Smart and effective marketing starts with a strategy. Before planning out specific promotions, businesses should think through what they are looking to achieve. For instance, promotions that work well for building customer loyalty may not work as well for bringing in new customers. Defining the business goal determines what kind of promotional strategy will work best, and helps business owners later evaluate whether the promotion was successful. It’s also crucial to make a budget, including how much you can afford to invest in promotions, and what you need to sell to make the investment worthwhile. It’s important to consider your goal and supporting promotional strategies carefully. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.