Seven Low Cost Marketing Ideas

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by letsconnect, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. letsconnect

    letsconnect
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    Growing companies face the issue of marketing their products or services. It is possible to use marketing consultants to do this, but marketing consultants often cost too much money for small companies. An affordable option is to try the following low cost marketing ideas to promote the business.

    1.Press Releases - Make press releases that are newsworthy and draw the attention of the readers. The releases should be short and to the point with an opening sentence or phrase that is convincing and holds the attention of the reader.

    2.Search Engine Marketing - Having a Website and using the services of a search engine is a necessity in today's environment where greater numbers of people are accessing the Internet for their requirements. The website host must be reliable so that prospective customers can access the site without difficulty. The website's design should be imaginative to the draw attention of viewers. Websites are an inexpensive method for accessing greater numbers of people. The website should have the company's contact details, including the business phone number and email address. Advertise in newsgroups that are in a similar line of business so that the site is easily accessed.

    3.Trade Shows - Rent space at trade shows and hand out promotional material to clients. Keep a feedback or order address registry for clients. After the show, contact them, keeping the promises made at the booth.

    4.Direct Marketing - Create a finely tuned list of targeted recipients and directly mail the explanatory material to them.

    5.Yellow Pages - Make an ad stand out in the yellow pages with an attractive design and listing under a specific, targeted head.

    6.Public Service - Promote the company in a positive manner in the community by sponsoring events, donating products to local charities and holding events with local schools or other groups. Distribute promotional t-shirts, pens, or mugs with the company's name emblazoned on it.

    7.Business Card and Network Groups - Keep professional and well-designed business cards handy. Join a networking group for support and business leads.

    Implementing Low Cost Marketing Ideas
    Use knowledge, skills, systems and tools to create a low cost marketing strategy for new businesses to attract customers on shoestring budgets.

    Knowledge: Read books on marketing knowledge and buy a couple of marketing manuals from web marketing masters. Learn marketing strategy from consultants or pay a marketing expert to market your business.

    Skills: Develop the three important marketing skills.

    Ask straightforward questions to learn of the clients' needs and problems.

    Listen carefully and provide a problem-solving approach.

    Write a compelling copy of marketing materials to attract customers. Demonstrate practical ideas and understand the working of the product.

    Systems: Define responsibilities, schedule marketing activities, and use computers to automate tasks and hire people for clerical activities. Focus time and attention on the clients to deliver products or services in a stipulated period. Manage contacts to add to the database. Send information to prospective clients and respond to each query to handle clients respectfully.

    Tools: Below are the basic tools needed to target a market.

    Communication tools like phone, email, and web sites.

    Information for clients about the business, like written proposals, brochures or pamphlets.

    Things displaying the company name, logo and contact information like business cards.

    Additional Help
    There are software packages available to help owners market themselves to consumers. Many of these software packages are constructed with the small business owner in mind and contain invaluable and affordable tools.

    Article Author: David Gass
    Article Source: depositarticles.com
     
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  2. Kay

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    Thanks for that, letsconnect. Trade shows are something you don't hear mentioned often but they are good. I worked in sales where part of my job was attending them about half a dozen times a year and it really surprised me how much business is generated there. Not only from visitors but between the different sales staff.

    The job was related to the outdoors equipment and clothing industry. I loved it because I knew I'd get bargains when I went from other sellers and I did the same for them. I never met a seller yet that charged you anything above trade price and usually threw in a staff discount.

    You can network a lot at these events because it's usually the same faces you see manning the booths. Everyone books the same hotels so often we'd get together afterwards and go out to eat and so on. There was never any great feeling of rivalry.

    You never know when opportunities will arise. If all you do is hand out promotional leaflets, you're wasting a great chance to expand your knowledge of what's going on in other companies, picking up ideas, and getting to meet people who might think of you next time they're looking for staff. In fact I was headhunted at one by someone I knew purely from these events, and it came right out of the blue. You're there during the day for the customers but don't miss out on the more social side of it by sitting in your room.
     
  3. Fergal

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    I fully agree that trade shows are an excellent means of increasing sales and an excellent opportunity for networking. I wouldn't describe them as low cost however. It can cost a lot of money to exhibit at trade shows, the entrance fee can be quite high as can the associated expenses.
     
  4. Kay

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    Very good point, Fergal. They're certainly not cheap and as far as I remember your booth was charged by the square foot. If you had any kind of decent sized space, it could cost a pretty penny. There usually was a discounted rate for booking early but it still wasn't cheap. Plus there was the accommodation, meals, travel expenses, shipping product there etc. All the more reason to squeeze every possible ounce of benefit out of being there that you can.
     
  5. Fergal

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    There's also the significant cost of having your stand / exhibition space designed and produced.
     
  6. Nazreen

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    Welcome to the Business Advice Forum letsconnect.

    Thanks for sharing the article. You've pretty much covered most ideas in promoting and marketing products and/or services especially for small businesses. However, I agree with Fergal and Kay that Trade shows may not be for small businesses especially for those who are just starting because it's a bit expensive. Doing public service and sponsoring events might also be limited because sponsoring events, especially major ones, will also be costly.

    As for the drawing of attention of readers and having an opening line or sentence to hold the attention of the reader, I'd like to stress that this is quite important in marketing and not just in Press Releases. Many websites also employ this technique so as to capture the attention of online visitors and make them surf through their site.
     
  7. deepak_sharma

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    I thought Press releases are meant to attract editors of different newspapers.
     
  8. Fergal

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    Press releases are not meant to attract editors of newspapers. However, they are sent to editors of many types of publications with the intention that the press release will then get featured in the publication and help to promote your business.
     
  9. heathw12

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    Thanks! This is great! In addition to the Yellow Pages, there are also tons of online business directories that are free to list on (BookMyCity, Yelp, Google, etc) I've found these to be very useful.
     
  10. Blackberg

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    Trade shows rule! Do not under-estimate this method of marketing, millionaires are created from them all the time.
     
  11. Sondra

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    Don't forget that you can use trade shows as a networking tool as well. Even if you can't afford your own booth attending them can provide you with a wealth of information and contacts that you can use later.
     

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