Cost Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies and Tips – Part Two

In my previous article (part 1), I discussed Marketing Keys, Marketing Plan Components and Creative Marketing. Now I will get into specific, cost effective marketing methods and strategies you can use today to increase your company’s exposure and profits.MARKETING METHODSInternet
-Highly targeted and extremely economical
-Extremely InteractiveMagazines
-Targets your niche
-Creates credibility
-Establishes Identity & BrandTV
-Can be very cost effective
-Great for demonstrationsDirect Mail
-Highly targeted
-Medium that allows you to go through the entire sales process.
-Augmented with Follow-up Mailing and Telemarketing is very effectiveCanvassing
-Provides personal contact, which can be the most effective
-Backed by targeted mailings and TV advertising increases its conversion ratioOutdoor Billboards
-Constant Reminder
-Especially good for “Next Exit” Location traffic targetingIndoor Signs
-Capitalizing on your marketing’s momentum
-Can be the most important sign – even more crucial than outdoor signage
-Signs don’t have to be static: i.e. Video Message, Slide Show, etc.Online Marketing
-Absolutely the best medium which economically blends high interactivity with action
-Examples: Email, video & audio postcards, forums, blogs, websites, texting
-Very effective when content based
-Prospective customers are not constrained by time
-Good, targeted, updated content means repeat customer visits
-Great Follow up, Resale, Cross-sale and Up sell medium
-Exponential results when augmented by offline marketingClassified Ads
-Very cost effective for a broad customer base
-Targets the very hottest prospects
-Confronts your competition head onBrochures
-Only effective if combined with online and offline marketing
-Always a good after sale piece to keep the customer thinking of you
-Code the brochure, ask the customer to pass it out and provide discounts or referral fees backPhone
-Telemarketing only effective if part of an Opt In Marketing Campaign, whether online or offline or both.Reminder Tools
-Refrigerator magnet is the most effective
-Double sided or folded business card which provides mini-brochure capabilitiesTrade Shows
-Targeted and motivated prospects
-Consider online versionsPublicity
-Public Relations driven marketing can be cost effective. Establish reputation and credibilityCommunity Relations & Sponsorship
-Establish powerful contacts and connections
-Great for image
-Great constant reminder
-Create an edge over the competition
-Needs to be sincereCOMBINE MARKETING TOOLS & METHODSCreative Strategic Marketing is based on developing multiple Marketing Tools in concert to achieve an out-of-the box, competitively advantaged Creative Strategy. Marketing Methods should be integrated together for each cohesive Marketing Strategy, and then adjusted as the campaign proceeds and develops. Personally, I believe one of the most lethal combinations of Marketing Platforms are:–Developing a Content Rich Internet Presence
–Online Marketing through Opt In
–Advertise free Articles, Newsletter, Guides, Webinar, etc. in a targeted Magazine AdThis combination of print and online marketing is very cost effective, yet lucrative. Explore the possibilities.
The important thing to keep in mind when executing multiple Marketing Tools, Forums and Methods in a synergetic strategy is to carefully track and monitor the results, making Key changes as the initiative develops. This is where an online / internet marketing platform is so valuable because it can adeptly track results (i.e. conversion rate, response rate) in real time.ONLINE MARKETING CALENDARA good Marketing Calendar is based on a 52 week year and helps considerably in planning and budgeting a Marketing Strategy. At any point in time, you can determine the best ads to run, what needs to be in inventory for the anticipated sales, the project costs and projected sales. The calendar should be an online platform for maximum interactivity, utility, access, flexibility and integration. The Marketing Calendar should be fully integrated with the Marketing Strategy, Strategic Plan and Budgeting Process for maximum utility. The calendar should be in an expandable spreadsheet format to reveal all necessary details for each marketing method within an overall strategy.COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIESProfitable Marketing does not have to be expensive! Some cost saving tips:Cooperative Advertising
-Can save upwards of 50%. Partner up with a larger company, mention their name and get paid for the promotion. Spread the ad cost among fellow advertisers.Per Order or Inquiry Payment Method
-Advertising costs subtracted after a sale or defined event.Survey your Current Customers
-Costs pennies to do, yet gives you the most up to the minute market trends. Plus gives you an opportunity to Cross or Up Sell the customer at the same time.Backend Products & Services
-Bundle your offerings to minimize your marketing cost per sale.Code your Ads
-Codes allow you to track and measure your marketing strategy’s results. By keeping ahead of the campaign roll out you can adjust for maximum cost effectiveness.
-Online tracking is the most beneficial and cost effective means of keeping your marketing costs in line with your budget, while providing you where the most profits can be made per marketing dollar spent.Don’t Use a Rate Card
-Make an offer for all your advertising – rates are always negotiable.
-A 30 second TV spot can be as effective as the more expensive 60 second one.
-Tap into Remnant Magazine Space
-Extra, unused ad space sells at substantial discounts.TV Ad Tips
-Tight scripts and excellent prior planning cuts down the time costs.
-Do your Ad in 3-4 renditions move session.
-Use a production studio during off-peak times.Concentrate Efforts on Established Customers
-Customers are 85% cheaper to market; Keep a good balance between Customer and Prospect marketing efforts.
-Exponentially expand your sales, cost effectively, through a Customer Referral Program.
-Up sell, Cross Sell, Cross PromoteCombination Marketing
A very cost-effective and successful combination is pairing a Magazine Ad with a Website. Offer a FREE Newsletter, Guide, E-book, etc and set yourself up as an Expert; mine the prospects data in a permission based, Opt In; Follow up free offering with product and service offerings. All your marketing efforts, mediums, tools and campaigns should be done in concert and combination as the results are exponential and the means cost-effective.Website Design
-Web Design, Development and Optimization is very important, crucial in fact, but can be very expensive. –To cut Web design costs:
–Create your own content
–Write articles on areas you have Expert status or Knowledge
–Look at the web and decide what you want your site to look like and sketch it out, as well as, organize the link structure. Then have a designer lay out the website in a user friendly Content Management System, and you input all the content. Have the designer / developer review the site after your inputs for Search Engine Optimization tips.Tip: Consider hiring a Web Designer / Developer overseas, such as from China or India, etc. They charge about $30 per hour (or less) verses $75 – 100 per hour. Make sure to carefully review a Designer / Developer’s credentials, referrals and past projects, to ensure credibility and reliability.In the next article on Cost Effective Small Business Marketing, I will discuss Marketing Research and Targeted Marketing. Stay tuned!