When I talk to people about Marketing one of the first things they think about is “How much is this going to cost me?” In any economy marketing and advertising is a hard thing to swallow because often we don’t recognize the direct benefits of our efforts. Mailers typically get a 1-5% conversion rate. Print Advertisement Results are hard to measure. Coupons and sales may bring in new customers but do little to build loyalty to your business.
The truth is that we are marketing our businesses every day, with every business or customer interaction. And the majority of our marketing doesn’t cost us a thing. Following are several ways that you can market without spending a dime.
1) Create a blog. Blogging costs no money and gives you an opportunity to show your prospects who you are and what you stand for. This form of marketing, along with social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) will take little more than time and can give great results. There are many free hosting services (WordPress, Blogspot, Wix, etc.) you can use to create a blog that will give you a start on a web presence.
2) Get Free Press - Press releases cost nothing and create awareness about your company and products. There are great people, doing great things, in your company! Find ways to let the local newspaper know about them and highlight how your company and products are helping them to help those around them.
3) Get involved in the community. There are many opportunities to get involved in your local communities. Joining community organizations like the local Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, or other service organizations will give you a chance to serve and will present some awesome networking opportunities.
4) Make sure the Owner is visible and available. People like to know who the owner is, and receiving personal service from them will definitely build loyalty to your company.
5) Say thank you! Find ways to thank your customers, employees, and suppliers. Writing a personal note is quickly becoming a lost art, but is very unique and not easily forgotten by a customer.
6) Increase your sales force. Remember that every member of your staff is a sales person. If they enjoy working for your company they will naturally tell their friends and family and be a great source of sales and referrals.
7)Always give EXCELLENT customer service! Without it repeat business will be near impossible.
Doing these kinds of things will give you a chance to tell your story and help people to love your business. In the next post we will discuss vision and how a consistent message will build repeat business.
Until then, I hope your marketing is Spot On!