“I’ll build your website – only $895! Call 800-XXX-XXXX.”

No, it wasn’t the copy for a classified ad or a posting on a freelance job site. It was a “bandit” sign, stuck in a grassy highway divider down the street from my house.

At ETR, we embrace multi-channel marketing, but you have to choose channels that are going to reach your target market.

“Garage Sale” signs at busy intersections get noticed by folks who are out for a Sunday drive. Billboards on the highway do a good job of drawing traffic to restaurants and attractions. And at election time, roadside signs are fairly effective at drumming up support for candidates and issues.

But if you’re marketing a technical service like Web design, you should be posting on CraigsList or Elance.com, not a street corner. You could also place pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google, so that when people search for “Web design services” your ads will pop up on the results page.

The idea is to advertise through channels that will get the attention of your prospects.

In their book Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business,  Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby point out, for example, that an 80-year-old grandmother almost certainly doesn’t spend a lot of time with a computer. So if your target market is older women, it wouldn’t make sense to focus your marketing online.

Identify your target market and do some research. Then make some educated guesses about the kind of advertising that is likely to appeal to them. Telemarketing? E-mail? Banner ads on websites? Print ads in newspapers?

Test your best guesses, track your results… and run with the winners.

[Ed. Note: Not sure how to reach your prospective customers? Find 12 highly effective marketing methods in Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby’s Amazon.com bestseller, Changing the Channel. Pick up your copy today.

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