. It`s actually in my profile if you want to take a look. What do you think? I have it on all of our advertising materials, business cards, polo shirts, laptop bags, cars, etc.
    Thanks Lisa, Eli, Craig and everyone else for your responses.
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Oh and I guess this one is more directed at Steve since you`re a local:
    I know you mentioned you weren`t fond of the refrigerator magnet idea. I kind of agree actually...in regards to just a plain calendar. What do you think about sending out Bronco schedules with our business card magnet attached to the top?
  • TradeUrbanTradeUrban subscriber Posts: 2
    Try my website TradeUrban.com

    Posting on Craigslist is like leasing a retail shop in a
    strip mall with 3000 of your competitors.
    On my site you would be one of the only one and can piggy back off of my
    marketing efforts.

    Free Marketing
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  • JR1321JR1321 subscriber Posts: 0
    We work with several organizations similar to your business (software/technical support) to setup full service marketing progams and quite frankly we have not found any "silver bullet" that works every time for every one, however having said that we do work with our clients to develop the best formula for their business.
    We do this through a combination of medias - email, mail, print/fliers, advertising, web presence, and even outbound "cold calls". The trick at the end of the day is to try something, measure its success, and adjust accordingly until you have developed your personal "formula".  
    Too frequently organizations just throw something against the wall and do not take the time to setup a method of measuring the success rate.
    So my advice is pretty basic; try it, measure it, if it works keep doing it, if not move on to the next idea.
    Good Luck!
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    I posted an ad to your classifieds. Thanks for letting me know.
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Do you have a website I can check out? I might be interested in your services.
  • TradeUrbanTradeUrban subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks Janet,

    I`ll be marketing the site to the best of my ability, I hope you get some calls
    / benefit


  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Wow! I appreciate all of your input. This is great!
    I definitely agree about personifying businesses. I think of the "where`s the beef?" lady all the time when I`m driving and some old lady cuts me off.  Also, what comes to mind like others have mentioned are the Taco Bell dog, Colonel Sanders for KFC, a line of geeks in nerdy white shirts for Geek Squad, that white puffy guy for Michelin, and a bunch of others. This is an excellent idea!
    My husband and I will start thinking about how to personify Dr. Geek and get back to you on what we come up with. If you have any ideas so far, please feel compelled to bring them up.
    Edit*** One thing we do have on a lot of our stuff is a computer that looks like he`s sick. You can view him at this link: http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o207 ... 20LOGO.gif</A>JanetF2007-5-15 13:47:27
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Maybe we could buy some lab coats with Dr. Geek embroidered on them? Or get doctor bags? We get a lot of medical supply catalogs in the mail because apparently they think we`re a medical practice. Obviously they send to anyone with "Dr." in their name.
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    Craig, while I believe you`re generally correct about younger people having computer knowledge, it`s not always true. In fact, a few minutes ago I had a younger client (probably in his 20`s) call us for help. He messed with one of the settings on his desktop and couldn`t figure out how to put it back. I was able to help him immediately over the phone for free. He calls us a lot and has had us at his home office for service calls numerous times. My point here is I think we should stick with the "doctor" image like we mentioned before. A lot of the younger people (mostly college students I`m referring to) who are computer literate and fix it themselves do it because they HAVE TO. They probably can`t afford the service calls. What do you think?
  • JanetFJanetF subscriber Posts: 4
    I think those are wonderful ideas. I will check into this for a few places around here and see what happens. I guess we might be needing a website sooner than I thought...
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