If your company is small-like more than half of all businesses in America-you probably don’t have a large marketing budget. But you can make your marketing dollars go a lot further by applying these smart marketing strategies:
- Leverage the Power of Targeting and Branding – Determine who’s most likely to buy your product or service then tailor your marketing message accordingly. Always send the right message to the right audience. Also, create a consistent brand or image for your company, product or service. Branding involves everything related to your company from your logo down to your style of customer service. And it can help you make sales more quickly and easily, so you’re able to spend less on marketing.
- Choose the Right Tools For the Job – This amounts to doing it right the first time. You can’t afford to waste energy and precious dollars by using marketing pieces for the wrong purpose. For example, if you want to reach a specific market segment, direct mail is ideal. But a print ad in a general-interest publication would be a waste of money.
- Create Versatile Materials – Create marketing materials you can use for more than one purpose. Instead of a large brochure, consider printing a small tri-fold piece that can be mailed inside an envelope, handed out and placed in a display rack. Similarly, a flier can be slipped inside a presentation folder or distributed in mass quantities.
- Be Conservative – Don’t spend any more than is necessary to get the job done. When printing, choose fewer colors and pages to cut your cost in half. Opt for graphics software, stock photography and other tools that allow you to avoid hiring expensive professionals. Your goal should always be to produce professional materials, not necessarily the most expensive ones.
- Capitalize on “Free” Advertising – Send a press release to print, radio and broadcast media. It won’t cost you anything to send in submissions. But what you can gain is free publicity in the form of a full article or at least a small brief. Unbiased publicity from a reporter carries a lot of weight and can help you “advertise” your business better than any paid advertising can.
- Form Strategic Alliances – Combine your marketing efforts and dollars with those of complementary businesses. Swap customer referrals and split the cost of a postcard mailing or print ad with trusted business partners. You can also share exhibit space at trade shows or co-sponsor special events.
- Improve and Maximize Customer Relations – Always meet and exceed your customers’ expectations… so you don’t lose them. Some estimates say it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. You can also save money and time by generating repeat business from your customers. Contact them with a special offer or piece of useful information; they’ll probably be happy to hear from you. Ultimately, you’ll be doing them and yourself a favor.
Start implementing these strategies in your business. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with a little effort, time and creativity!