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If your company only serves other businesses and is not open to the public, then probably TV advertising does not apply to you.  But you still have an affordable marketing weapon that's also very powerful: the trade media.  

There are two kinds of trade publications.  At one end you have the luxurious, glossy, full color magazines that sometimes charge tens of thousands of dollars per page.  At the other end you have the less pretentious newsletters published by trade associations.  Both can offer Internet exposure as well (banners linking their website to yours).  Sometimes they publish CD-ROM directories (not so important) or they organize trade events (very important).  

We suggest that you stick with the less expensive option - association newsletters - for three reasons:  

  • Less Fragmentation.  While for each trade market you have tens, or even hundreds of publications in the "luxurious" category, there are probably only a few serious trade association newsletters.
  • More Impact.  Trade association members may not read all the magazines in their field - but they religiously read their association newsletter.  That's where they look for updates on crucial matters related to practicing their profession.
  • Less Money.  Actually - a lot less.  Often a half page ad costs two or three hundred dollars - instead of several thousand dollars.
Like any other form of marketing, the trade media requires consistency.  You need to repeat your messages and maintain your presence.  Since most trade publications are monthly, it's harder to create a huge impression immediately.  However, the trade associations offer unique means of marketing that can strengthen your image.  You can sponsor events, participate in small (and inexpensive) trade shows, or just be present at their events - for networking.  When you network, it's ten times easier to break the ice if people learned about you first from their trade newsletter.  

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