Regardless of your business or industry, marketing is an integral function that mustn’t be overlooked. However, because it can be expensive and hard to track, firms occasionally neglect this important business activity. Thankfully there are several tricks out there for the penny-pinching promoters.
With regards to advertising, include it everywhere. Sending out an invoice? Include some marketing material with it. Does your business have a point-of-purchase? Place fliers and coupons on and around it. You should even generate marketing collateral to give away with the product after a sale has been made. Slap your brand anywhere and everywhere. Brand equity is part recollection and part recognition, so make sure consumers have a chance to get to know your brand – even if that means just seeing it once or twice.
If you have a cordial neighbor, team up on your marketing efforts. Promote together or share mailing lists and distribution/supply networks. In addition to your neighbor, you can ask other contacts (suppliers, distributors, customers etc.) for referrals. Get the prospective customer’s name or ask your contacts if they will pass along your details.
Another cheap way to build and strengthen your company’s brand awareness and favorability is to get involved with the community. Offer your expert advice for free. Teach a class, speak at community meetings, or write articles for your local paper. This will not only get your name out there, but will also demonstrate your superior knowledge and credibility. You can also sponsor local events or team up with other businesses to host an event of your own. If people know you are philanthropic and support the community, they will be more inclined to do business with you.
Guerrilla marketing is a cheap and effective way to gain exposure and pique people’s curiosity. Do something strange, interesting, and/or unique to engender positive conversations about your business. There are few things more effective than word-of-mouth marketing; if you can create a buzz and get people talking about you, the selling process becomes a much easier endeavor.
Similar to guerilla marketing, public relations campaigns can be done by yourself and at little to no cost. Simply call up the local paper or news channel and ask if they would like to feature you and/or your business. Create a story and a brand identity for your business. This will stimulate the interest of potential customers and leave them wanting more. People like familiarity. Thus, they are more inclined to do business with people and companies that they know and trust.