So now you have your product or idea, and you need to start your marketing! But where to begin and how much would that cost? Knowing it is very important to market, you can select some of the many ways you can do so for your business in order to increase your revenue and customer base. Below are five of those very impactful approaches on how to do your marketing without costing you an arm and a leg!
- Research: Talk to your clients, friends and contacts in order to discover market trends and what people look for in a product, service or brand. Ideally, this should be done by someone outside your company so clients are willing to be honest and open. This part is very important in order to ensure that your positioning, ideas and assumptions are going in the right direction. Talking to around 15 people should give you a fairly good idea. Of course the more the better, but you can start with 15.
Here’s how it works:
- Send a letter asking permission to have someone contact them about your company.
- Have the interviewer call and ask questions such as:
What were you looking for before you decided to purchase xyz from the company?
What do you value most about this company’s work/products?
What other products or services do you wish they offered?
- After all the interviews have been conducted, compile the information to discover trends and themes.
- Send a thank-you letter to every client who participated. Include key lessons from the interviews and explain the specific changes you plan to make to your business based on this information.
The important part here is to use what you learn. If you don’t use the information, then you’ve wasted everyone’s time.
- Creatively package your marketing campaigns. A postcard is one way to market your business. But how about putting a small box together with a fork, knife, spoon and a custom printed napkin that invites your prospect to “have lunch on us?” Think outside the box, and your marketing strategies and campaigns will have more impact. If you don’t have a good brand identity, you can approach one branding agency called BrandAid (www.brandaiduae.com), which we highly recommend. They have a department that caters for women entrepreneurs and can tailor make marketing packages for you at very reasonable prices!
And don’t be afraid to see what other people in other industries are doing and adapt that to your business. Think about the little details that will get attention.
- Get the word out with publicity. Think you can’t do PR or publicity without employing the services of a high-priced firm? You can! Search for similar articles on the internet and tailor make your own press release, post it on your website (under What’s New, or News), email it to your database, friends, publications, and post it on you social media platforms. You can even make a small event and invite the media. Try to have a small gift and finger food so that they actually show up!
- Leverage existing relationships. Most people know at least 200 people. Do the math: If you know 200 people and they each know 200 people, that’s 40,000 potential contacts! Spend time developing relationships with the people you already know- clients, colleagues, people you meet through professional networking organizations, friends and even family.
Start by making a list of all the people you know. Next, prioritize your list into As, Bs and Cs. As are your advocates. These are the people who feel strongly about you. They’re the “cheerleaders” who would refer business to you right now. Bs could become advocates if they knew more about you, so you need to spend time with these people to educate them. Cs are those people you don’t communicate with often enough. You may keep them in the loop, but they need more time and nurturing before they’d refer any business your way. If there are any names that remain, delete them.
- E-mail marketing. Marketing through e-mail is flexible, cost-effective, easy to measure (assuming you put the right tracking in place), and high impact. It allows you to easily drive traffic to your website, reach a broad geographic audience and stay in frequent contact with your customers and prospects. E-mail marketing allows you to market your services and establish your expertise with your audience.
Use it for newsletters, new product announcements or to share your publicity success- the ideas are endless. But know that this flexibility and ease-of-use can cause problems. Remember, this is a marketing campaign. So be sure to think it through, develop an appropriate message, create a piece that reflects your brand, know your objectives, and make sure the information is valuable for your market, or people will quickly unsubscribe.
Keys to success: Don’t be seen as a “spammer”! Send e-mail only to those people who have given permission. When someone asks to be removed, respond immediately.