About the Services...
There are three things a customer truly considers when looking which company to buy from: 1) Value (sometimes mistaken for simply price), 2) Convenience (much more important than many companies consider), and 3) Reputation. The third category is where many small businesses have trouble; many fill this void with what they push as their "quality." Indeed, many small businesses rely heavily on "word-of-mouth," which is a VERY potent marketing tool, but not necessarily something a company can count on always. This type of mentality can, in fact, blow up in a company's face as negative word-of-mouth marketing is frequently much more intense, and almost every firm has had "that one customer."
The truth is, every business -- big or small -- likes to think they are the best. This company builds best cabinets, this one makes the best cupcake. World's Finest is a fairly common quality. It's the company's reputation that must be built; so, yes, absolutely your business needs to perform that best that it possibly can, but it does not hurt to flaunt those accomplishments. After all, you could have the cure for cancer, but if you didn't tell anyone about it, it will go nowhere.
This is where marketing and advertising come into play. Some of the big players like McDonald's or Coca-Cola actually push this part of the business triad even more -- substituting "name recognition" for "quality." Of course, small businesses tend not to have millions -- if not billions -- of dollars to spend in advertising (or much anything). Most indulge in advertising and marketing with trepidation as no platform is guaranteed. So, small businesses will do a single commercial, or more likely, a single press release. One of these can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. And then...probably nothing. Advertising and marketing NEED to be sustained; they're called campaigns for a reason. A single blip might be seen by a couple people, but a sustained pulse will attract.
Again, though, for a McDonald's or a Walmart, spending millions on impressive advertising campaigns may be a reality, but for a small business, it tends not to be in the cards. Borrowing from a platform originally designed for small business government contractors, the Chamber is able to publish press releases detailing companies' project history. Unlike traditional press releases, they actually utilize the potency of word-of-mouth marketing. We have key connections -- buyers, government officials, et cetera -- in place and willing to share your company's project history and experience to a massive network of genuine spenders. These include thousands upon thousands of contracting officers, other business owners, purchasing agents, and senior officials with budgets they are looking to spend. And as it's shared, rather than just simply pushed upon people, it has a very organic, non-offensive flow that is far more likely to attract than rebel perspective buyers.
Benefits of the Service...
Various press release companies offer a tremendous service -- some of their outreach is just sensational -- but they can be a little out of the price range for many small businesses. At $400+ a press release being quite common, an effective demonstration of your company's reputation can easily cost thousands of dollars. Members of the Chamber get access to our publications services at a nearly unlimited amount (we typically insist keeping it to one release a week per company so as to allow proper exposure for each of your articles). Aside from aesthetic appeal (obviously, you don't want an article to look too clunky), there is no limit to the amount of media (images/video) you can add to your release, and each release transmits out to thousands of highly sought after clients through organic "word-of-mouth" transmission.
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