BUSINESS OWNERS AND MANAGERS often bypass some of the most basic fundamental advertising methods when attempting to promote their business.  Before the budgets and the brainstorming sessions get overrun with wild, off-the-cuff ideas and strategies, be sure that the business in question is already engaging in the five most common, yet extremely effective, advertising methods. 
One of the most beneficial initiatives for a business is running regular print advertisements in newspapers (local and national), industry specific magazines, and/or trade journals.  These publications typically have large reading audiences and they tend to be read by members of a particular niche or target audience.  The costs associated with running print ads can vary greatly, depending on the size of the publication, the number of readers, and the frequency in which a business decided to run ads.  Obviously, the more a business is willing to commit, the deeper the discount off of the standard rate card. 
Another worthwhile initiative is to either conduct research and compile a marketing list, or purchase a marketing list from a source.  These lists typically contain pertinent business information such as the business’ name, address, phone and fax numbers, and emails.  This business information can be used to implement a direct-mail initiative that could include something as little as a postcard or as comprehensive as product or service catalogs and other related business information.  Just remember, postage may seem inexpensive; however, when you directly mail 10,000 businesses or consumers, you could be dealing with a mailing expense greater than $5,000—and that’s just for the postage.  Then, you have the costs associated with developing the marketing piece and printing.  Luckily, most of this can be contracted out to one or two businesses that will take the project from the beginning and develop the piece, organize the printing, and oversee the mailing.  These types of firms will typically only need you to approve or weigh-in on ideas; other than that, they can do most of the “heavy lifting.” 
Don’t underestimate the value of business directory listings.  Business directories serve a very basic function but are extremely effective, especially if the business directory is trafficked by consumers of your product or by individuals and businesses who make up your target audience.   Most business directory listings are inexpensive when compared to other marketing initiatives, such as print ads, direct-mail, websites, radio and television or even going to tradeshows.  The average cost of a business directory listing is between $100-$1500 dollars per year.  That may seem like a lot, but if you break it down to a daily expense, it quickly becomes less that a cup of coffee or a donut.  If you can place your business on a business directory or multiple directories at a cost of less than a buck per day, consider the potential exposure—it’s huge. 
Internet marketing is another easy endeavor to pursue because you can set a maximum budget, along with daily budgets, to get the most out of your campaign.  Best of all, the entire campaign is customizable.  As the administrator of the initiative, you can choose to show advertisements on certain keywords or phrases, and you can create, update and/or remove advertising messages and display texts.  Most Internet marketers would agree that these campaigns could be very rewarding to businesses that dedicate the time and resources to achieve the best possible outcome. 
Radio and television are both valuable media outlets in that they reach a large number of consumers and business personnel on a regular basis, and that the advertisements can be strategically placed at times and during specific programs that draw a fairly targeted audience.  The only down-side is that radio and television commercials are quite a bit more expensive than other types of advertising media and they tend to be a little arduous to put together.  The complexity can really slow down the speed of a marketing campaign; therefore, it’s important to create a timeline with milestones and deadlines to successfully manage the project from start to finish. 
These 5 basic types of advertising comprise the majority of the efforts made by most businesses.  Some, like Internet marketing, are recent arrivals to the industry, but others, such as print advertisements and radio spots, have been around for decades.  Regardless of what industry you’re involved in, you can be certain that the most successful businesses use at least one, if not all, of these media to reach their target audiences with a consistent goal to grow their customer-base and to maximize their bottom lines.