Big business or small, in salad days or lean, there are basics when it comes to advertising that have nothing to do with technological advances. You still a clear sense of the product or service you’re selling and you still need to know who your target market is.

#b#Alan Yarnoff#/b#, owner of the Advertising Consultancy, will present his occasional, free SCORE workshop on the principles of advertising for small businesses on Thursday, July 15, at 6:45 p.m. at the Princeton Library. Contact Yarnoff at 609-448-2451.

#b#Build advertising around the target audience#/b#. Going in with a shotgun approach won’t work, Yarnoff says. You need to know the target audience and plan accordingly.

#b#Don’t forget the most likely markets#/b#. A small, Indian-owned accounting firm brainstorming with Yarnoff asked how to expand its business. Yarnoff suggested something the firm had overlooked — the Indian market.

#b#But do forget the Yellow Pages#/b#. The Yellow Pages are dead. And expensive. Your advertising dollars will do well if put in front of your target via something it will see — why do you think beer companies advertise during football games? Or why a day-care center advertises in a local business newspaper?

Sound counterintuitive? Think about it — children who populate upscale centers are usually the offspring of two working parents, who might read the business paper regularly.

#b#Pay, it works#/b#. Pay the experts if you want high quality. Everyone in a small business wants a website, but to be effective it must be done and promoted properly.

#b#Make the product central in the ad#/b#. Obscure ads for perfume and jeans aside, people want to know what you are selling. So tell them.

#b#See if your advertising is working#/b#. Including a coupon or quiz in your ad is a good way to test whether the ad works. If you offer something in an ad and no one takes you up on it, the ad is not working.

Alternatively, you could just ask people how they heard about you. You might be advertising in the wrong spot and don’t know it. An exterminator business Yarnoff worked with had been advertising in nine publications in several towns. When Yarnoff suggested analyzing the responses, the owner realized responses were coming only from two of the towns.

Happy New Year, now set your budget. Set your advertising budget for the year on January 1. Going week to week isn’t as good a bet as setting a budget and knowing your hotspots. A florist, for example, should set aside money knowing that advertising should be heaviest at the busiest times of the year — Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas.

Born in Philadelphia, Yarnoff has lived in East Windsor for about 30 years. His father drove a bread delivery truck, and his mother managed a woman’s wear store.

Yarnoff earned his bachelor’s in marketing from Temple in 1967. He started his career in sales at Bayer and Helena Rubenstein before moving into management there and at Sally Hansen and Dell Laboratories.

Moving into advertising, Yarnoff spent nine years at Church & Dwight before going out on his own as a small business advertising consultant.

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