A question for the experts
Dear (patient) readers,Without boring introduction I`ll try to jump to my topic (question).I`m the owner of an internet advertising agency in Eastern Europe. The purpose of my post is not to waste your time, but to seek some valuable advice : )We operate in a small, but well developed tourist town. Population is 120,000 and there are approximately 3000 small and medium size businesses.Our main service is to provide business presentations on the internet to those businesses. We are doing so by putting each presentation on our portal.Presentation includes: map, info, contact, pictures etc. Content is not limited.We have our field workers who collect info and take pictures directly at the spot, there is no need to e-mail anything.We charge such presentaions yearly, price is 420$.Presentations are categorized and easily accesible. To provide valuable advertising space for our clients we also provide daily news and other information related to the town.So far we have operated for 1,5 years and we have 110 clients.It is also important to mention that we never spent any money on promoting ourselves and basicly 99% of our clients are result from door-to-door method.Recently we managed to get a loan and are willing to invest it in our business. Here is the basic overview of our strategy:- we plan to promote ourselves in the town on all available media which are: radio, local newspapers, posters, flyers distribution, billboards etc. - after a month of advertising we plan to send out brochures to all potential clients, dlivered by mail. We plan not to spare money on quality of the material. A 40 pages 1/2 A4 with hard covers brochures will explain our advantage over other advertising media (radio, Tv, newspapers) and include presentations of our current clients.- with brochures we will also include a promotional CD in the package- after promotional packages are delivered we shall engage a small team that will contact our potential clients over the phone and (we hope) arrange a meeting for signing the membership and collecting their information to put on our web.We hope to reach 20% of 3000 potential clients or 600. In other words we expect that 2 businesses out of 10 that we phone after the marketing campaign will be willing to become our members.Ofcourse the investment cost is pretty high as we need to employ at least 10 new people and the advertising cost is very expensive.We know that there is a high risk involved and would be very happy to hear some of your advices.The big question is: is it possibly to attract 20% out of 3000 businesses?Some additional info that might help you decide on the answer:- local businesses employ 5-10 people on average- average monthly sallary is around 530 $- our yearly membership is 420 $- medium sized ad (1/4 page) in local weekly newspapers is also around 420 $- weekly newspapers and radio is our main competition- we dont have online competition in our town and are the first and only web portal that offers such services to businesses- we have areound 12,000 unique visitors per month- majority (almost all) of the entrepreneurs in our town have internet access, but do not use it regularly- some have their business websites, but either dont use them or dont promote them. Besides they can allways put a link to their original website on our web portal.- option to change contect by themselves is not available, but each client can send an e-mail or phone the agency to put new content- as initiative we offer fixed-price agreement, that is if they sign up now for 420$/year, next year the price for membership will be the same. So the new membership prices have no effect on them. For example, our first 20 clients payed only 80$ per year and that price still stands for them.- other initiatives include: 1 free advertisment in our news section, free consulting related to e-business and computer equipment purchasing- we offer payment with credit cards which would actually come out to be 35$ / monthIf let`s say we would this marketing action in March it would look something like this:1.March - start of promoting our business and services (newspapers, radio, billboards etc)1. April - sending out promotional packages to 3000 potential clients (brochures and the CD)10.- 20. April - calling each potential client (expecting 20% agree)10.- 30. April - sending people to collect information from them and sign the membershipI believe that I explained more then enough so far : ) First of all let me congratulate you if you made it this far, you really are a patient reader.Ofcourse if you have any questiones realted to this investment adventure please do not hesitate to ask. It would be perfect if we could somehow eliminate (or lower) the risk by knowing what we can expect. If you had any experience in such ways of advertising please share your thoughts and how your ROI worked out.Best regards,M. Behrov
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