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The trade media is, for "business to business" companies, what television is for "open to the public" companies.  It represents the most powerful and cost-effective way to communicate.  

Also, the trade media has a unique advantage.  It can offer you several marketing tools under one convenient umbrella, on a small budget.  A single trade organization can publish your printed ads, expand your Internet presence, provide the hottest mailing list, and organize events where you can ACTUALLY MEET your prospects!  You can rent a booth at their trade shows, sponsor an event for fellow members at YOUR location, or simply show up at their social mixers.  Even if you use high-power "automated" media to deliver your messages,  there is no substitute for personal contact.  

Right now we want to mention another type of trade media - with an example.  Does your industry have a "garage sale" type of publication?  Most trades have at least one publication of this kind - with a website equivalent as well.  Such marketing vehicles deserve your full attention.  Or do you consider that an "undignified" medium?  

One of our clients owns a repair shop for professional motion picture equipment.  He used to spend thousands of dollars each month, advertising in many trade magazines (the top league - like American Cinematographer).  The response was good, but barely enough to justify the expense.  Until one day, when he discovered a low-cost trade paper called "In Sync".  

"In Sync" is like a garage sale magazine for the motion picture industry.  It may be printed on cheap paper - but it has a proven readership of twelve thousand cinematographers and assistants around the world!  And it charges for one page what other magazines charge for a classified ad!  Due to this publication, my friend's repair business has tripled - and now he also has a respectable equipment brokerage firm.  Every month, he publishes a two-page display ad - and that's all the advertising he needs.  In his case, relying on a single marketing outlet is not risky.  As an important pillar of the film industry, "In Sync" will be around for many years - until the end of motion pictures.  

With public media there's normally a straight correlation between your rate of success and "how much you spend".  In the realm of trade media, "how smart you spend" seems to be the key.