Ads that are effective reinforce each other

The Baltimore Sun

Small-business owners face a daunting task of breaking through today's nonstop advertising clutter to reach buyers. Don't give up. There are ways to win the small-business advertising game.

"For the average business owner, creating and placing an ad is like learning a foreign language," says marketing consultant Andrew Griffiths. "Advertising does work, and the more time and energy you put into your advertising, the greater your results will be."

Time, energy and creative thinking are key. You can find low-cost options in almost every advertising category.

Choosing the right medium, however, is only part of the battle. You still need to create a plan for your ad program and craft a message that works. A few tips:

* Choose words and images that appeal to your customers and prompt them to action.

* Create a message that stands out from the crowd, but keep it simple.

* Don't advertise on impulse. Create a plan; select several ad methods that can support each other, and don't give up before your ads have a chance to work.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of the Greater Baltimore SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit www.scorebalti To send a question to SCORE, e-mail small

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